"Doctor Who" cast gives details on new season

“Doctor Who” co-stars discuss upcoming se... 05:29

Few television shows have stood the test of time - and space - like "Doctor Who." The show just celebrated its 50th anniversary with a special episode seen by over 30 million viewers worldwide.

The new season premieres Saturday night on BBC America with Peter Capaldi as the twelfth version of the show's lead character, the Doctor.

Capaldi told CBS News he's a Whovian himself, a fan since he was 5 years old, who even wrote a letter to BBC at 15 praising a "Doctor Who" special.

"I love the show. There was just something about it that grabbed me and really took me through my boyhood," Capaldi said. "... There's just something about it that's very, very powerful and magical."

As a long-time fan, Capaldi says getting the call to play the part was a huge deal for him.

"I don't mean I'd spent my whole life walking around saying, 'I wish I was Doctor Who,' or mourning the fact that I wasn't Doctor Who, but when somebody said, 'You are Doctor Who,' I was like, 'Wow this is like the biggest Christmas present ever," Capaldi said.

Jenna Coleman plays the Doctor's travel partner, Clara Oswald. She had a flirty relationship with the previous Doctor but says her dynamic with Capaldi is complicated in its own way.

"The whole dynamic has been thrown up in the air," Coleman said. "And we kind of begin the relationship by saying, 'I'm not your boyfriend,' and we moved that aside and kind of move on with this dynamic and this relationship, which is incredibly complicated. We basically tell the story of what would you do if your best friend in the world changes his face and his person as well and kind of find our way with that."

Steven Moffat, head writer and executive producer of the show, was faced with the challenge of transitioning viewers into a radically different Doctor, but it's a challenge he welcomes.

"The thing about 'Doctor Who' is it doesn't survive in spite of change, it survives because of change," he said. "And the regeneration moment is an opportunity to absolutely reboot the show. It is in one sense exactly the same as it's ever been and in another it's completely different. And if you've got a hero who one minute can be Matt Smith and the next minute can be Peter Capaldi and a little while ago he was John Hurt, then you should do that because it's fun and it's exciting, and the moment you've got the fanbase all saying, 'I don't know if he should be the Doctor,' you've got it right because keep them alarmed, keep them off-balance."

Capaldi says his version of the Doctor is more cosmic and less empathetic for others.

"He's certainly more alien," he said. "There's a sense about him that there's a whole hidden Doctor Who who has access to a relationship with the universe, with the cosmos, which is slightly different. And he's slightly fiercer. He's more impatient with human beings, but I wouldn't want to give the impression that he's grim ... He can see beauty in everything, and he gets really irritated when other people don't. And if he asks you to come with him and you hesitate, he's gone."

Moffat says the show has remained popular, if not become more popular than ever, because viewers can start watching at any time.

"It's one of the most entertaining shows you can ever see," Moffat said. "There's no cultural barrier to watch 'Doctor Who,' and one of the best things about it is you can jump on any time. Hardly anyone has watched all of 'Doctor Who' because it's so long, so you can start right now."