Doctor Who has been around for 50 years. Whenever a new actor takes on the role of the Doctor, it’s been a type of looking backwards and looking forwards, a time of hope, and more than a little hype. Saturday, when the BBC One announced in prime-time who Doctor Who Number 12 would be, was no different, especially in the hype department.
BBC announced today on a live half-hour program that 55-year-old, Glagow Scotland born Peter Capaldi, best known for his role as foul-mouthed spin doctor Malcolm Tucker on BBC comedy series The Thick of It, has been cast as the 12th Doctor. He was the favorite of fans and bookies today, leading up to the announcement.
As Robert Colvile of The Telegraph put it:
…this was less a casting announcement than a global product launch, an exercise in brand-management equivalent to the unveiling of the latest iPhone.”
Because of all that was riding on the selection of the next Doctor Who, it was a pretty good bet that the twelfth Doctor wouldn’t be some unknown actor, but speculation was high up to the time of the announcement.
Some fans thought it might be even the right time for a woman to take over the role of the Doctor, and a few suggested that a good choice might be a black woman who was also gay.
For instance, Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren told Daybreak:
I’m not going to be the first female ‘Doctor Who.’ No, no, no. Absolutely not, I absolutely wouldn’t contemplate that … but I do think it’s well over-time to have a female ‘Doctor Who’ … I think a gay, black female ‘Doctor Who’ would be best of all.”
The nod went to Peter Capaldi, though, who has been, himself, a long-time Doctor Who fan, and looks to be an excellent choice to be the next Doctor. He replaces Matt Smith, who announced two months ago that he intended to leave the series. Smith is expected to make his final appearance on Doctor Who in this year’s Christmas special, and he will also be on the show’s forthcoming 50th anniversary 3-D special in November.
The 50th. anniversary special will also feature David Tennant’s return as well as John Hurt as a mysterious unknown incarnation of the Time Lord. It is definitely an episode that all Doctor Who fans will want to check out.
Upon being announced as the twelfth Doctor Who, Capaldi said:
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.”
Besides being a sharp-tongued and sharper-witted character in The Thick Of It, Capaldi’s other credits include The Hour, In The Loop, and Torchwood. The actor has also appeared on Doctor Who before in the 2008 episode “The Fires of Pompeii” as the character Caecilius.
During the half-hour BBC One special, Doctor Who‘s lead writer and executive producer Steven Moffat, stated:
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!”
Jenna Coleman, who joined Doctor Who in Season 7 as the Doctor’s companion Clara, will remain with the series for Season 8. Coleman says she is looking forward to working with Capaldi:
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 No. 12. I can’t wait to start this new adventure!”
Peter Capaldi may be new to the role, but he has a lot of previous acting experience and he will hopefully include a bit of his sharp wit into his interpretation of the Doctor in season eight.
When BBC One announced Doctor Who Number 12 Saturday, fans were looking for a Doctor Who who would be a great transitional figure to carry on the series, and older fans, who thought that the show was going in the wrong direction by having increasingly younger Doctor Who’s, should also welcome the addition of Peter Capaldi as the 12th. Doctor.
Written by: Douglas Cobb