Doctor Who News Peter Capaldi - Pompeii

Published on November 2nd, 2013 | by Christian Cawley

Capaldi In Single Season Shocker?

Reports in today’s Daily Express indicate that incoming Time Lord Peter Capaldi has signed up to a single run of 13 episodes of Doctor Who, and no more.

However, Kasterborites, we’re hopeful that this is nothing more than tabloid mischief-making.

Running under the headline “Who’s Next? New Doctor Peter Capaldi may stay just 13 episodes” the evidence presented to back up the claim is pretty thin – in fact, it’s non-existent. Stating that the Twelfth Doctor will appear in the forthcoming Christmas episode, the Express continues:

Capaldi, 55, will star in two series of six episodes each before waving goodbye to the Timelord – or signing a new deal depending on how popular he has been.

Moffat, 51, confirmed that the former The Thick Of It star will be seen in 13 episodes next year.

(Steven Moffat’s “confirmation” appears to come from the recent Broadcast interview.)

As you can see, there is nothing here that stands as a direct quote. Furthermore, it is unlikely that an actor of Peter Capaldi’s stature would commit to more than one series at a time anyway.

So, cool your boots: we’ve still got at least a year of the Twelfth Doctor, so lets enjoy it before we start the doom and gloom of casting another actor, okay?


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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+.

39 Responses to Capaldi In Single Season Shocker?

  1. avatar Nick says:


    • avatar Jason says:

      It is silly. I just think they want to see how successful this upcoming season will be. That’s why it’s just a one season contract as of now. That doesn’t mean he won’t be doing any more. If it IS highly successful and garners huge ratings…they will beg Capaldi to play the role for many more seasons to come. And remember that Capaldi has wanted to play this role since he was a child and at this point in his career, he doesn’t have to worry about typecasting. Actually, he could stay in the role well over three seasons. He could be looking at this role as his swan song to eventually retire on. I can really see him going as long as Tom Baker did to be honest!

  2. avatar Rick714 says:

    The tabloids love to put the evil spin on things, don’t they? Seems pretty standard to me that they’ve signed Capaldi up for the first series and depending on ratings and a few other extraneous factors, at some point next year, they’ll make a new deal for either one, two or three more years, perhaps 2 more years with an option for a four, etc., etc. Again, pretty standard.

    If there’s one thing from the article that I hope is on the level, it’s that we’ll see Capaldi in 13 episodes next year!

  3. 2 seasons max, but I honestly think he’d only do ‘Who’ for a year.

    • avatar Alex Frazer-Harrison says:

      Are you aware of how big a fan Capaldi is? This is his dream role – he’s not going to leave that quickly if he has anything to say about it. Matt Smith went year to year as well – there is absolutely nothing new here.

  4. avatar David F says:

    Basically, it’s saying he can sign a new contract if he wants to, but won’t be offered one if he&s rubbish . . . Which is, in essence, a description of every job in the world. Feeble premise for a story.

  5. avatar Willowflower says:

    IIrc, that’s how contracts for Doctor Who work, I remember talk of Matt Smith going between each season.

    • avatar koloth says:

      David Tennant and Matt Smith were reported to have signed 3 year deals.

      • avatar David F says:

        True, though both were also reported to be on the verge of leaving after a year.

  6. Considering Moffat has already confirmed the series is a 13 episode run, this just proves that this article is a load of BS…

  7. avatar Robert A. Hardy says:

    Don’t see anything here to cause alarm …. signing up for one season at a time is completely normal, this is just a bit of standard tabloid scaremongering!

  8. avatar Matt says:

    Eccleston’s 9th Doctor only appeared in 13 episodes…

    • avatar DonnaM says:

      It seems to me Eccleston may very well not have enjoyed the experience, or may have had issues with some of the people involved with the show at that time. Actors are only human; if he didn’t enjoy the experience, he was perfectly right to walk away.

      Also he wasn’t a Doctor Who fan as far as I can tell. The job was a job. Again – fair do’s, but the mere fact CE only did one year is not guide to what PC will do!

