Moments ago the BBC revealed the latest actor to play the Doctor in the long running (50 years) television show, Doctor Who.  Speculation has been rampant for weeks, but now we have the answer…

The 12th Doctor will be played by Peter Capaldi.

Capaldi was a front runner for many bookies in the UK for the last couple of weeks, and if the name and face look familiar, he should – he was in The Fires of Pompeii episode.

“Doctor who belongs to all of us,” said Capaldi.

The announcement was made during a live television event that featured a number of companions and actors who have portrayed the Doctor, including Peter Davison, Matt Smith (via video), and Colin Baker (also via video).


“He’ll be hard to top,” said Matt Smith during the BBC One broadcast talking about playing the famous time traveler.  I really liked Matt Smith’s silliness on the show, and it will be interesting to see how Capaldi bridges Smith’s Doctor and number 12.

He’s also still not a ginger. The gag has run for the last three regenerations, and depending on how “they” work around the regeneration issue, we may never see a red-haired Doctor.

I remember when the BBC dropped Matt Smith on us – I originally thought he looked too young (26 at the time he was cast). Fortunately five minutes into his appearance I was sold on the new Doctor, and once again, this announcement has me intrigued, with an older (55 year old) Doctor. For the last three incarnations, The Doctor was played by younger and younger actors.  The trend is now broken, which should make a number of people who use this as some kind of continuity happy and/or mad as hell.

_69109657_69109656So how does Capaldi compare?  790 episodes and Doctor Who can still be an exciting show.

Brought up in Glasgow, Scotland, Peter Capaldi attended drama classes and was accepted into the Glasgow School of Art. While studying there he secured his breakthrough role in Local Hero. – via IMDB

Now that you know who the new Doctor is, it’s time to use the comment section and fill it with praise, or hate.  I’m going to be there are more “hate it” comments than “yay!” comments, because we all hate change…

We’ll update this article when the BBC releases the press release.


  1. Mark
    August 4, 2013 at 1:39 pm — Reply

    Peter Capaldi, who is very well regarded actor hell he’s a Great actor
    love him in “thethick of it”
    he’s a huge fan of the show and he’s the Ideal choice
    It’s a huge win and the show is in Very safe hands

  2. Damien
    August 4, 2013 at 1:39 pm — Reply

    Love it, I was hoping for them to change it up instead of continuing the trend of younger Doctors (not that I didn’t like the last three Doctors) and they did. I’m hoping this will lead to some great episodes and Doctor moments.

  3. Voldare
    August 4, 2013 at 1:40 pm — Reply

    I know nothing about Peter Capaldi other then seeing him in the Fires of Pompeii. I loved Matt Smith as the Doctor and while sad to see him go… I wanted to see someone a little more “serious” take the role and at first glance Peter certainly looks the part.

    My gut says he could be more like #9… and if that is indeed true… I’m very excited for the future of the show! Now we all have to wait a ridiculously long time before we see him on screen!

    • August 4, 2013 at 7:43 pm — Reply

      The first thing I ever saw him in was Local Hero, a very good comedy, and the second was Lair of the White Worm, which is a rather weird horror film.

      Looking over his filmography, his acting range is considerable, so I have no idea what he’s going to be like as the Doctor, other than probably great.

  4. Mark
    August 4, 2013 at 1:49 pm — Reply

    Being a brit I have seen him on tv for the last 20 years or so
    Voldare he’s a guy who was a member of the Dr who fan club back in the day
    I feel deeply sorry for the guy or gal that has to follow him

    • August 5, 2013 at 10:40 am — Reply

      Very positive knowing he is an “old school” fan. Not that I have many complaints about the modern version of the show… but would love to see some nods to the 4th/5th Doctor eras that I grew up with.

  5. Leanna
    August 4, 2013 at 1:59 pm — Reply

    I am so happy the Capaldi has the role, and glad as a Scot we have another person representing us :D. He is an amazingly talented man who, if wanting to could play a very dark, cynical doctor. I also hope he’s the first doctor who has a Scottish accent!

  6. Kirby
    August 4, 2013 at 2:28 pm — Reply

    I’m really glad they went with an older Doctor, this will hopefully be a return to more of an elderstatesman.

