Moffat explains Capaldi's 'grey-haired stick-insect' Doctor Who look (+ 5 pics)

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Apr 29, 2019, 7:21 AM EDT (Updated)

Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat has opened up about Peter Capaldi’s 12th Doctor costume, saying that although Capaldi was mainly responsible for putting it all together, Moffat wanted to avoid a “circus clown” look (see: Colin Baker's Sixth Doctor’s costume).

Talking about costume: We’ve also got a couple of new magazine covers and photo shoots to share, so head on to the gallery below after the article to enjoy the Doctor Who goodness.

But let’s go back to our main man Steven Moffat now, shall we?

Here’s what Moffat said about Peter Capaldi's costume choice in an interview with SFX:

“He wanted to be quite stark,” Moffat reveals. “Stark and skinny. A stick-insect sort of thing. Clara actually calls him a grey-haired stick-insect at one point. We had some hilarious pictures of Peter just dressing up. It was all coming from him because he’s really into his clothes. I didn’t feel qualified to go and chat too much about it. Certainly the costume didn’t go anywhere until I shut up. The thing I’ve learned about showrunning is you need to know the bits you’re bad at!

“I’ve got certain things that I’ll say – I don’t want anything in that costume that I have to write into the script. I don’t want people saying ‘But why are you dressed as a circus clown?’ I want him to walk into a pub, a restaurant, a space conference, an army base and nobody stares at him.

“There was an issue simply because it’s quite dark as a costume and it’s a show that largely takes place in a tunnel. I kept saying ‘We are going to be able to see him, aren’t we?’ I suppose the red lining helps, when the flaps are open.

The Doctor Who and Sherlock showrunner extraordinaire then said that Peter Capaldi’s final costume brought its very own set of concerns, and that -- unlike previous incarnations of the Time Lord -- he appears to be wearing different outfits more often than the Doctor usually does:

“I think there’s always something a little bit formal about the Doctor. Oddly enough in this series, for whatever reason, he seems to be wearing different outfits far more often than the Doctor normally does. He’s got his basic outfit but he’s in a spacesuit in one of them, and he’s a caretaker in another one and then he’s all dressed up in a later episode. He does vary it a bit.  And he mixes up the basic costume, hugely. We’ve tended to see  the white shirt version in public but actually the one I like best is when he wears the jumper under his coat. I think he looks like a submarine commander, like an old sailor or something. It makes him all rugged and handsome!”

Speaking to Empire Magazine, Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman -- who plays the Doctor’s companion Clara -- offered some of their thoughts about the new Doctor.

Here’s what Capaldi said:

“It can become a kind of franchise where it’s not a real character at all, but just an amalgam of elements that people think are Doctor Who: a scarf, a bow tie… I wanted to be the actual Doctor Who.”

“He’s more alien than he’s been for a while. He doesn’t quite understand human beings or really care very much about their approval.”

Then Jenna Coleman added:

“With Matt’s Doctor [Clara] felt quite safe, really. She knew she’d be caught if she was in danger, but this guy is a lot less human-friendly and a lot less patient. He’s more removed and accessible. You can’t quite access him in the same way.”

Doctor Who season eight will premiere on Aug. 23.

(SFX via Doctor Who TV, Empire Online, Entertainment Weekly, The Sunday Times, SciFiNow)

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