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Peter Capaldi Revealed to Be Playing the Next Doctor in Doctor Who

Announced Via Live BBC Television Special Today

Aug 04, 2013 Doctor Who Bookmark and Share

And the next Doctor is… Peter Capaldi. The actor was revealed today via a live 30-minute special broadcast on the BBC at 7 p.m. U.K. time and simultaneously on BBC America at 2 p.m. EST. He will be taking over from Matt Smith, who is leaving the role in Doctor Who this December after playing it for the last three years.

Peter Capaldi is known for The Thick of It, The Hour, and In the Loop. He also played John Frobisher in the Doctor Who spinoff Torchwood and had a part in The Fires of Pompeii episode of Doctor Who. At age 55 he is the oldest actor to play the part since the show was relaunched in 2005. Will younger viewers used to 30-year-old Matt Smith take to an older actor? The first three Doctors were older, but that was the 1960s and ‘70s. Only time (and space) will tell.

There was much anticipation in the U.K. over who would be taking over, with some placing bets on who would get the part. Some rumored to be in the running included Chris O’Dowd, Daniel Rigby, Ben Daniels, Andrew Scott, Russell Tovey, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Idrus Elba, Rory Kinnear, and Rupert Grint.

Doctor Who is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year. In a cool casting twist, the character, an alien Time Lord who can travel in space and time, doesn’t die but regenerates into a new body and personality when he’s mortally wounded. This has allowed the show to seamlessly continue with new actors in the part. Capaldi is the twelve actor to play The Doctor and thus will be known as the Twelve Doctor. He has big shoes to fill, as both Matt Smith (the Eleventh Doctor) and his predecessor David Tennant (the Tenth Doctor) were beloved by fans. This November will see a 50th anniversary special episode that brings Smith and Tennant’s Doctors together for the first time. Then the Christmas special airing on Christmas day will be Smith’s last episode and will presumably see the introduction of Capaldi.

There were calls for a woman to take over as The Doctor, with even Helen Mirren advocating for it. There were also calls for a black actor to take on the part. It seems that a female Doctor would be as unlikely as a male Wonder Woman.

Under the Radar interviewed Capaldi in 2010 about In the Loop and The Thick of It. Check out that interview here.

Also check out our 2009 interview with David Tennant, conducted as he was preparing to leave Doctor Who.

And, finally, here’s our 2008 interview with Doctor Who show-runner Steven Moffat, conducted right after he took over the reigns of the show.


In an official BBC press release just released, Capaldi was quoted as saying: “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.”

The same press release also quoted Moffat as saying: “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!”

And Jenna-Louise Coleman, who plays The Doctor’s companion Clara Oswald, had this to say: “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!”

The BBC have also released a video of Capaldi introducing himself as The Doctor:


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