Doctor Who actor Peter Capaldi has been on something of a farewell tour – having appeared at his last San Diego Comic Con over the summer and, this week, having dropped in to the New York Comic Con to say goodbye to more fans. While attending the event, he was asked about the way in which the transition between Doctors is handled – something that the show’s producers have previously suggested can be a very emotional, sometimes harsh process.
It’s also the case that Doctor Who actors generally know they’re leaving long before they’re told who will be succeeding them at the helm of the TARDI – and this can make for a strange situation. For Peter Capaldi, though, the mystery was accidentally solved – in part, at least – by a pair of trousers. As he explained to the NYCC audience:
“I went into Paul Smiths, which is a very wonderful clothes shop in London where I buy my suits, and everybody knows me in there. And they said “we just got a call,” they said, “from the Doctor Who office saying ‘Can we have a pair of [Peter’s] trousers, but with a waist size thirty?’
“And I thought ‘I’m finished, I don’t need any more trousers!’—because Doctor Who wears Paul Smith trousers, for the fashionistas among you—so they they were obviously looking for a pair of trousers for the new Doctor Who to wear. And I thought ‘well, that can’t really be a man with a thirty-inch waist. That must be a lady then!’”
While he didn’t know the actual identity of said “lady,” the biggest part of the surprise – the switch from a man to a woman – was essentially ruined for him by his coincidental trip to the tailor. As it happened, the producers apparently called him soon thereafter to confirm that it would be Jodie Whittaker stepping into the role – and she’d been staying very close by while preparing for a career move into time travel.
It’s certainly difficult to imagine that the new Doctor would be thrilled to learn that her waist size has now been publicly announced at the New York Comic Con, but it’s these kinds of behind the scenes snippets that make the BBC’s flagship productions such treasured gems.
Jodie Whittaker will take her place within that legend during the Doctor Who Christmas Special, due to air on December 25th. For a taste of what’s to come, check out the preview below.