After what seems like an eternity of speculation (although it’s actually only two months since Matt Smith revealed his intention to hand back the keys to the TARDIS), the BBC have tonight announced that the twelfth Doctor in the long-running hit sci-fi drama will be actor Peter Capaldi. The casting, announced in a special live BBC1 (and simultaneously around the world) broadcast ‘Doctor Who Live - the Next Doctor‘ has been shrouded in secrecy and even the very existence of tonight’s programme was a secret until it was itself revealed in a press release issued at midnight on 2nd August.
Capaldi, 55, only became the bookies' favourite for the role over the last few days and his casting is in marked contrast to Smith, who, at 26, was the youngest actor to win the role when his casting was announced in 2009. Capaldi is certainly better known to the public than his predecessor was when he was cast. The Glasgow-born actor was famously a fan of Doctor Who as a child; not only did he write to the Radio Times about the series in 1974, he was also one of the prime movers in the early days of Doctor Who fandom. Capaldi’s list of film and TV credits in impressive. He first came to public attention in director Bill Forsyth’s Local Hero in 1983, and subsequently appeared in features as diverse as Lair of the White Worm, Dangerous Liaisons, Bean, Shooting Fish, and will be seen next year in the Sleeping Beauty-inspired movie Maleficent. Capaldi also appeared in the recent Brad Pitt zombie blockbuster where he played a World Health Organisation doctor (er…Who doctor??). But Capaldi is best known for his TV work, not least his role as the ferocious, foul-mouthed political spin doctor Malcolm Tucker in four series of the BBC’s acclaimed and savage sitcom The Thick of It. Capaldi reprised the role in the feature film In The Loop in 2009. Other TV roles include children’s series Dramarama and Delta Wave, and appearances in dramas such as Poirot, Skins, Prime Suspect, Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere (where he played Islington), Judge John Deed, Foyle’s War, Sea of Souls. Comedy appearances include episodes of Peep Show, My Family, Alexei Sayle, Vicar of Dibley and The Comic Strip Presents.
Capaldi is, of course no stranger to the world of modern Doctor Who. In 2008 he starred alongside tenth Doctor David Tennant and co-star Catherine Tate in the ‘Fires of Pompeii’ episode (where he played Lucius, father of the household visited by the Doctor and Donna) and in 2009 he gave a standout perfomance as tragic, betrayed politician John Frobisher in Torchwood’s ‘Children of Earth’ mini-series. Peter Capaldi will make his first appearance in Doctor Who at Christmas.
Starburst Magazine sends Peter Capaldi its warmest best wishes as he takes on this very special television role.
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