      • avatar Rick714 says:

        Eccleston said that back in the day, he wasn’t a fan of the show, thinking the classic Doctor’s were “too posh” to him as a kid. Must have something to do with him being from the north or whatever. Which is fine because not everyone has to be a fan, but when you step into the world of Who, you must be daft not to realize there’s a WHOLE bunch of baggage that comes with the role, both good and not so good.

        • avatar DonnaM says:

          I’m from the North too, and it’s just the way it was – nobody in mainstream, national BBC drama spoke with a regional English accent and the BBC was the last bastion of Received Pronunciation. To say the Doctors were “too posh” because they spoke the same way as newsreaders, weathermen and every other television “personality” who wasn’t just “regional” did is just silly.

          Not everyone can be a fan – I respect CE as an actor even though I didn’t much care for his portrayal of The Doctor. PC understands the baggage; if he had, I don’t think Mr E would have touched the part with a ten-foot pole!

  9. avatar Ian says:

    Its his dream job! As the Third Doctor would say ‘Arrant nonsense’.

  10. avatar Alexander John Potterton says:


    • avatar Simon Magellan says:

      If you believe the rubbish written in a rag like the Daily Express then more fool you.

    • avatar Paddy says:

      Moffat can’t “do it again”, he had nothing to do with the Eccleston thing.

  11. avatar TimeChaser says:

    He hasn’t even gotten started and we’re already dealing with this crap? I long for the day when tabloid are finally shut down. This kind of reporting is irresponsible and just seeks sensationalist attention.

    If I’m not mistaken, Matt did it year by year, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Capaldi’s current contract is just for the next season, but that doesn’t mean he’s necessarily thinking of leaving after just the one season.

  12. avatar Bob James says:

    These “newspapers” are basically toilet paper with shit stories printed on them. It’s way too early for any bullshit on this topic. Why do so many fall for the bullshit bait and lure every time? Why is anyone even paying attention? Ignoring this piffle would be a nice start.

  13. avatar Hyncharas says:

    Though it’s not a definitive indication that Capaldi will leave after 13 episodes, I can understand his position if the last few weeks working with the studio have been “taxing”. Back in 2006, Christopher Eccleston left not because he wanted to do other things, but because the professional experience he had with the crew and writers wasn’t something he could work with over the long-term.

    Moffatt’s earlier comments on “The Doctor’s Destiny” might also contradict the BBC’s designs since its inception, as the old show demonstrated moments where the studio took charge of its direction that didn’t sit well with every writer, hence those people left the project.

  14. avatar DonnaM says:

    Quite possibly he’s signed for one season…. with an option to stay on for another if he chooses. I imagine that’s a perfectly normal way of doing things!

    So far he’s filmed, what? The regeneration scene? It’s a little too soon to be discussing how he’s finding the job! We’re talking about a hugely experienced actor here who’s also a lifelong fan and knows the show and what comes with it as well as anyone.

    As per usual, a British newspaper couldn’t be bothered finding any real news, so decides to run a spurious “Doctor Who Shocker!” to generate some interest.

  15. avatar vortexter says:

    Today must be a slow news day. Nonsense I’m sure and I predict a 3 season run from Peter with long gaps between seasons. He’s a fan, he knew what he signed up for.

  16. avatar koloth says:

    The only other reason I could see of not offering Mr Capaldi a contract of longer than a year is if there is a change of Producer. Budgets need to be planned and if Moffs not in the hot seat how can a contract be offered?

  17. avatar Rick714 says:

    Smith had a three year contract with an option for a fourth and fifth year. Capaldi really is as big a fan as Tennant, maybe even bigger. THE BIG DIFFERENCE is that the majority of Capaldi’s career is behind him. Sure, he can go for another 15 or 20 years but this is the capper on a brilliant career. He doesn’t have to worry about being typecast like Tennant or Smith. He can go in for the long road.

