Peter Capaldi is the 12th actor to play Doctor Who, and he'll be the last, playing the part forevermore.
At least, that's what executive producer and showrunner Steven Moffat hopes, as he joked about that during the BBC America session at the Television Critics Association Press Tour. Capaldi responded that, clearly, he hadn't read the fine print in his contract.
So how long will Capaldi stay? It's unclear. Moffat pointed out that the first question put to David Tennant when he stepped into the role was how long he intended to stay in it. (Tennant and Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith each appeared in three seasons.)
Even though it's his second season, Capaldi said that he's still developing the part. He half-joked that he has “no idea how to play the part,” making the point that “you can't sort of develop a role in isolation, you have to do it with other people.”
Responding to a question about how his Doctor seemed to be struggling in his new body, Capaldi said, “I think it's interesting to explore how somebody develops … the idea that someone has to struggle to discover who they are is a fun story to tell.”
One thing he knew right away: the series' tone. “I was a big fan of the show and very familiar with it, I felt I knew something of its tone,” he said, “so I felt I didn't have to struggle to find that.”
The tone for season will be upbeat, at least at first. “They're having the absolute best time ever–what could possibly go wrong?” Moffat said of the Doctor and Clara. Jenna Coleman said that her character is now “fearless” and has “reckless abandon” after the events of last season. “Her perspective on life has changed,” Coleman said. “She can kind of go TARDIS life full-throttle with nothing to lose.”
When things do go wrong, Missy, aka the Master, will probably be involved. She “gives the Doctor a hard time,” Capaldi said, but he insisted that won't be similar to the Doctor and Missy's previous interaction. “The role she fulfills in the new season is rather different than what she did last time, and what people would expect.”