After two months of uncertainty, BBC finally announced Pater Capaldi will be the twelfth doctor on the long running cult sci-fi show Doctor Who after the current doctor, Matt Smith, leaves later this season. Smith announced his departure from the show at the beginning of June. The move shocked the show's dedicated fans and critics who had grown to love the youngest doctor ever. The big reveal of the doctor's new identity came at the end of a half-hour special on BBC America about the history of show, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. On the show, when a doctor dies the body regenerates with a new appearance and personality, allowing producers to keep the series going with a new actor. The switch will become official during the show's annual Christmas special at the end of the year.
Bookies had strong odds showing Capaldi as the favorite to replace Smith. Gambling house William Hill saw a huge uptick in money on Capaldi getting the nod last week signalling he was the front runner. But some people doubted Capaldi would get the nod because the show's producers have a habit of going against the grain and hiring younger, lesser known actors to play the doctor. There was also a vocal movement pushing for the show to cast its first female doctor on the eve of the anniversary.
But the producers decided to surprise the show's dedicated fans by going with an older, familiar face this time. Capaldi is probably best known for his role as Malcolm Tucker on the BBC's The Thick of It and the movie In the Loop. Dedicated followers of HBO's Veep will likely appreciate the casting decision, and possibly consider watching the sci-fi show now, when they hear The Think of It and In the Loop were helmed by Veep headwriter Armando Iannucci. Alan Sepinwall says the decision to cast Capaldi was "bloody marvellous." Elsewhere, Whovians are already warming up to their new time lord:
Peter Capaldi is a tremendously nice man. He once left a voicemail for my friend @noboa in character as Malcolm Tucker, just because I asked— Spencer Ackerman (@attackerman) August 4, 2013
The new Doctor is introduced to the world, in the traditional British manner. pic.twitter.com/ZlRsROApBl— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) August 4, 2013
I like Peter Capaldi. If I were invested in Doctor Who, I'm sure I would find it a solid choice, if perhaps not adventurous.— Linda Holmes (@nprmonkeysee) August 4, 2013
(Yes, the doctors are also occasionally called time lords.)
In the U.S., Lebron James used a half-hour television special to announce which team he would sign with. The show solidified him as one of the biggest villains in sports. In Britain, the same thing happens with nerdy television shows and everyone is pretty OK with it. Maybe they have something figured out that we don't.