Peter Capaldi: the reactionBookmark and Share

Monday, 5 August 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The news of Peter Capaldi becoming the Twelfth Doctor made the front pages of several Monday editions of British Newspapers, including the Times, Guardian, i, Telegraph, Express, Mirror, Sun and Daily Mail (with the latter two focussing on the betting patterns over the last week).

The Guardian Front Cover, 5 Aug 2013 (Credit: The Guardian) The Daily Mail Front Cover, 5 Aug 2013 (Credit: The Daily Mail) The Daily Express Front Cover, 5 Aug 2013 (Credit: The Daily Express) The i Front Cover, 5 Aug 2013 (Credit: i) The Metro Front Cover, 5 Aug 2013 (Credit: The Metro) The Sun Front Cover, 5 Aug 2013 (Credit: The Sun) The Daily Telegraph Front Cover, 5 Aug 2013 (Credit: The Daily Telegraph) The Times Front Cover, 5 Aug 2013 (Credit: The Times)
(front covers courtesy of Tomorrow's Papers Today)

Mark Lawson of the Guardian said:
His primary quality as an actor is danger; during his most vicious riffs as the sewer-mouthed Malcolm Tucker in The Thick of It, there frequently seemed a threat that his pulsing facial veins might burst. He was also memorably menacing as the new boss in the second series of the TV newsroom drama The Hour. In that sense, Capaldi might have seemed more natural casting for the Time Lord's nemesis, the Master. So the main interest in his portrayal of the Doctor will be whether show-runner Steven Moffat – who has previously cast the actor in supporting roles in both Doctor Who and the spin-off Torchwood – encourages him to maintain his signature screen-bursting energy or explore a gentler part of his range.

As Capaldi is not only in demand as an actor but also writes and directs, he is giving up a significant amount to fulfil the show's brutal shooting schedules in Cardiff. His casting confirms that, like James Bond, the Doctor has become a role serious actors are happy to take on.
Serena Davies of the Telegraph:
Capaldi is also immensely appealing as an individual, a crucial thing in this media saturated age: he is personable and outgoing to interview, as well as blessed with a wry sense of humour. ... It’s a match made in heaven - or Gallifrey.
Jon Cooper of the Mirror:
... He was announced, and boy did my two hearts leap. A moment of pure, unadulterated excitement – it felt like I was ten again. A new Doctor! Who looks awesome! I even got close to forgetting about the upcoming 50th anniversary celebrations (heck, I thought I had it good when they cast John bloomin' Hurt) because I literally can't wait to see what Capaldi's going to do with the role. ... Capaldi's a brilliant choice. Inspired, exciting and totally different. I can't wait to see what his take on the Time Lord is going to be like – hell, I'm even excited to find out what his costume's going to be, which is more than a man my age should really admit. This really is the year for Doctor Who – and with Peter Capaldi on board, the Time Lord's future is looking pretty rosy too.
James Legge of the Independent:
While we can safely assume Peter Capaldi will leave Malcolm Tucker's abrasion and hurled expletives in Westminster, he brings much more career baggage to the role than anyone else since the 2005 reboot. Despite the press's attempts to paint Capaldi's Tucker as a raging football hooligan, the new Doctor's performance over four series of The Thick of It and a feature film in In The Loop wove among the general horridness a pathos and occasional self-doubt which would put to shame any of his predecessors as the last Time Lord. ... Given that Matt Smith's Doctor was (let's admit it) a cariacature of David Tennant's, it's good to see a change in trajectory. That growl and unwavering stare which have served Capaldi so well will surely be menacing Daleks and Sontarans before too long. While hardly a prettyboy, he's got presence and charisma to fill even the Tardis, though he'll have to surprise a few viewers if he's to imbue the role with The Doctor's robust moralism.

