Before he was known the world over as the Doctor, Peter Capaldi’s most famous role was as the foul-mouthed spin doctor Malcolm Tucker in acclaimed political comedy The Thick of It (and its spinoff movie In The Loop). Capaldi had become so synonymous with Tucker, in fact, that many assumed when he joined Doctor Who that the iconic hero would suddenly be cursing every episode. Obviously, that didn’t turn out to be the case – what with the show being aimed at children and families, and all that.
While chatting with Kevin Smith at San Diego Comic-Con, though, Capaldi joked that he knew exactly what he was going to do once his final Doctor Who episode airs on Christmas Day: he’s going to turn the air blue with as many expletives as he wants.
“I haven’t sworn for four years since I became Doctor Who,” Capaldi said. “I thought it was very inappropriate, but hey I just left [the show].”
Smith tried to egg him on to give them an exclusive swear right there and then, but Who showrunner Steven Moffat put his foot down, insisting that Capaldi can’t curse yet as he’s still the current Doctor. “The moment Jodie comes on screen, you’re allowed to swear again,” Moffat decreed. He then clarified that he didn’t mean Whitaker appearing on screen is the cause of the swearing.
Though Smith, Capaldi and Moffat are just having a laugh here, it sounds like Capaldi is actually telling the truth when he claims that he hasn’t sworn for four years since playing the Doctor. This is a surprising bit of method acting, but was probably a great way of dispelling Malcolm Tucker from his system and getting into character as the much kinder Doctor. It was no doubt also a measure to ensure he didn’t accidentally swear in front of a young Doctor Who fan, proving again just how much care Capaldi takes with his supporters.
For those eager for their next fix of the actor, you can catch him in the upcoming Christmas special, which airs in December.