The eighth season of Doctor Who is coming to our screens this August, and according to showrunner Steven Moffat, it’s going to be different than previous seasons of modern Who. Moffat recently spoke at the Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts, and he talked about casting Peter Capaldi and why the show needed to turn and face the strange changes.
Can you imagine if we’d cast another handsome yet quirky young man with entertaining hair? It would sort of just have exposed the formula. And we’d have found someone great, people would have liked him, but the show would have become that little bit more ordinary… We’ve got a part that can be played by anyone, from a 20 year old to a 70 year old — John Hurt was in his seventies when he played it — you’ve got to use that flexibility, not ignore it.
Luckily, Capaldi was on his mind, and everyone else’s mind, apparently. And Capaldi was willing to audition, and the BBC was willing to hire him, so they got a great new actor to play the doctor right at the time when Moffat felt like the show needed to change.
It needed to change. One of the hardest things ever to do, is to notice when your clever new idea is now your very old idea. We haven’t made much of a change to Doctor Who since it came back in 2005. It’s been the same show. It has maybe amped some things up and lowered some things, but it is basically the same. I just feel it needs to be a bit more different now, it just needs to be surprising again. We’ve got the hang of this, we need to change it. The rhythm has to alter, which it has.
After “The Day of the Doctor” and “The Time of the Doctor,” the show has wrapped up all its hanging threads while simultaneously giving the Doctor a new purpose: finding Gallifrey. The new season will be a whole new start for the show, and I cannot wait. Set your DVRs (Or spoof your IP address) for sometime in August. You can watch a longer section of Moffat’s talk in the video below.