Doctor Who: Steven Moffat and Peter Capaldi Discuss the Origin of the Name “Doctor Mysterio”

Steven Moffat and Peter Capaldi discuss the Mexican origin of the name Doctor Mysterio, the title character of the upcoming 2016 Christmas special.

When Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat and Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi went on a world tour, they took note of the fact that, in Mexico, Doctor Who is called Doctor Misterio. Capaldi tells the story of being shown a William Hartnell episode, which was dubbed for Mexican audiences in the early 1960s. Even the title was verbally narrated, rather than subtitled. From this, Capaldi grew quite fond of repeating “Doctor Misterio” in the style of the Mexican narrator, and added his own dramatic hand gestures. This translation, and the melodramatic overdubbing, tickled Capaldi so much that Moffat decided to use the name as inspiration for the upcoming Christmas special. For English-speaking audiences, however, one letter was changed to make it “Doctor Mysterio” for the episode title ‘The Return of Doctor Mysterio.’ Will this be the name of the Doctor, or another character in the episode?

Not being familiar with the full details of the translation of Doctor Who in Mexico, I do not know whether Doctor Misterio is just a conversion of the title of the show, or that the character of the Doctor is called this, as well. Is he called El Doctor, instead? Either way, the overlap in names might be confusing to people in Mexico and other countries in which Doctor Who is known as Doctor Misterio. Will the slight difference in spelling be enough keep everything clear? And from where is Doctor Mysterio returning, anyway? Is Moffat trolling Spanish-speaking audiences?

For an example of one of these opening sequences, and a bit of an episode, check out the following video from BBC Mundo.

Below, the video in which Moffat and Capaldi reminisce about the process can be viewed. (posted by the Belfast Telegraph from Charlotte Pamment)

For more on Capaldi’s visit to Mexico, check out this news roundup and this article from this past March.

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What do you think of the name Doctor Mysterio? Let us know in the comments below.