Peter Capaldi On the Evolution of the Twelfth Doctor’s Hair

The Doctor Who actor charmed NYCC today by answering a question about the transformation of his character's hair.

Every Doctor has an iconic look. For Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor, his signatures have included “attack” eyebrows, a Paul Smith sweater, and his ever-growing hair. During a spotlight panel at today’s New York Comic Con, Capaldi had a surprising lot to say about the evolution of the Twelfth Doctor’s hair…

“Well, OK,” Capaldi gamely said when a fan asked him to talk about his hair transformation from short in his first season to increasingly out of control in his third.

“I didn’t really want to have short hair when we started, but there was a lot of pressure to have short hair, so I ended up having my hair cut in the makeup van,” explained Capaldi.

And then I would start pulling at it and not get it cut quite as regularly as I should. I quite liked it getting longer, so by the time we got to the end, by the time we got to the next season, I was brave enough to say, ‘Let’s keep it.’

Capaldi said he hadn’t had it as long as it got since he was 17, so he hadn’t realized what he was “unleashing on the world and on the extremely patient and wonderful people who work in the makeup department.”

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Capaldi mentioned a few of his Doctor Who story ideas during the course of the panel, including a pitch involving the Doctor meeting Jimi Hendrix, but his hair monster idea may have been my favorite.

There’s this monster that really does what it wants. In fact, there should be a Doctor Who story in which he battles his own hair, in which it’s so huge, it creeps out of the TARDIS and begins strangling people. We just let it go. We just let it do what it wanted to do.

Capaldi went on to joke that his out-of-control hair may have been the reason why he had to leave the role of the Doctor after three seasons. “If I’d done a fourth season, you’d no longer be able to see my face,” said Capaldi.

Capaldi also answered the question of why he chose to leave in a more serious manner, saying: “I never wanted to get to a place where I knew how to do this. That’s not what creative is. You should be constantly challenged.”