The Capaldeyes Affair

This week Whovian Leap recalls an incredible chain of events from Christmas 2013.

Budapest Airport. The cold wind blew outside, but I was cosy and warm in the departure lounge. I twiddled my thumbs, as I waited for my Wizz Air flight back to the UK. I had already checked in and needed a Tardis to take me forward in time to the moment when my gate would open, because I was incredibly bored…

Bored as the Gods of Ragnorok as they watched Nord telling a joke. Bored as Melanie Bush, when Pex flexed his muscles. I was even as bored as the Eleventh Doctor the day he moved in with the Ponds. 

I switched on my Ipad and decided to kill some time online. Kill time? Did that make me worse than Davros or the Master, I wondered. Beep beep! It was the WhoNews app. I decided to check what was going down in the Whoniverse. A Capaldi article in SFX magazine? A Peter Capaldi mask? What a genius idea! But hang on a moment, maybe I had got the wrong end of the sonic!

It wasn’t a mask after all. SFX was showing photos of Capaldi’s eyes from “The Day of the Doctor” superimposed onto a cat, or looking through a letter box and a whole load of other hilarious images. And it got me thinking, which is a “bad” thing. A dangerous thing. “Capaldi eyes”, what if it were one word? I am always obsessing over language and pronunciation. Even the Great Moff and Matt Smith had delighted me the other day by pronouncing Capaldi the Italian way. One word? Yes. “Capaldeyes!” 

But of course there is no such thing as an original idea. I checked on Twitter. Others had beaten me to it, even the glorious Blogtor Who in a YouTube video with the very same name. But the mask? The mask. Had anybody done the mask? I frantically googled. No one had. I could set my imagination free. But there was no need. It had already broken off the leash and run off into the horizon.

But how could I make a mask? I’m not a Blue Peter presenter. The last time I got involved in crafts was at primary school. But I knew I needed a template and Google obligingly came up with the goods. It was an “Anonymous” one. Hardly appropriate, but it was a start. Ding dong! Manchester flight boarding! 

An eternity later, strapped safely into my seat, I got down to “Capaldeyes”. I opened the “Anonymous” mask in my photo editing app. I deleted everything except his eyes and the outline of his face. 

I lined up the Capaldeyes with his and superimposed them. I deleted the new Doctor’s eyeballs (and let me be quite clear about this, I am not a Cyberman!) As a final touch, I added a “Capaldeyes” logo and some scissors. Peter Purves would have been proud.

The only price I paid was a few PassengerEyes giving me funny looks as I photoshopped an Anonymous mask while on board a busy flight. Once I had reached my destination, I wrote a few choice words to accompany the mask, posted the blog and that was that. I could look forward to spending a quiet Christmas with my family. Or so I thought. As I was biting into a mince pie, I read an interesting tweet. 

“Nice to be appreciated” I reflected and continued to chomp into my mince pie, giving the matter no further thought. But mince pie after mince pie, I started to wonder. Who is @Bonniegrrl? I checked her out on Twitter. OMG! Over 56 thousand followers! And she was going to write about lil’ ol’ me? Had I heard of CNET? Yes I had. It was something to do with computers, wasn’t it? My geekiness stretched that far. I wondered what @bonniegrrl would write. I slowly picked up another mince pie, this time deep in thought.

On Christmas Day morning all was revealed. CNET published “Get Peter Capaldi’s Doctor Who stare with Capaldeyes” by Bonnie Burton. I discovered that Bonnie was the best-selling author of “The Star Wars Craft Book”. The penny dropped. I had inadvertently made a science fiction / handicraft connection. Had I known that I was in such esteemed company, I would have checked the measurements of the Capaldeyes mask before posting. I would have unpacked my Ikea paper tape measure, originally intended for proving the size of my hand luggage to overscrupulous Wizz Air staff. As it was, a quip about the Master’s tissue compression eliminator would save me from any future blushes.

I watched in amazement as the CNET article was republished by site after site. The mince pie nearly fell out of my mouth. Gizmotech. Uproxx. Israel Herald. Technologytell. Churby! Sorry, what?! Page after page of search results. Crumb after crumb of mince pie into my brother’s keyboard. Out of curiosity I googled “Peter Capaldi” and the CNET article was actually at the bottom of the first page of results. This was crazy! The article would only stay there for a couple of hours, until other popular sites published articles about the new Doctor. But I would enjoy my claim to fame while it lasted, just as the Eleventh Doctor said, “Like breath on a window”. 

More importantly CNET had brought Doctor Who to the attention of those, especially in the States who, judging by some of the comments published on the various sites, had never seen the show. CNET did a wonderful job of promoting the show stateside and elsewhere, so I applaud Bonnie. 

And even today when I google Capaldeyes, the mask is still top among the images, reminding me of that incredible chain of events which started in a departure lounge at Budapest airport one Christmas.

Two very different destinations for Capaldeyes…

and the slightly rude…

And what of the mask? Here it is in all its glory!


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