NEW Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi has defended the low-budget look of the series in its early days but admitted the old shows do not stand up to the standards expected by modern viewers.

The actor, 55, began filming his first series as The Doctor this week following a brief appearance in the Christmas Day edition.

In an interview with Doctor Who Magazine, Capaldi said: "People look at (the old shows) and, understandably, mock the bargain-basement monsters, and the accidents and collisions.

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"But those old shows were only made to be watched once, on a flickering monochrome telly that smelled of valves and furniture polish. In that context, they succeeded immeasurably. They were triumphs of imagination."