Capaldi recognizes subtle links to previous ‘Superman’ movies
Peter Capaldi says the Doctor Who Christmas special, titled The Return of Doctor Mysterio, closely resembles classic projects like Christopher Reeve’s Superman films and Adam West’s Batman television series.
The actor’s character teams up with a hero named The Ghost, played by Justin Chatwin, along with the character of Lucy Fletcher to fight dangerous aliens who threaten to take over New York City.
Once he saw Steven Moffat’s script, Capaldi instinctively remembered the classic Superman franchise and recognized the tongue-in-cheek humor found in the story.
Capaldi told Bang Showbiz: “There’s a kind of lovely kind of wit that you have in, for instance, the early Christopher Reeve ‘Superman‘ movies.
And even if you watch the old ‘Batman‘ series with Adam West in them, there’s a tremendous kind of tongue in cheek humor about the whole thing which has sort of slightly vanished now from the world of superheroes.
I think that happens in ‘The Return of Doctor Mysterio’ which is nice. Although I don’t think there’s much in common between Doctor Who and superheroes.”
However, Capaldi acknowledges that these characters don’t have much in common at their core, particularly because Doctor Who is more of an anti-superhero.
He continued: “I mean Doctor Who is a kind of anti-superhero … He doesn’t have tights for instance … I think he’s not as slick as the traditional superheroes. They don’t really come from the same place.”
That said, Moffat admits that Superman served as inspiration for The Ghost character. This led to the hero joining Doctor Who as the script was slowly shaped.
He explained: “I’d suggested the idea of a superhero when we were having a big script meeting of a previous episode and we were getting nowhere with the story.
I was throwing out ideas and one of them was ‘Why don’t we put a superhero in the next one?’ I thought it was an awful idea but then they said, ‘You know that terrible idea that you had for another episode would actually be quite good for Christmas day.’”
The Return of Doctor Mysterio is set to air on BBC America on Christmas Day.