Who Can See Into The Doctor’s Soul?

Capaldi Could’ve Been The Eighth Doctor!

In the latest issue of American magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Peter Capaldi has revealed that he was potentially up for the role of the Eighth Doctor!

Paul McGann eventually made the grade and starred in the 1996 Doctor Who movie, but Capaldi says he was given the opportunity to audition – but chickened out! It was, however, for the best of reasons. “I didn’t go [to the audition],” he says. “I loved the show so much, and I didn’t think I would get it, and I didn’t want to just be part of a big cull of actors.”

From what we’ve heard, showrunner, Steven Moffat especially wanted Capaldi for the role; that The Thick of It actor was the lone horse in that race!

Personally, I’m pleased, as McGann is an excellent Doctor and remains one of my favourite actors. Nonetheless, a movie fronted by Capaldi is an idea to ponder over. If that had happened, he almost certainly wouldn’t have appeared in 2008′s The Fires of Pompeii, and he wouldn’t have had an on-screen adventure with the Daleks! In the same issue, he recalls his delight when a Dalek came out of the Thames in The Dalek Invasion of Earth: “It’s such a surprise… I loved the effort people put into making these strange worlds.”

The issue, out now in America, also features a brief guide to the show (including some, erm, unique fashion), as well as interview with Steven Moffat, director of the first two episodes, Ben Wheatley, and Jenna Coleman aka. Clara Oswald, the Doctor’s faithful companion.

Oh, and designer, Michael Pickwoad also takes Entertainment Weekly onto the TARDIS. A tweaked TARDIS, at that.

There’s also some stunning photography, so do try to pick yours up asap!


When he’s not watching television, reading books ‘n’ Marvel comics, listening to The Killers, and obsessing over script ideas, Philip Bates pretends to be a freelance writer. He enjoys collecting everything.

'Capaldi Could’ve Been The Eighth Doctor!' have 10 comments

  1. August 1, 2014 @ 8:34 am Zontar

    Sometimes these things just work out.
    Another I’ve heard is that Bernard Cribbins (Wilfred Mott-Donna’s grandfather)was up to play the Fourth Doctor–it would have been interesting to see what he would have done as the Doctor-and then we wouldn’t have had him as Wilf–who is one of my favorite supporting characters in all of Doctor Who.


    • August 1, 2014 @ 1:31 pm TimeChaser

      Not to mention we wouldn’t have had arguably the most iconic Doctor if someone other than Tom had been cast as Four. The universe shudders at the very thought.


      • August 1, 2014 @ 2:26 pm simon magellan (Doctorian)

        I’d question that really – one reason he’s iconic is that he stayed for seven years. If he’d gone after three seasons, for example, would he be talked of in such hushed tones now?


      • August 1, 2014 @ 6:41 pm Zontar

        I think Cribbens would have made an excellentDoctor, but certainly the show would have been quite different


    • August 1, 2014 @ 2:12 pm simon magellan (Doctorian)

      He was indeed interviewed – along with almost every other actor in Britain. According to Terrance Dicks in DWM recently, Barry Letts was very keen on Fulton MacKay and would have offered him the role but for his desire to have a say in the scripts of the programme – which was a definite no-no.

      I really can’t picture how either Bernard Cribbins or Fulton MacKay would have looked as the Doctor.

      Other strong contenders for the role included Michael Bentine, Jim Dale – and, so I once read many years ago, David Warner. Baker was very much the last minute choice as they were getting a bit desperate at the time!


  2. August 1, 2014 @ 2:18 pm Rick

    If he had been cast, there’d probably be no need for The War Doctor, as Capaldi seems like a much more ruthless Doctor than No.8.


  3. August 1, 2014 @ 2:24 pm simon magellan (Doctorian)

    Ah the wonder world of “What If” – every time they come to cast the Doctor, there are a range of possibilities. We see Sylvester McCoy as the seventh Doctor – but what if it had been Ken Campbell or Anton Lesser?

    The first Doctor could have been Cyril Cusack, if he hadn’t turned it down. Ron Moody could have been either the Second or Third Doctors, had he accepted when offered the role not once, but twice! And Richard Griffiths actually accepted the fifth, I believe, before pulling out.

    And What if the rumoured black actor who was offered the 11th hadn’t turned it down?

    If, as stated, Moffat wanted Capaldi, then it would be a rare case of one actor being singled out for the role – but it should be noted that Ben Daniels was told that, if the preferred choice didn’t accept, he was the next in line, so we could easily be waiting for his debut rather than Capaldi’s!


  4. August 2, 2014 @ 4:55 pm Jan Bos

    What if Tennant hadn’t leave ? What if Donna’s dad didn’t die ? I also liked Morrissey to see as a real Doctor. Now that chance is gone…..


    • August 2, 2014 @ 6:42 pm francis cave

      I’d be fine with Morrissey as long as he didn’t sing in any of his stories.

      Boom tish!

      Here all week…..


  5. August 23, 2014 @ 10:46 am “Doctor Who” Connections in Peter Capaldi’s Career | Artboiled

    […] strange thing is, Capaldi had the chance to play the role much earlier, as he was invited to audition for the Eight Doctor movie but […]


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