Doctor Who News Peter Capaldi IS the Twelfth Doctor Who!

Published on October 31st, 2013 | by Christian Cawley

Moffat: Capaldi Not A “Quirky young man”

Steven Moffat has chatted this week about the casting of Peter Capaldi, and how he aimed to avoid another young actor as the 12th star of Doctor Who.

Put simply, they wanted a change; think of it as a reverse Peter Davison, if you will…

We couldn’t have had another quirky young man because Matt had nailed the part. Peter’s already a bit of a national treasure, an incredibly skilled, fine actor. As most people have realised, the moment you think of him in the part, you find it hard to think of anyone else.

Every time I was at a TV do and Peter was there, he’d come over to talk about Doctor Who and he was the first to congratulate Matt. I started thinking: what if that genius actor might actually say ‘yes’?

He’s right, of course. Although looking at the image above, perhaps we’re going to get a quirky old man instead…?

But what of the children, Steven? Won’t someone think of the poor, young souls who will cry when their Doctor, Matt Smith, melts away? Moffat recalls his own initial dislike of Jon Pertwee, before observing:

I sympathise with the kids who’ve grown up with Matt Smith. It’s like when you move home and your mum and dad say, ‘You’ll make new friends’.

I always resented the intruder but then after a while, I forgot there had been one before him.

Have you had trouble adjusting to a new Doctor (in the show, we mean, not at your local surgery)? Let us know below!

(Via Broadcast | Thanks to Turquoise Tarquin)


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About the Author


A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

24 Responses to Moffat: Capaldi Not A “Quirky young man”

  1. avatar Bradondo says:

    I’m 43 and have warched Who my whole life so I’ve been through this process a few times. There’s always a lot of mixed emotions, but we all must adjust. Tennant to Smith was the easiest transition for me (although I expected full-on grief!) because Smith was simply so brilliant from the get-go. Bythe time he confronted the big Atraxi eyeball at the end of The Eleventh Hour I was totally on board with him. Peter Capaldi, although completely awesome may actually have a bit more to overcome as he’s so much more well-known. Matt’s anonymity made it easy to view him as the Doctor, but Peter is already rooted in many viewers’ minds as Malcolm Tucker or any number of other characters. Still he is THE perfect choice and I think we’re all in for a reat treat.

  2. avatar alexia says:

    I found it difficult to say goodbye to David Tennant first, but after two episodes I realised Matt wasn’t bad after all. Though I still prefer David

  3. 1st – Pertwee was one of the best Doctors and I still miss Eccleston (even though Tennant and Smith have been a hoot).
    2nd – I can not *wait* to see Capaldi’s Doctor. His problem (with me, the fan, not speaking for anyone else) is that I’m expecting greatness from him and he has to deliver. :D

  4. avatar stormssont. says:

    I started with Ecclestone and i loved him…then i hated Tennant. Then i loved him… then i hated Smith … Then i loved him :/

    I really can’t imagine what will be with Capaldi =P

  5. avatar Bog Trotter says:

    The only adjusting I’ve had to do is to my own sanity. I have never in my entire Who loving life been as excited about the show as I am right now. Capaldi is the most fantastic casting and he is going to be incredible! I’ll still cry like a baby when Smith goes though.

  6. avatar Craigglesworth says:

    Being an American, 20-years young, it’s not surprising that I’m still extremely new to Doctor Who. I’ve seen the entirety of NuWho by precious little of the original. My first episode was Daleks in Manhattan. I remember seeing this for the first time, and it kept me at the edge of my seat, so without any real grasp of Ten or Martha, tuning in the following week to see the finish, clenched my newfound love for the show, sprinting around my house at 14 pretending to sonic everything. I went back and watched from the beginning, and finding out about regenerating scared me silly. “That means they can be replaced?” Nine was a terrifying, angry, and bitter, while still kind Doctor, a far cry from Ten. I was glad to have Tennant as my Doctor. And then, The End of Time happened. Without so much as giving poor Matt Smith a chance I shunned the show. For two series! I came back, eventually, and before long I was running around calling things “Cool” talking about fezzes, shouting GERONIMO! at the same frequency as Allons-y! Having gotten over my initial shellshock from my first real regeneration, I’m as excited as can be for Peter Capaldi to take over. I’ll miss Matt dearly as Eleven, and feel terrible for judging him without even watching first, But it’s that time again. And I’m going to enjoy it this time, instead of resenting it.

    • Welcome to the world of Who my friend! Regenerations can be jarring but you hit the nail on the head, give the new Doctor a chance. He may not be “your” Doctor but it’s still the Doctor!