Other general media coverage includes the BBC, Independent, Telegraph, Metro, Independent, Guardian, Mirror, Belfast Telegraph, Daily Mail, WalesOnline, NME, MTV, Herald Scotland, The Sun (paywall), USA Today, Los Angeles Times, CNN, Entertainment Weekly, Empire, CBC, TVNZ.

On Twitter

A selection of comments on Capaldi's casting from Doctor Who names and celebrity fans.
  • Colin Baker (the Sixth Doctor): "Delighted to hear Peter Capaldi is the new Doctor, very good choice. Another Scot eh? Nice to have a more mature Doctor too. Bring it on!!"
  • Sophie Aldred (Ace): "Fantastic to have another fan on board as the Dr. I think he will be ace!"
  • Bonnie Langford (Mel): "Have to break my #twittersilence to congratulate Peter Capaldi on his new role. Xx"
  • Karen Gillan (Amy): "CAPALDI! Superb choice. Swear I've seen him in Pompeii..."
  • John Hurt ("The Doctor"): "Congratulations, Peter Capaldi. I'm suboth and we will have a lot of fun."
  • Richard E Grant (Dr Simeon): "Bravo on the brilliant BBC choice to Tardis the talents of Peter Capaldi as the 12th Dr Who!!"
  • Nicholas Briggs (Dalek voices): "Well I'm over the bloody moon. Worked with him in Torchwood and he was brilliant and a lovely man. He will be brilliant!"
  • Mark Gatiss (writer/actor): "Thrilling, moving, beyond exciting. Cometh the hour, cometh the man! Peter Capaldi is the PERFECT choice. Welcome, Doctor!"
  • Andy Pryor (casting director): "I broke #twittersilence but it had to be done after a night like this. New Doctor is very happy and dealt with his unveiling with class"
  • Stephen Fry (actor/fan): "Well, at least they’ve chosen a wonderful actor..."
  • Craig Ferguson (presenter/fan): "Great news that Peter Capaldi is the new Doctor. A spectacular talent and a beautiful man."
  • Armando Ianucci (writer of The Thick of It): "There can't be a funnier, wiser, more exciting Time Lord than Peter Capaldi. The universe is in great hands."
  • Ben Daniels (in the booking odds): "Peter Capaldi will ROCK!! Fab fab choice!"
  • Aneurin Barnard (in the booking odds): "Huge great congratulations to master Peter Capaldi he's going to be a wonderful #DoctorWho"

Peter Capaldi - the one and only

Steven Moffat has revealed that Peter Capaldi was always his choice in mind for the Twelfth Doctor.

Speaking to Sky News after last night's show, the executive producer said:
When you realise one of the finest, most loved actors in the country is a huge Doctor Who fan, and a genius actor, and you think that maybe we could just give it a punt, ask him, I mean it's not a set thing, would he like to be the Doctor, so we contacted him and said would you be interested in it and he was very interested.
The Radio Times added:
Asked if he’d had a short list, Moffat said: "Yes. The list went 'Peter Capaldi'. It was a very short list. [He came on the radar] a fair amount of time ago. I happened to know he's a big fan. There's something very seductive about an utterly brilliant, arresting looking leading man actor – one of the most talented actors in Britain – who you happen to know is a big fan of the show. You start to think 'maybe we should so something about that'."
During Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor Moffat had commented on the then unknown actor's eligibility when casting for the Twelfth Doctor:
The traditional audition process is to see lots and lots of people, and that's what we did last time, but oddly enough most occasions on Doctor Who it hasn't happened that way. It didn't happen that way this time - we all had an idea, we all had the same idea and it was a quite different idea, so we got our notional number Twelve round to my house and we made a home video of that person being the Doctor, and showed it around to the people who need to be in on the decision (it's like appointing the president or something) and everyone just said "yes, that's the Doctor".

With all parts like the Doctor, or James Bond or Sherlock Holmes, there comes a right time for the right person to play it. I mean oddly enough, this person briefly flicked through my mind the last time and I didn't think they were right. This time, just wow, and that moment has arrived.