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12 Things You Might Not Know About New DOCTOR WHO Lead Actor Peter Capaldi [Profile]

Peter Capaldi is the 12th Doctor on Doctor Who,  but who is he?

The name of who will play the next Time Lord of the BBC sci-fi television series Doctor Who was announced Sunday on Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor at 11 AM PT on BBC America and 7 PM in the UK on BBC One.

"There comes a right time for the right person to play it,” show runner and executive producer Steven Moffat said. “We all had the same idea, and it was a quite different idea.” He added that, after seeing Capaldi’s audition tape, filmed at his house, “Everybody saw it and was like, ‘That’s the Doctor.’”

“It’s so wonderful not to keep this secret any longer,” Capaldi, 55, said during the show. “I haven’t played Doctor Who since I was nine on the playground.”

Matt Smith played the role of the alien Time Lord since 2010. Smith is scheduled to appear as the 11th Doctor in the 90-minute 50th anniversary special Nov. 23. The special will also feature the 10th Doctor, David Tennant, who took up the role from 2005. The special will be aired exactly 50 years after the first episode of Doctor Who, "The Unearthly child," premiered in 1963.
  • Capaldi was born 14 April 1958 in Glasgow, Scotland, UK. Sylvester McCoy, the Seventh Doctor, and David Tennant, the Tenth Doctor, are the only other Scottish actors to have "officially" played the Doctor.
  • He was the lead singer of punk rock band, "Dreamboys," with stand-up comedian turned US talk-show host Craig Ferguson as the drummer and Temple Clark as the bassist. "It was 1976 and punk was just exploding," he says. "The worst name for any band ever – especially a punk band. The trouble was, we were always much more interested in being funny than being serious. We were the only band John Peel never gave a session to in Glasgow."
  • Capaldi won the Academy Award for Live Action Short Film for directing his film Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life (1995). "That was very confusing for me and a lot of people because I won it as an actor who was having a go at directing." he said "Luckily, I had another script, over which a bidding war exploded. That's why I've got a house in Crouch End and I'll always be grateful to Miramax for buying it." Unfortunately for him, the production of his script Moon Man fell through. "I thought I was going to be Ridley Scott now, or Steven Spielberg, and I flew over to New York to set up production and then they said they're not going to do it. It was over. I had to work because I'd spent all my money – on the house – and I remember the Oscars after the Oscar I won, I was standing in mud in a field in Rickmansworth directing a dog food commercial."
  • He's played a type of doctor several times in his career. He recently starred as a W.H.O. (World Health Organization) medical doctor in World War Z (2013). He played a doctor in the Jo Brand hospital sitcom Getting Over It. In 2005 he played another kind of doctor: spin doctor Malcolm Tucker in the popular BBC sitcom The Thick of It. His character is famous for his swearing. "Instead of asking for autographs, people ask me to tell them to 'F**k off' ... sometimes I mean it," he says.
  • Capaldi is not new to the world of Doctor Who. He previously portrayed marble dealer Lucius Caecilius Iucundus in the 2008 episode "The Fires of Pompeii" when Digital Spy said he had "little to do apart from whimper and scowl." He also played politician John Frobisher in the short lived Doctor Who spin-off serial Torchwood: Children of Earth.
  • Peter Capaldi is 55-years-old, which is the second oldest actor to play the role. He's the same age as the first Doctor, William Hartnell, when he was cast in 1963. He follows Matt Smith, who is the youngest actor to play the Time Lord.
  • To prepare for his audition, he downloaded Doctor Who scripts from the Internet and practiced reading them in front of a mirror.
  • Moffat said the actor's name "briefly flicked through" his mind when casting the 11th Doctor,  but he felt it wasn't the right time. Moffat added, "now that moment has arrived".
  • Capaldi was in Prague filming his role of Cardinal Richelieu in The Musketeers, a BBC1 adaptation of The Three Musketeers, when he  received the call he got the part. Because his phone was on silent, he missed it.  When he called his agent back, she answered the phone saying, "Hello Doctor."
  • He studied at the "Glasgow School of Art," and has a passion about painting. He recently played Leonardo da Vinci, the painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer.
  • Several lines from the leaked audition script point to his casting: The Doctor says, about his regenerated face, "Nice action, responsive. Bit less heft on the chin" which is a reverence to Matt Smith's sizeable chin. At another part the Doctor says, "Have you changed height?" His newest companion Clara Owens (Jenna-Louise Coleman) responds, "It’s you, your height, you’re the one who’s changed." Matt Smith is 5ft 11.5in (182 cm) while Peter is 6ft (1.83 m) tall.
  • At one point people were saying he should move to America and do television. He disagreed saying, "The moment everybody wants you to go [to America] and do the pilot season – they keep saying, 'Don't you want to be Hugh Laurie?'. I mean I love Hugh Laurie but I don't want to be a guy who goes to work every day for nine months of the year in a corner of Burbank. I really don't. I like doing a bit here and a bit there and strange things, and I think that's held me back."
  • Capaldi's parents were in the ice-cream business. "We had a café that was at the bottom of the tenement that we lived in," he says. "My childhood growing up in that part of Glasgow always sounds like some kind of sub-Catherine Cookson novel of earthy working-class immigrant life, which to some extent it was, but it wasn't really as colourful that."
Watch Doctor Who to see Capaldi make his debut as the Doctor in the year-end special later this year.

