Peter Capaldi is a massive fan of Doctor Who.
The Oscar winner's passion for our weird, wonderful little sci-fi show is obvious the moment when, on set in Cardiff, he starts to speak about the upcoming series eight. His love of the BBC drama as a younger man is a trivia nugget that the media has seized upon ever since he was first unveiled as the new Doctor in August 2013.
"It was weird but wonderful. It wasn't what I signed up for!"
Capaldi is talking to a select group of journalists, including Digital Spy, about making his debut live on television in front of a studio audience - and over 6m viewers watching at home.
"I agreed to be Doctor Who and they immediately said, 'We're going to launch it live on television' - I thought it was going to be like Stars in their Eyes… 'Tonight Matthew, I'm going to be Doctor Who!'"
12 months on and Capaldi has shot his first series as The Doctor - a feature-length opener followed by 11 more adventures - but insists that the stars haven't faded from his eyes yet.
"I'm constantly amazed that it's me," he admits. "I wake up in the morning and I go, 'I'm Doctor Who - how did that happen?' - it's a huge privilege and hugely exciting.
"I remember when I first came on the TARDIS, I had to be very patient, because there were always very nice prop guys telling me how to work the TARDIS - I was like, 'I know how to work it - I've known for a very long time how to work the TARDIS!'"
Like any fan, Capaldi loves the resurgence of elements from Doctor Who's history. With both the Daleks and the Cybermen reappearing this year, he promises that his first 12 episodes will deliver many such "spine-tingling" moments.
"I think the great thing about Doctor Who is that its past is always present," he says. "No matter how modern and how different it thinks it is, there's always a moment when the past appears... and when you get those moments right, it's very exciting!"
Aged 5 when Doctor Who launched on November 23, 1963, the series and its icons have been a part of Peter Capaldi's life for as long as he can remember - even if he admits to straying from the show during his teenage years.
"You reach 17 or 18 and you start to get into sex and drugs and rock 'n' roll," he says, grinning. "But I grew up in the '60s, so I grew up with Doctor Who and The Beatles and Sunday Night at the London Palladium and school milk and bronchitis... so it's part of my DNA. One goes away… but the prodigal son returns!"
Now he's unleashing his very own Doctor on the world and when it comes to defining his interpretation of the Time Lord, the Scottish star reiterates the buzzwords that Whovians have become familiar with since August last year.
This is a darker Doctor - "a slightly more mysterious figure" - and in case you haven't heard, flirting is off the table... at least with Jenna Coleman's spirited companion Clara.
"He struggles to find himself, he struggles through all this wreckage," Capaldi says. "There are some tips of some icebergs that we see - which I can't really reveal too much about.
Of the recent Doctors' penchant for flirting - and even kissing - his companions, he adds: "We don't do that, which is absolutely appropriate - but we have this other thing, which I really like.
"It's a strange, weird relationship, but because Jenna's so wonderful, I think we've found something that works."
Despite all the cosmetic changes, Capaldi insists that his Doctor Who is, at its heart(s), very much the same show that he watched and adored in the past.
"It's unmistakably Doctor Who - you wouldn't turn it on and think it was anything else," he promises. "The things I've always loved are still there.
"It's that relationship between the domestic and the fantastical, the dark and the light. It's the sense that there's a bridge. That a hand can be extended and you can step from the Earth - from the supermarket car park - to the Andromeda nebula or wherever."
As a Doctor Who fan himself then, is Peter at all nervous about how he'll be received by the hardcore when his first episode 'Deep Breath' transmits this Saturday night?
"You do your best," he says. "I don't know whether everyone else will like it or not. It goes out in the world and then we'll see what happens.
He smiles, and adds: "The nice thing about Doctor Who is, you know that somewhere, somebody loves you and will always love you. I'll be their Doctor."
Doctor Who returns to BBC One this Saturday (August 23) at 7.50pm with feature-length premiere 'Deep Breath'.