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Peter Capaldi wanted Doctor Who to invent the wah pedal and present it to Jimi Hendrix

Peter Capaldi and Jimi Hendrix
(Image credit: Doctor Who/YouTube / Bob Baker/Redferns via Getty)

Peter Capaldi, the Scottish actor best known for his stint as the title character in Doctor Who, has revealed that he dreamed up an episode of the time-travelling sci-fi show in which he invented the wah pedal and presented it to Jimi Hendrix.

Speaking ahead of the release of his first album, St Christopher, the actor told The Guardian he’d mooted it the concept, along with the idea of the Doctor playing electric guitar (which did happen) between the first and second seasons.

“I said it’d be fun if the Doctor had a guitar to plug into the Tardis console,” says Capaldi. “It was just an idea, I never dreamed it would happen. I imagined the Doctor might have invented the wah-wah pedal. We could’ve done an historical episode where he met Jimi Hendrix and introduced him to this piece of alien technology.”

In addition, Capaldi said he felt the mythology around blues icon Robert Johnson would have made fertile territory for the show.

“I also thought there could be a great blues episode,” he continued. “When Robert Johnson meets the devil at the crossroads, the Doctor could discover something extraterrestrial going on.”

Capaldi, aged 63, has recently completed work on his debut solo album, St. Christopher, with the aid of his friend Dr. Robert from the Blow Monkeys. The record was reportedly written across a period of four months, while Capaldi was staying in Atlanta and shooting for The Suicide Squad.

“I had a lot of downtime,” he says elsewhere in The Guardian article. “So I bought a cheap electric guitar and made demos on GarageBand. I’d send them to Robert, who very sweetly rejected a whole pile of my efforts until eventually we had enough to take into the studio.

“We’d booked Konk Studios in Crouch End, north London, which was great because it was the Kinks’ old studio and I love Ray Davies. That was cancelled due to lockdown but we sent the demos back and forth until we had something that appeared to be an album.”

Matt Parker

Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.