What do you think of Peter Capaldi's casting as the Doctor on Doctor Who?

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  1. He was in a punk rock band - that's cool.

  2. I just don't see how that guy generates any buzz for the franchise. It certainly doesn't make non-fans like me want to start watching any time soon.

  3. i am not sure, but i wasn't sure with any of the choices they made... though the ones chosen did a great job.

  4. It hit me that this is like after Pope John Paul II died and they picked that old geezer Benedict XVI who no one really cared about and was just sort of a placeholder and then with the next one they decided they had to stop playing it safe and make a bolder choice.

  5. I was sort of mixed on the issue when the rumors were swirling beforehand that it was going to be him. I think though it's a good choice. He'll be 180 from Matt Smith. He has a certain gravitas that should hopefully lend to a bit more of a serious tone than we've had since the new series started. I don't see him as a super long lasting Doctor though. I think two series.

    I'm also hoping that since Moffat has had him in mind that he's already got a plan for him. After this last series, I'm hoping for a return to stronger writing.

  6. Here's something interesting: Capaldi is the same age as Doctor #1, William Hartnell, was at the premiere of Doctor Who. To me, Hartnell was a grandfatherly grumpy kinda Doctor.

    I think Capaldi will bring a little seriousness to the role. I think this was a pretty bold move, since they've been going younger and younger since coming out of its 16 yr hiatus.

  7. I am excited to see Capaldi's take on The Doctor, but I have enjoyed Matt Smith so much. I'm really going to miss him. We all know that the last half-season was rubbish. But, Matt's take on The Doctor really captured my imagination. He will be missed. That 50th Anniversary episode is going to be a doozy. I just know it.

  8. Dr. Who is like James Bond - it will go on forever. I just never got into the show.

  9. Seems like a good choice.

  10. I'm really excited about this. I didn't really know the actor, but the clips and stuff I've seen since the announcement, he really seems perfect. I also am starting to think Clara is my favorite companion, so it should be a great season.

  11. I love the fact that they didn't just try to please the "Fangirls" with another young pretty face. The fact that the show has survived this long is a testament to the strength of the Fanbase. I was hoping for ethnic diversity, but Capaldi is still an excellent choice. He is old enough to show wisdom, while he has a quirky side that lines up with the alienness of the Doctor. The time most actors play the part is short (Baker was an exception). This might play into what Moffett has planed. He has said that the 50th would “change the course of Who forever”, but Moffett is known to lie.

  12. I agree that the older doctors had a more serious tone TS and gravitas is the right word. I was just watching old Doctor Who episodes with McCoy and Pertwee and thinking I prefer the older Doctors. Not that there's anything wrong with Smith or Tennant, but it won't feel forced when he says he's hundreds of years old.

  13. I watched old episodes of "Thick" and he definitely has a quirky side, but an edge that no Doctor had accept Colin Baker. I'm sorry they didn't get a black or female Doctor, but you can't have everything I guess.

  14. That's interesting Hart. Why is she your favorite companion? Inquiring minds...

  15. @MPax So far, so good!

    @L. Diane Wolfe it can! As long as the show is popular they'll keep bringing in fresh blood.

    @Alex, that surprised me too, especially since Ferguson was in the band with him. I just can't imagine him trying to be serious and angry. I'd laugh my head off at them.

    @Jeremy of all the choices most left me cold accept for Idris Elba who would have made an amazing Doctor.

    @Pat while he's an unknown here, he's massively popular around the world. Some like seeing older actors in roles.

  16. They promised big things for the 50th and I believe it! They're really shaking things up for next season. Especially since, as TS said, this last season was weak.

  17. I like the combination of smart, willing to just dive in on a little faith and... you know... being the impossible girl. I loved Rose and Martha, each in their own right but I really love Clara's spunk.

  18. A punk rock band that kept getting distracted by being funny--huge win, in my opinion!

  19. Cool facts. I think they did right choosing him.

  20. I like that he is Scottish but I don't like the fact that he is so old. I was hoping they were gonna bring back Eccleston.

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