“Doctor Who” Announcement: And the New Doctor Is…. Peter Capaldi!


All the waiting, speculating, and incessant rumor-controlling has finally come to an end. The identity of the Twelfth Doctor was revealed today as part of an hour-long live special hosted by Zoe Ball simulcast on BBC One, BBC America, and Space in Canada, and ABC in Australia. And, with the odd-makers laying down bets up to the minute, the special revealed the Twelfth Doctor to be Scottish actor Peter Capaldi.

Capaldi is maybe best known as the foul-mouthed spin doctor Malcolm Tucker on the hit BBC comedy The Thick of It, but he’s no stranger to the Doctor Who world. He was a guest star on the episode “The Fires of Pompei,” and also he played a major supporting character in the Torchwood miniseries Children of Earth.” And, of course, as many folks have figured out by now, his role in World War Z was as “WHO Doctor.” Prescient!

ADDENDUM – You can see Peter Capaldi as Malcolm Tucker in The Thick of It and the spinoff movie In the Loop on Hulu. Please, beware of the incredibly bad language. Not for young children.

I’m so very excited for this new, older, likely sterner and more authoritarian take on the Doctor. Or maybe he won’t be. All Steven Moffat said in his taped bit was that he’s “different than Matt.” I’m stoked. Good choice. As sad as I will be to see Mr. Smith leave, I believe the role will be in the most excellent of hands. What do you think of this choice? Are you pleased, displeased, non-pleased? Let us know below!

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  • If it’s not a woman, I think this is an AWESOME choice! Peter is an *actor*, and I think that’s absolutely required for the LAST doctor. And yes, he’s a poor man’s Hugh Laurie.

  • I think he’s a great choice. I can see why people might be disappointed that the 12th doctor is another white british male, but I really don’t care as long as the actor/actress is talented.

  • Totally satisfied with this choice. I was hoping for an older Doctor and also a make Doctor. Sounds funny coming from a woman, but I’ve always believed the Doctor needs to be male.

    And he’s only 1 year younger than me. Now if he could only be ginger.

  • Oh…also did anyone notice Jenna Louise Coleman said “12 different actors will, and have played the Doctor” (quote from memory, may be slightly wrong)

    Read into that whatever you please…..

  • It’s a tremendous choice, he’s a very well respected actor here in the UK having starred in the excellent the thick of it as well as children of earth and a Neil gaiman adapdation among so many other varied roles. He is certainly not a poor man’s hugh Laurie, he’s acted in great and varied roles continuously while hugh Laurie more or less disappeared off the popular culture radar for well over a decade. I’m afraid the doctor has to be British, not necessarily male or even white but it’s a 50 year old bbc institution and there would be uproar! At least he’s Scottish, maybe he’ll play the doctor as a dour Glaswegian!

  • Fantastic choice… bit annoyed that his name was out yesterday as I wanted a total surprise tonight, and also weirded out that just seeing his hand confirmed to me it was definitely him (wtf?) but very pleased – gonna be fab!

    Love Abbey’s description!

  • @Stephan I agree 100%. They DO know that teenagers watch this show because of the male leads and the romance (usually) with the companions, right? I predict viewership drops from the teens and tweens. It seems weird to go back to an old (yes, he’s old) doctor after the revivial focused on three young(er) doctors with sex appeal. Just seems like a misstep in my opinion if hooking younger viewers is important to them.

  • Maybe it’s because I’m from Glasgow, but I can’t really see an similarity between oor Glesga menace and the finest American actor that Oxford ever produced. Can you really imagine Hugh Laurie playing Malcolm Tucker?

  • I vaguely remember him from the episode of Doctor Who, but he didn’t leave any lasting impression, and I’ve never seen him in anything else that I can recall, so I don’t know how he’ll do. I am rather disappointed that they chickened out on the idea of a female Doctor though. I was really looking forward to seeing how that would shake up the dynamic and give a fresh twist to the character.

  • I’m pretty excited for this new Doctor. I got tired of the Matt Smith episodes (God damn I hate Amy Pond) and I never even actually got passed the 2 second season of Doctor Smith. I am going to for sure get caught up before November but either way it is nice to see an older Doctor and he will do a bang up job.

  • It’s strange to hear the Doctor (a character that is not from Earth) HAS to be British when Superman, Batman and Spider-Man apparently don’t have to be American (yes, Superman is also not from Earth, but was raised an American from infancy.)

  • Well… The wait is over to find out who will be replacing matt I for hope he does a better job than matt did as I wasn’t overly keen :( to the future of doctor who :)

  • LOVED him in Local Hero (many, many moons ago) he had the nervous linguist thing going on there – saw a quick vid of him announcing that he’s the new Doctor and he looked like he was up to something…at that moment something clicked and I just said, “Yes, he’ll do.”

    He’d better! I truly wish though that they’d let us discover him upon regeneration….hard to wait but better in the moment. Unless of course they plan to make him ginger at last!

  • I was hoping a nice ginger, Irish actor. We’ve had a “Scottish” doctor already. Still plan to watch. Moffat just ruined my theory that the Doctor regenerates and becomes younger each time.

  • Yes! A male Doctor, as he should be! Thank you Moffat, for not mixing politics into the show by forcing a female reincarnation. And thank you for making him older again. If that means losing the hysterical teen girl viewers, nobody cares. The show will live on with the TRUE Whovians. ;)

    Matt will be sorely missed, though. He was, and still is, absolutely brilliant. As for companions, I doubt anyone can ever be better than Amy and Rory.

  • He’ll be great, its a traditional choice, but I really like that in the 50th anniversary year, we get a return to a kind of early Doctor, older, looking more like Hartnell. I have to watch his other work, but I can totally see it! What an exciting time to be a Whovian.

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    @dave In “The Deadly Assassin” they specify 12 regenerations, meaning there would be 13 lives. He might be the “final” one, if Hurt is going to count.

  • I will reserve judgement until I’ve seen him in action for a few episodes. As an American I can’t say I’m familiar with his work, but I do remember him from the “Fires of Pompeii” episode. My question is this…Have we seen the end of Dr. Who running everywhere ? As an older actor will he have the physcial endurance required for the role…perhaps the Dr. will give up running in favor of a brisk walk . Whatever the plan I look forward to seeing the next season.