Today marks the season final of Doctor Who, and begins an extended swansong for Peter Capaldi, Michell Gomez (Missy) and showrunner Steven Moffat.
Whilst things won’t reach a crescendo until the Christmas special, Radio Times spoke to all three.
Here are select excerpts from what they had to say:
Why make this your final series?
I love this show, but I’ve never done anything where you turn up every day for ten months. I want to always be giving it my best and I don’t think if I stayed on I’d be able to do that. I can’t think of another way to say, “This could be the end of civilisation as we know it.”
With episodic television of any genre, the audience wants the same thing all the time – but the instinct that leads the actor is not about being in a groove.
What can you say about your regeneration?
I can’t go into the details. I know what happens, but I don’t know how it happens. Certainly it’s not straightforward. It’s more complicated than recent ones. That’s one of the appeals of being in the show – it has death at the heart of it. He’s the only hero on TV who dies again and again.
How’d you describe your take on the Master?
I like to think of her as Mary Poppins’s evil twin. The loving part of the Master/Doctor relationship is just the fact that there’s a lot of history between them – they were incredible friends at one point, but the relationship just went sour. I mean, they’ve knocked around the universe together for hundreds of years.
She’s always talking about missing her friend. I think there’s a throwback to the relationship between Roger Delgado’s Master and Jon Pertwee’s Doctor [in the early 1970s]. Then you could see there was history between them, and a mutual appreciation of each other’s wit and intellect. Missy harks back to that.
How do you bow out?
I’ll strike a balance between not revealing spoilers and trying to get people to watch. I’m honour-bound as a writer not to give a damn about my departure. There’s no story about me leaving, the kids don’t know I exist – you can’t really get me away from the balcony when nobody knew I was in the building.
But it’s about giving Peter a grand, several-stage finale and trying to refresh the story that Doctor Who gets involved in with a tremendous crisis, during which he gets in some way mortally injured and has to turn into another actor.
You can read more from all three here.