With just over a week to go until this year’s Doctor Who Christmas special , “The Return Of Doctor Mysterio” (Christmas Day, BBC One, 5.45pm folks) the Beeb is ramping up the publicity push. Here we go with a behind-the-scenes featurette with Matt Lucas as your host and a brief Q&A with the Doctor himself, Peter Capaldi.
What can audiences look forward to in this Christmas Special?
I think with the Doctor Who Christmas Special this year, audiences can look forward to a real Christmas treat. It’s nostalgic in the sense that it’s going to be a superhero story from the days when superheroes were ironic and witty and clever. It’s also set in New York and we have a fabulous American cast and some spectacular flying scenes – you’ll believe a man can fly. And we have The Doctor and Nardole and returning nasty monsters. Villains, good guys, bad guys, bit of snow, some children and maybe a hint of Santa Claus. Be there, watch it and have a wonderful Christmas!
What was your reaction to reading the Christmas scripts?
When I first read the script I thought, “This is wonderful!” because it captures the delightful, light comedy touch that existed in the early Superman movies with Christopher Reeves. Superheroes nowadays tend to be a grim lot but in those days there was optimism and a deliberate naivety that the character of Superman had which was very attractive. But also the way the scripts were written back then reminded me of Spencer Tracy or Katherine Hepburn kind of scripts – they were very witty, very knockabout, very American. This script is like that so I was very happy to read it and to go with this whole idea of the Doctor observing a superhero – it’s great fun. Doctor Who is an extraordinary programme – it allows you the opportunity to almost have a different kind of genre every week not just a different kind of plot so this is very much a light-hearted superhero romp.
Can you talk to us about the casting of Justin Chatwin as Grant/The Ghost?
Justin as The Ghost is amazing because he’s able to do both of those parts – The Ghost and the mild mannered Grant – and he’s got two different voices that he uses for them. I think comic lightness is a greatly undervalued thing – to be as funny as he is and light but with accurate delivery. He has great charm, a movie star quality which is lovely. The Ghost is a slightly flawed superhero and he’s spot on with all of that. He’s been great to have around.