'Doctor Who' Showrunner Confirms Peter Capaldi to Return for Season 9

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Peter Capaldi’s 12th incarnation of Doctor Who will run at least two seasons, it was confirmed Monday.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter after an event in London to mark the DVD release of the BBC series’ recently completed eighth season, showrunner Steven Moffat said that Peter Capaldi was returning.

"Yes, he’s confirmed,” Moffat said, although he later added that Jenna Coleman, who has played the Time Lord’s companion Clara Oswald for the past two years, had not, something that could fuel rumors in the U.K. press that she is to leave the show following the upcoming Christmas special.

At the DVD launch event, Capaldi, Coleman and Moffat were joined on stage with Michelle Gomez, who played Doctor Who’s nemesis the Master in the latest series, and Samuel Anderson, who played Clara’s boyfriend Danny Pink.

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In a Q&A, Gomez said that finding out she was playing the first female incarnation of the Master was “up there with being Hillary Clinton."

Capaldi also revealed that he was initially approached to audition for the part of the eighth Doctor Who in 1996’s unsuccessful TV film reboot attempt, eventually played by Paul McGann.

"But I turned down the opportunity," he said. "I loved it so much that I didn’t want to have the disappointment of going for something that I would never get."

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The Q&A followed the world premiere of Earth Conquest: The Doctor Who World Tour, chronicling the cast’s 12-day promotional tour in August that covered seven cities across five continents. The documentary, which focuses on the series’ vast international network of fans, is included with the DVD.

In a separate release Monday, it was announced that ratings for the first 10 episodes of Doctor Who season eight were up 23 percent on season eight in the U.S., without revealing exact figures. The season premiere was the show’s highest-rated premiere ever on BBC America.

In the U.K., the season snared an average consolidated audience of 7.4 million viewers, an increase of 39 per cent on the overnight figures. At an event last week, Moffat denied that there had been a ratings drop and that U.K. viewing figures “are the same” as the previous season when including delayed viewing.

"It's been an outstanding debut series for Peter Capaldi as Doctor Who and I'm very grateful to Peter, Steven Moffat and everyone involved," said Danny Cohen, director of BBC Television, in a statement.

Twitter: @alexritman