Dr Who star Peter Capaldi defends the cult series' early episodes

Incoming Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi has defended the low-budget look of the series in its early days but admitted the old shows do not stand up to the standards expected by modern viewers.

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Capaldi - a fan of the show since he was a child - said that although he had fond memories of the vintage episodes of the programme, they did not quite bear scrutiny when he revisited them on DVD.

The Glasgow-born actor, 55, began filming his first series as The Doctor this week following a brief appearance in the Christmas Day edition when viewers saw him take over from Matt Smith during the character's regeneration.

In an interview with Doctor Who Magazine, Capaldi said of the older shows: "People look at them now and, understandably, mock the bargain-basement monsters, and the accidents and collisions that came from having virtually no time in the studio to shoot fantastically ambitious stories.

"But those old shows were only made to be watched once, on a flickering monochrome telly that smelled of valves and furniture polish. In that context, they succeeded immeasurably. They were triumphs of imagination."

Capaldi told the mag: "It may surprise you now, but something like The Web Planet (which dates from 1965) lived powerfully and expansively in my head for decades... until the DVDs came along and spoiled the party."

Talking about his devotion to the show he added: "I don't remember Doctor Who not being part of my life. It's in my DNA."

Arts and Entertainment

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