Peter Capaldi started work as the new Doctor Who yesterday (Tuesday) and has an unlikely first battle – against his own companion Clara.
The 55-year-old Thick Of It actor was on set yesterday to begin his first full episode as the Time Lord after Matt Smith regenerated into Capaldi at Christmas.
Capaldi’s first scenes were for an opening episode set in Victorian times. And the Mirror can reveal that as well as his usual enemies he will have to win over his sidekick Clara, who posed with him in an official photo yesterday.
Bosses are writing into the storyline that Clara, played by Jenna Coleman, misses the old Doctor Who played by Matt and she and Capaldi have a “spiky relationship” in the opening episodes.
One source said: “As a new Time Lord you need all the friends you can get, but he even has to win over his companion. Clara grew very attached to Matt and that shows in the opening episodes.
“Peter’s Doctor has to get past a spiky opening and try to make Clara a sidekick who will help him save the world from the usual mix of aliens and monsters from the galaxy.”
As well as Clara, Capaldi was joined on set yesterday by familiar characters Madam Vastra, Strax and Jenny. (ugggghghghgh)
Fans hoped they would see him at several locations where filming took place outside but Capaldi’s first scenes were confined to Studio 1 in Roath Lock Studios in Cardiff.
Arriving on set in Cardiff to begin filming, Peter Capaldi, said: “New job, first day, slightly nervous. Just like the Doctor, I’m emerging from the TARDIS into a whole other world.”
Referring to his previous brief cameos on the show, Steven Moffat, Lead Writer and Executive Producer, added: “First the eyebrows! Then, at Christmas, the face! Coming soon, the whole Doctor. In the Cardiff studios, the Capaldi era begins.”
One crew member said Capaldi seemed “excited more than anything” and didn’t show many nerves as he delivered his first lines.
Capaldi has been left nursing a dislocated thumb after an on-set accident for his last TV role after getting tangled in a frock.
The actor got caught in a co-star’s period costume while filming his new BBC drama The Musketeers, based on the characters created by Alexandre Dumas.
Capaldi had to twist the injured digit back into place himself leaving him weak at the knees with the pain.
He plays Cardinal Richelieu, the first minister and confidant of the French King in the new BBC One series which begins later this month.
Capaldi said the shooting of the sword-wielding adventure series was beset by injuries: “Dislocated shoulders, bruised shins, the odd concussion. It’s one of the occupational hazards of being a swashbuckler.
“I myself suffered a nasty dislocated thumb, but embarrassingly not from swinging a sword around. Instead, my injury came from a domestic the cardinal was having with milady, Maimie McCoy.
“I threw her against the wall not realising I’d caught my thumb in her large frock. I felt a jab of pain. And when the director said ‘cut’ I looked down and saw my thumb was on the wrong way round. Nasty. Instinct took over and I shoved it back - which made my eyes water and my knees weak.”
The new series of Doctor Who with Capaldi is not expected on screen on BBC One until the end of 2014 as filming will continue until August in Cardiff.
Capaldi, who is keeping his Scottish accent for the role, was unveiled in August 2013 as Smith’s replacement.
At the time he said: “Being asked to play The Doctor is an amazing privilege. Like the Doctor himself I find myself in a state of utter terror and delight. I can’t wait to get started.”