SFX 252 PREVIEW Peter Capaldi on the challenge of Doctor Who

The Twelfth Doctor is ready to see you now

Peter Capaldi has big boots to fill, walking into the world of Doctor Who , and it's a daunting task even to a man who's been a fan his whole life – or maybe even because of that. He assures SFX , however, that it's not all about living in the shadow of the Doctor's past.

“You don't do it in contrast to other people. You don't look at other people and say, 'Oh, they did that. So I can't do that'. You just bring yourself to it.”

He may even have been playing the Doctor all along. “I was playing Doctor Who to some extent in some of my other work. It was watching Doctor Who that taught me to be an actor.”

The actor been a fanboy for a long time – and he claims his love of the show is very sincere. “They don't have to talk to me very much about any backstory or anything! I know where I am, most of the time!”

He didn't rush blindly into the job, however - “I wanted to know what they were going to do with the show, because there's no point in saying 'I'll come and be Doctor Who' if it can become something you don't want it to be. So that was important, that we were all on the same page.”

Capaldi talks about his first day on set, the regeneration scene where he took over from Matt Smith. “Matt was very sweet. I didn't step onto the set until he was ready, and he gave me a big hug, gave me his watch that he wears as the Doctor, and ceremonially handed the TARDIS over to me.”

“There's a lot of it to do, but it's the best gig in the world.”

Read more in the new issue of SFX , on sale Wednesday 20 August. Catch the new series of Doctor Who on Saturday 23 August with a feature-length episode.