  7. avatar Gary Lee says:

    I have still not gotten over the loss of Tom Baker! It definitely felt like loosing a friend.. Especially when Peter Davison unraveled the scarf , I felt like I was being assaulted!! Now the changing up of the doctor and companions seems like a critical part of Who Majesty and I love all the doctors for their own personal additions to the doctors timeline…

  8. avatar DonnaM says:

    I think the only time I’ve had any trouble adjusting to a new Doctor was with Peter Davison – but there again I was only 4 when Tom Baker took over from Jon Pertwee, so with Tom’s being such a long stint maybe it’s not surprising! I’m not anticipating any such difficulty this time.

    I’m not really sure there’s a massive crossover between Doctor Who and The Thick Of It; that was a BBC4/BBC2 satire with audiences around 1 million, tops. More people probably saw Mr Capaldi in The Fires of Pompeii than as Malcolm Tucker; I really think that issue’s been talked up more than it needs to be.

    On the “quirkiness” thing, I think Matt’s taken that to the nth degree and I’d quite like it to be reined in a bit, although of course The Doctor has to be a bit eccentric. I’ve no doubt being the fan he is Peter will pull it off brilliantly.

  9. avatar TimeChaser says:

    I’ve been a fan for a good 28-ish years now, and I can’t ever really recalling shunning any Doctors that were new to me. It was always a bit of a surprise, especially coming from that generation of American fans who grew up on Tom Baker first and foremost, but I took each Doctor in my stride.

    I have loved Matt, but I’m glad we’re now getting a ‘Reverse-Davison’ and going for someone older. I expect Capaldi will still have a bit of mischief in his performance, but also a strength/sternness derived from Hartnell and Pertwee.

  10. avatar Robert says:

    As a six year old, without any knowledge of regenerations, I was immensely confused and distressed when my beloved white-haired hero with the frilly shirt and black cape fell out of the TARDIS and faded into a loud pile of teeth and curls. Fortunately, I grew to love him just as much and, even more fortunately, I did not have to undergo a similar trauma for another seven years, which, for a child, is almost an eternity.

  11. avatar STLShawn says:

    Watching DW in America in the 80′s was such a treat that can never be repeated. We had no idea what was going on, when the good Doc would regenerate, what was to become of the companions. It was amazing.

    Sara Jane’s leaving left me in tears as a youngster. I didn’t see it coming, had no idea what was going on, and was just tore up over it. There was such an urgency to see each episode that night (later we got a VCR, so that took some of the urgency away), but it was a true Sunday night event into the unknown.

    In many ways, i miss that unknown element.

  12. I think it will be hard to move on from Matt but I think it will be the same it has been with everyone. I loved Chris then I hated David for a like 1 episode then he regenerated and I hated Matt but then a couple episodes later I loved can’t believe it will be any different.

  13. David was my Doctor and I HATED, absolutely HATED saying goodbye to him. I resented Matt for coming in and taking his place.
    But then Matt grew on me and slowly, ever so slowly, Matt became my Doctor and replaced David. River Song was a big part of that acceptance.
    And now, I’m once again in that same spot.
    What if I don’t like the Doctor? Will that mean that I will stop watching? What if he’s terrible or his chemistry is off? Or what if he’s just unappealing?

    Scary thought that I may leave the show I love so much.
    Then again, I know to trust Moffat and I will. Again. Of course, if River Song returns with the 12th Doctor… I definitely will continue to watch.

    Here’s hoping for a good 12th Doctor and that Capaldi will be able to make us love him as much as his predecessors did.

  14. avatar Geoff says:

    Once again it has to be Baker T into Peter D. Nothing to do with Peter whos flawed but heroic Doctor I very quickly learnt to love (once he stopped dicking around in that daft roundell coffin thing) but more because it was my first real regeneration, I was only 3 when Baker T arrived on the scene you see.
    Even then though it was still part trepidation and part excitement. My oldest son is nearly 6 and he is already excited because he doesn’t remember the last regeneration. We will have to see what he makes of the new older Doctor when he arrives although his scale of measuring a Doctors grandness is how cool his hair is. So far according to my boy this places Matt at number one and DT number 2!

  15. avatar David F says:

    I remember the last two years of Tom Baker, but because I didn’t see him from the start (I was born midway through Terror of the Zygons) he didn’t feel like mine. It was his regeneration that got me hooked on the show, and it’s Davison who’s best able to push my nostalgia button. And the “You’re my Doctor” line from Time Crash taps straight into my inner child and makes me well up every time.

    But as a child, I didn’t care or think about his being a younger actor. To a child, someone in his late twenties is ancient anyway, and I don’t think the children who love Doctor Who will worry for a moment about Capaldi’s age.

