Here’s Who: Getting To Know Peter Capaldi, The Twelfth DOCTOR WHO

Here’s Who: Getting To Know Peter Capaldi, The Twelfth DOCTOR WHO

Peter Capaldi

First, a bit of badge-polishing: while none of our fan-fluffing picks for the Twelfth Doctor were borne out (I still would have loved to have seen Damian Lewis or Chiwetel Ejiofor get the nod), I did get the pick right in the last week, along with many British bookmakers, in Moffat’s final choice: Peter Capaldi.

While American audiences (who are still getting used to the notion of DOCTOR WHO in the first place) may not recognize the name, Capaldi has a few really solid bullet points to his name. For starters, he is best known for a four series run as spin doctor Malcolm Tucker in BBC One’s THE THICK OF IT. Tucker is a foul-mouthed beast of a politician, as exhibited by this montage from EMPIRE Magazine from the spinoff film IN THE LOOP (yes, NSFW definitely applies, so don’t press play around your boss or children unless they’re into that sort of thing):

THE THICK OF IT is on Hulu in its entirety, including the recently-wrapped fourth series, while IN THE LOOP is available on Netflix Instant.

One side note: Capaldi is the only Oscar winner to portray the Doctor – he wrote and directed the Best Short Film FRANZ KAFKA’S IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE, starring DOCTOR WHO alum Richard E. Grant in 1993.

Casting Capaldi as the Doctor raised a few thousand pairs of Whovian eyebrows, as he’s appeared in the series already. During David Tennant’s run, Capaldi guested as Roman citizen Caecilius in “The Fires of Pompeii.” This isn’t without precedent, though – the Sixth Doctor, Colin Baker, played a character called Maxil during the run of his immediate predecessor, Peter Davison. So, relax, gang. It’s not Moffat being lazy (casting another thin white male again notwithstanding).

Then, there’s the age thing. (Which shouldn’t be a thing to begin with.)

Capaldi will be 56 when he begins his proper run as Doctor Number Twelve (not counting the Christmas Special where he’ll make his on-screen debut – more on that in a mo). This bucks the trend set in the rebooted WHO era of a younger, “heartthrob” Doctor. Christopher Eccleston was 41 during his one series as the Doctor; David Tennant was 35 when he assumed the mantle in 2006; and Matt Smith was the youngest person to ever play the Doctor at 26 when he did the regeneration mambo in 2009. Meanwhile, Capaldi is the same age as William Hartnell when he originated the role in 1963. Does that mean fewer swooning companions, as we’ve gotten a bellyful with the rebooted Doctors? (Ye gods, I hope so.)

So, quibbles out of the way, what are we going to see when Series Eight hits the airwaves of BBC One and BBC America in 2014? Steven Moffat has hinted that darker days are ahead for the Doctor, and we do know Jenna-Louise Coleman will be staying on as the Doctor’s companion through (at least) the first part of the series. Capaldi will make his debut in the traditional Christmas Special, now shooting – though the sequence showing the post-regeneration Doctor will have to wait until the BBC Production of THE MUSKETEERS wraps, where Capaldi is playing Cardinal Richelieu. (The regeneration will not happen in DOCTOR WHO’s Fiftieth Anniversary Special, as some outlets are reporting.)

In closing, here’s the official press release from the BBC announcing the casting, and the reveal during today’s DOCTOR WHO LIVE special, which stopped down the entire Internet for the first part of the day.

Amid much hype and speculation, Peter Capaldi was unveiled as the next Doctor during a special live television event on BBC AMERICA and BBC ONE today.

Widely regarded as one of the biggest roles in British television, Capaldi will be the Twelfth Doctor and takes over from Matt Smith who leaves the show at Christmas.

Peter Capaldi says: “Being asked to play The Doctor is an amazing privilege. Like the Doctor himself I find myself in a state of utter terror and delight. I can’t wait to get started.”

Steven Moffat, lead writer and executive producer says: “It’s an incendiary combination: one of the most talented actors of his generation is about to play the best part on television. Peter Capaldi is in the TARDIS!”

Doctor Who companion, Jenna Coleman says “I’m so excited Peter Capaldi is the man taking on the challenge of becoming the Twelfth Doctor. With Steven’s writing and his talent I know we’ll be making an amazing show with an incredible incarnation of number 12. I can’t wait to start this new adventure!”

Charlotte Moore, Controller BBC One says : “Peter Capaldi has all the genius and versatility needed to take on the mantel of the great Time Lord and make the role his own. He’ll bring his own particular wisdom, charisma and wit to the Twelfth Doctor and take the show into an exciting new era.”

Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning says : “We started thinking Peter Capaldi might be the right person to take on this iconic part a few months ago. But it was only when he did a secret audition at Steven’s house under the cover of darkness that we knew we had our man. He’s an extraordinarily talented actor who can seemingly turn his hand to anything. We can’t wait to premiere his unique take on the Doctor on Christmas Day and we are sure he’s going to become one of the all-time classic Doctor’s.”

Rankin exclusively shot Peter Capaldi this morning, picture is attached.

Doctor Who airs is produced by BBC Cymru Wales.


Peter Capaldi is an award winning actor, film maker and lifelong Doctor Who fan.

He has enjoyed an illustrious career to date in both film and television.

Before securing the coveted role of the Twelfth Doctor, Peter first appeared in Doctor Who in 2008, playing Caecilius in the episode “The Fires of Pompeii”.

Peter grew up in Glasgow and attended the Glasgow School of Art, while studying there he secured his first breakthrough role in Local Hero (1983). He has also had roles in Dangerous Liaisons, The Crow Road, The Devil’s Whore and Torchwood: Children of Earth.

It is his role as Government spin doctor Malcolm Tucker in the BBC comedy series, The Thick of It, that has earned Peter both international and award success. In 2010 he won the BAFTA Television Award for Best Male Performance in a Comedy Role and the BPG Best Actor Award. In both 2010 and 2012, Peter won the British Comedy Award for Best TV Comedy Actor. A film spin-off from The Thick of It, entitled In the Loop, was released in 2009.

As well as appearing in front of the camera, Peter is an award winning film maker. In 1995, he won the Oscar for Best Short Film (Live Action) for Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life. He also wrote Soft Top, Hard Shoulder, which won the audience award at the London Film Festival, and wrote and directed Strictly Sinatra. Peter’s stage credits include Professor Marcus in The Ladykillers at the Liverpool Playhouse, which saw the play transfer to the Gielgud Theatre in London.

2013 has been a busy year for Peter who has been seen on screen in the film World War Z and in the BBC AMERICA and BBC Two drama series The Hour, for which he was BAFTA nominated. Not only will Peter film his first scenes for Doctor Who this Autumn, but he will appear in the forthcoming film The Fifth Estate and the Disney film Maleficent.

Peter is currently filming new BBC AMERICA and BBC One drama series The Musketeers, in which he plays Cardinal Richelieu which will launch in early 2014.

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