Peter Capaldi was such a massive Doctor Who fan before he was handed the keys to the TARDIS in 2013 that he used to write to the BBC on a regular basis to ask for autographs of former Time Lords. There’s one former Doctor in particular Capaldi was a big fan of — so much so that he even based his own signature on this Time Lord’s autograph.
So, who was that former Doctor? Peter Cushing, who played the Doctor in those two 1960s Dr. Who movies (which were just kinda made part of the official Doctor Who canon in Steven Moffat's novelization of "The Day of the Doctor").
Speaking to The Sydney Morning Herald, Capaldi recalled that Cushing once came to Glasgow where the Star Wars actor chatted with Capaldi before scribbling a message and signing a large black and white photo. “I was such a fan that I modelled my own signature on his, because we have the same initials,” said Capaldi. “He had a rather florid P, which I copied.”
Cushing’s precious autograph isn’t the only one Capaldi managed to get his hands on. In fact, he collected most of the Doctor’s signatures, except for one.
“I had Jon Pertwee's autograph, Tom Baker’s,” Capaldi said. “I used to have all of the Doctors’ autographs, except for William Hartnell, because he was rather infirm. But his wife wrote me a rather lovely letter and signed his photograph, which was very sweet.”
While these autographed pics would certainly take a place of pride in any Whovian's collection and maybe even fetch a fair price, Capaldi shared some rather bad news. See, when he headed off to art school in his late teens, his interest shifted to “sex and drugs and rock’n’roll,” even briefly becoming the frontman for a punk band called The Bastards from Hell. This is when Capaldi did something rather shocking: He threw away his childhood collection, and lit it on fire.
“I didn't want to be a geek any more so I threw out all my geeky stuff. I had a sort of bonfire of the vanities where I got rid of all this stuff that would be great fun for me to have now. Isn’t that terrible?” he asked.
While we have to agree this is a huge loss for Whovians everywhere, his early experiences as a Doctor Who fan are probably what make him so accessible to fans today. “I suppose I can put myself in their shoes,” Capaldi admitted. “I guess I feel their pain.”
Now, excuse us while we go feel the pain of the world losing such a Doctor Who collection.