‘Doctor Who’ filming begins, Peter Capaldi takes the TARDIS reins

Jan. 07, 2014 | 4:42 p.m.
Peter Capaldi as the Doctor and Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald on the set of "Doctor Who." (Adrian Rogers / BBC)

Peter Capaldi as the Doctor and Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald on the set of “Doctor Who.” (Adrian Rogers / BBC)

Filming has begun on the new season of “Doctor Who,” starring Peter Capaldi as the show’s eponymous time traveler.

Capaldi, who took over as the Doctor from Matt Smith in last year’s Christmas special, “The Time of the Doctor,” is shown donning Smith’s purple tweed frock coat and waistcoat, though no bow tie, in a newly released photo from the film’s set (check it out above).

“New job, first day, slightly nervous,” Capaldi said in a BBC news release. “Just like the Doctor, I’m emerging from the TARDIS into a whole other world.”

Although the Scottish actor, best known for his role as a foul-mouthed government official in the political comedy “The Thick of It,” has appeared as a minor character in a previous “Doctor Who” episode (“The Fires of Pompeii”) and in “Torchwood” miniseries spinoff “Children of Earth,” Capaldi made his debut as the Doctor in a brief scene in November’s 50th anniversary special, “The Day of the Doctor,” or at least his eyes and forehead did.

“First the eyebrows! Then, at Christmas, the face! Coming soon, the whole Doctor,” joked lead writer and executive producer Steven Moffat in the news release. “In the Cardiff studios, the Capaldi era begins.”

When he made his official entrance in the Christmas special, Capaldi’s newly regenerated Doctor declared, “Kidneys! I’ve got new kidneys! I don’t like the color.” Then, realizing the TARDIS was crashing, he asked traveling companion Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman), “Do you happen to know how to fly this thing?”

A cliffhanger introduction to be sure, and many critics are hopeful that Capaldi’s tenure will restore some gravitas to the ever-regenerating character.

“He offers a range of new tonal possibilities, some of which are also old possibilities. Indeed, if you look back across the whole life of the series, Capaldi seems very much in the tradition — a likely, almost obvious choice,” writes Times television critic Robert Lloyd. “He has the authority, the madness, the sweetness. … It may be time for the return of a more fatherly, or at least more fatherly-looking, Doctor.”

What do you think of Capaldi’s debut? Let us know in the comments.

– Noelene Clark | @NoeleneClark | Google+

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