  7. August 4, 2013 at 2:38 pm — Reply

    I was desperately hoping for Hugh Laurie this time around, even though he’s said he’s done with episodic television, but I’m more than pleased about this. I, too, was fearful that the BBC would play to the squeeing fans cant continue to cast younger actors. This gives me a lot to look forward to at a time when I was about ready to let the series fall by my wayside for a few years.

    • August 4, 2013 at 7:04 pm — Reply

      Wow, seems we both had the same hope. Hugh Laurie would indeed have been an excellent Doctor. I’m still holding out hope that someday we might see him as another Time Lord for a special or something because that would just be all kinds of awesome.

      I’m not as familiar with this actor as you or others seem to be, but what I have seen of him makes me quite pleased with this choice. And then there is the age thing, which tickles me pink because it gives me hope we’ll see a little more of the old series style Doctor once more.

  8. Dan
    August 4, 2013 at 3:22 pm — Reply

    My only point of reference for peter capaldi is from the film In The Loop, where he plays the angriest, sweariest scotsman of all time. It was a fantastic, if not exactly subtle performance. I’m pretty stoked to see what he does with the character.

  9. August 4, 2013 at 3:42 pm — Reply

    I like the actor, and I’m sure he will be great. I can even get over the fact that he was previously in the Pompeii episode, but I’m going to have a harder time wrapping my head around the fact that he was John Frobisher in most of season 3 of Torchwood. Just a little weird for me.

  10. Arbor Day
    August 4, 2013 at 3:50 pm — Reply

    Just an observation, not a complaint, but he looks like an older David Tennant.

    • August 4, 2013 at 3:55 pm — Reply

      I’ve always thought, for whatever reason, there was a bit of a James Marsters-ness to him, too, which I quite like. Not that there ever necessarily should be an American Doctor, but if there was one, I would pick Marsters.

      • August 4, 2013 at 5:51 pm — Reply

        The British took Superman, Spider-Man and Batman from us. I’ll call it even if we take The Doctor and James Bond.

    • August 4, 2013 at 7:44 pm — Reply

      That’s what I thought, too.

  11. August 4, 2013 at 7:17 pm — Reply

    I have to say that I’m really happy that they have gone with an older Doctor again. Matt Smith worried me when he began, but as he quickly started in with the “grumpy old man in a young body” thing I was sold. Still, nice to see someone who could be a different kind of Time Lord than we have had the last few regenerations. Now I’m upset that I have to wait so long to see him in the part.

    On a side note: What sort of clothing will this new Doctor wear?

    • August 4, 2013 at 7:48 pm — Reply

      Nine’s and Ten’s clothes were fairly pedestrian, but Eleven has been getting a bit more eccentric so I wonder if they’ll continue to go in that direction (just don’t go all the way to Six).

  12. August 4, 2013 at 11:46 pm — Reply

    I don’t like seeing actors who have already had roles in the series come in as a main character. This guy had a recurring role in Torchwood and has been in Season 4.

    I think it will be weird to have an older doctor now that the newer series has had a lot of action.

    Cautiously optimistic. We’ll see how it goes, I guess.

  13. August 5, 2013 at 1:15 am — Reply

    The thing that has been amusing me is the people who are used to the younger Doctors (not here, but in other sites and online games) are claiming an older Doctor will “kill” the series. When I try to point out that the old series was mostly older Doctors and that plenty of them handled the action just fine, it sets them off as if I had insisted the Doctor eats baby souls.

  14. Damascus
    August 6, 2013 at 1:37 am — Reply

    I really haven’t been keeping up with the Doctor for a while now, so I don’t know if this has been addressed at all, but will the companions start to skew a little older as well since we are seeing an older version of the Doctor now. I don’t really want or need another romantic angle for the Doctor, but it would seem a little weird for a 55 year old (looking) Doctor to be traveling around with a 20 year old companion. Might be nice for another Catherine Tate-esque companion. I used to dislike Donna, but once I got that they weren’t really meant as a romantic pairing, but they fell into more of a friendship role I really liked her. She was also able then to have that library episode and whole relationship with that guy that kinda broke my heart a little bit. Good episode.
    I haven’t watched a single episode of Matt Smith yet, so I have a lot of catching up to do before I’ll really have a majorly positive or negative opinion one way or the other about this. I think though that Dylan Moran would have made a really funny crabby Doctor, especially if he’s at all like his character in Black Books.

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The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

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