  16. avatar BOJAY says:

    Along with the gravitas Peter Capaldi will no doubt bring to his portrayal of the Doctor, I don’t doubt he’ll bring some of the youthful on as well. Much has been said, and said properly, about Matt Smith’s amazing ability to play “old man in a young man’s body”. I think we may very well see Peter Capaldi bring the childish on as well when it’s appropriate. Didn’t the Fourth Doctor reflect on the pointlessness of being grown up if you can’t be childish sometimes? Even William Hartnell let out that childish gleam sometimes. It’s part of what the Doctor is about, in my opinion.

  17. avatar Ranger says:

    Pertwee was my first Doctor. I never had any problems with any of the “classic” regenerations, I just accepted that this was the Doctor in a new body, children are very accepting of change really, it’s as you get older that change becomes harder. I had a massive problem with the David Tennant/Matt Smith regeneration, because I just didn’t like Matt Smith’s portrayal of the Doctor, and I never got over this and never really accepted him as the Doctor. But I have to say that I am really excited about the Matt Smith/Peter Capaldi regeneration, because I can already see Capaldi as the Doctor.

  18. avatar tarot999 says:

    I started watching Doctor Who at 4 1/4 back in 1978. Being an American, we were way behind and they were just airing Tom Baker’s episodes from 1974 at the time. The only Doctor I’d ever known was 4 and somehow I managed to miss Romana1, and a good chunk of Logopolis. I remember coming back from summer holiday at the beach and here was this blonde young fellow in a cricketing outfit and everyone was calling him “Doctor.” I had no idea what happened with regenerations and was quite upset at the time. By the time I understood the concept, and realized the one I had thought of as “the Doctor” was actually the 4 incarnation, Peter Davidson had moved on and Colin Baker was the Doctor.
    When the series came back, I got rather attached to 9, Christopher Eccleston. Then I found out we’d get a regeneration at the end of the 2005/series 1. I was bound and determined to give 10, and later 11, the chance I’d never given 5. And all though I’ve enjoyed and miss/will miss all of them, I’m waiting to see what 12 is like.

  19. avatar CatPiper says:

    I remember the feeling of utter horror when Patrick Troughton left – and Jamie and Zoe at the same time! Awful. None since have affected me as much, though I sometimes find it hard to adjust to the new Doctor for a few episodes. Not with Matt Smith, though – I have always found him brilliant, and rather resent everyone now saying how great Peter Capaldi will be. Let’s wait and see, and enjoy Matt while we’ve still got him.

  20. avatar dr jon says:

    I have watched dr who since the 1970′s and jon pertwee is my favorite dr with peter davison a close second. So the age thing never bothered me,it’s how you connect as a viewer to the new dr.Every fan or every viewer has their own exspectations of them.I also like matt smith’s taking of the dr and i am looking forward to peter capaldi to see what he brings to the role.And they are polls apart in age and personallity.

  21. avatar Richard T. says:

    I still enjoyed the show with Matt Smith as lead, as the writing quality was top notch – plot twists were really powerful. But he was my least favourite of the last 3 doctors.

    I just hope that Peter Capaldi will bring back some of that mature and kind doctor, who can be believed to be 900 years old. I think Matt Smith looked and behaved exactly his age.

    Christopher Eccleston had something trustworthy and mature about him, David Tennant took all that and added a great deal of kindness/warmth, depth of emotion and style. He is my favourite so far.

    Matt Smith took everything away and just became what I would call “a jerk with admin rights”. He is a likeable character, but my doctor is the one that I can look up at (not down or straight).

    Amy Pond was also my least favourite companion – I think her character was way too bitchy and given too much credit. Her crying annoyed me more than touched. Rose was very touching, I liked Martha in the beginning, but not the latter character twist towards the military side. Donna had a special spark in her. But when Clara took over, I was relieved that this troubled ‘Amy’ woman is gone. I like Clara – looking forward to see how her character will develop with the new doctor.


  22. avatar z.z. says:

    I want a Younger doctor! Moffat is going to lose me and all the young people who are new to the show. Why change the premise of the show now? Big Mistake!

    • avatar Bradondo says:

      Change the premise? Are you serious? I don’t mean to seem rude but regeneration is a huge part of the premise of this show. You may have noticed that Doctor Who just turned 50 years old this weekend and that quite few people have played this role–every one of them older than Matt Smith and several over 50. To suggest Capaldi’s casting is a change of premise is ludicrous. Frankly if you require a Doctor to be young and pretty as your caveat for watching you weren’t much of a fan to begin with.

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