    ALSO…the show is headed in a new direction, one that might suit Capaldi as an older gent. All indications are that Doctor will stop running as he has been all his lives. So don’t be surprised if Capaldi goes 4 or 5 years. You heard it here first. :)

  18. avatar Geoff says:

    I love the way they write “Steven Moffat, 51″ as if his age has any bearing on anything at all, let alone the actual non story they are printing. Only in the press do you ever read that age thing, no one else does it, except Viz who get it wrong on purpose “Steven Moffat, 78″…

  19. avatar John Miller says:

    The problem is when the tabloids have selected a target, they just will not shut the f**k up, Certain suhuman elements seem to have targeted Moffat and Doctor Who in general. Let’s hope it doesn’t grow.

    And of course, if there is a brief rest period(like when Tennant just did specials, or the middle of Season 7), you can bet that the tabloid idiots will be screaming “DOCTOR WHO CANCELLED!”

  20. avatar Chris says:

    My boots were cool until I read the title for this! “Single season shocker!” That is the first time I was concerned. After reading it, of course having a year at a time contract does NOT concern me. You kind of Yahoo-News’d the title of this article.

    • avatar stlshawn says:

      I agree, I don’t like the title of this article. It plays on the same field as the original newspaper story.

  21. avatar Leepshin says:

    I think the role of the doctor should run the length of a prime ministers time in office and that’s a minimum of 4 years or even a us president where they can only stay a maximum of two four year terms. We’ve already had two casting mistakes resulting in a waste of three regenerations, firstly being Colin Baker into Sly McCoy(although this wasn’t Colin’s fault at all as it was BBC internal politics that put paid to his tenure) then the other two were RTD’s fault as he should’ve continued with Paul McGann but instead gave into that shallow and vain unprofessional pig Chris Eccleston who insisted that he wanted the role but had no intention of staying in fear of being typecast. (Any actor who fears that old “typecast” chestnut has absolutely no business going near a role like the Doctor because the role of the Doctor is bigger than any Shakespear role) If Steven Moffat has any sense at all, he’ll tie all future actors to a 4 year contract and if Peter Capaldi has any sense, he’ll commit to 4 years and not make the same mistake Eccleston made. Doctor Who is a show not to have the backside ripped out it otherwise we’ll end up with another classic series disaster and we don’t want that do we?

  22. avatar dr jon says:

    This is just hear say to sell papers,Peter Capaldi is a big fan of the show and a good actor so i think he would want two do a lasting impression with the role,so i think he will do at least three seasons with the series if all goes well with it.So i am not going to worry or speculate about it i am just going to sit back and enjoy the new series when aired.

  23. avatar drewboynton says:

    If there’s a kernel of truth to this, then it’s a real bummer. The thing that makes me think it’s a load of poo is that Capaldi is such a fan and I can’t imagine him signing on for just a season…unless there’s some reason (hey, is that John Hurt behind that curtain?)… :)

  24. avatar Spider-pope says:

    Makes sense to only sign an actor for 1 series. What if he’s (no chance of this at all) terrible? Or hates making it? Or any number of things happen?

    The papers are putting a negative spin on it, because the papers hate the BBC. Any chance to knock the broadcaster is seized upon.

    • avatar Spider-pope says:

      *i season at a time.

  25. avatar Adam Humphreys says:

    Eccleston only agreed to do a single series but it wasn’t til a few years later he admitted he didn’t like how things were run. Anyways I wouldn’t take the article to heart as you’ll find it’s just the press trying to get people worked up.

  26. avatar JESK1985 says:

    The Daily Express is probably the most sensationalist tabloid in the UK. I think the comedian Russell Howards summed up their message best:


    Capaldi is booked for all the currently commissioned episodes.

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  28. avatar Brandon says:

    Chill guys. This is pretty standard. And honestly? The BBC is probably worried that casting an older Doctor might hurt the show overseas. (You know how superficial we Americans are). So they’re probably hesitant to give Capaldi a longer contract until they know if the numbers will hold strong.

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