This past weekend, we took a half hour away from the normal chaos in our house to tune into BBC America at 1700 hours GTM (i.e. 2PM EST). Doctor Who is a show I watched as a kid in the mid-70s, and Tom Baker will always be ‘my Doctor’. My younger son is a much bigger fan than me; he’s grown up loving the David Tennant and Matt Smith incarnations, and more recently working back in time.
As you would expect during a 30 minute announcement show, the first 25 were all about retrospective and chatting up Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith. Then we learned the identity of the twelfth Doctor – Peter Capaldi.
For many – particularly outside the UK – the name meant little, but as he was introduced and we learned more about him, it became clear that the producers were making a clear and deliberate shift in the series with the choice – though not so drastic as selecting a woman for the role.
Here are a few facts and random thoughts:
- Capaldi is 55 and is the second oldest actor portraying the Doctor after the original (who was roughly the same age but looked much older).
- He has an extensive acting resume spanning decades, and loads of accolades including an Oscar. If you check out some of the videos in the links you will see he has major chops.
- Some of his most quoted lines are as Malcolm Tucker from The Thick Of It and are basically a string of profanities, which are effectively hilarious.
- He is Scottish like the Tenth Doctor, David Tennant, though it isn’t clear how he will speak as the doctor, as he is also very linguistically versatile.
- His age will allow him to bring a more dramatic and imposing presence to the show, moving away from the youthful exuberance and madcap zaniness of Tennant and Smith.
- His age will also impact his relationship with others on the show, most notably the youthful Clara.
You can read the official announcement at the BBC site, but there are also some cool sites that have picked up on the announcement and generated compilations of appearances and lists of things they expect to see.
Do you watch Doctor Who? What do you think about the announcement?