When big old Petey C (as he is now dubbed) tooled out from behind the figurative curtain last night (on Doctor Who Live – The Next Doctor), I have to say my heart lept with trouser~tightening delight when his name was announced. Despite not featuring on any of my actors’ lists for the part, his choice is inspired, exciting and utterly brilliant.
As a boy, which is a long, long time ago now, I loved the film Local Hero (1982) which starred the much younger future Time Lord and it was over a decade later when he popped up on my radar again, as it were, with the lovely comedy Soft Top, Hard Shoulder (which he also wrote). Capaldi had always been an actor whose presence was welcome but it wasn’t really until his rather sweary role in the BBC sitcom The Thick Of It that Capaldi really came back into my own film and telly loving conscience.
Of course, he topped that by a wonderfully touching role in The Fires of Pompeii (read my thoughts on it and him HERE) and the outstanding, not to mention criminally BAFTA neglected role, in Torchwood: Children of Earth that sealed his status as “total ledge” (I referred to his performance as “bottom~huggingly essential” in my review for the third episode). Two very different roles, and both testament to the man’s likability (in the former) and more nastier side (the latter).
But now he’s The Doctor. The Twelfth Doctor. And just how flippin’ exicting is that?
The Silver Fox is sure to bring a massively different dynamic to the show which has had to “suffer” younger, pretty boys for eight years. Steven Moffat and his gang are to be congratulated in a very real and meaningful way for their bravery and foresight in Peter’s casting, and very interesting to learn that he was their first choice. How very different things could have been had he been cast back in 2009.
Courtesy of Matthew Kilburn
But I’m sure we got the better deal. Four “years” with Matt and then an actor who was twice his age when Smith was cast and also now the same age as William Hartnell when he was cast. Brave stuff from the BBC and one hopes this “gamble” will pay off. I’m sure it will as there’s just too much talent on display to go wrong.
Speaking of talent, Capaldi is not averse to writing and directing and Blogtor wonders if Petey C will get a chance to tell his own story or get behind the camera on another? Hhmm…?
So there we go, another fan as The Doctor (check out his fanzine piece from 1976 on the title sequence on the right for his credentials) with a fan in charge – the perfect combination. As a fan, I think we’re incredibly lucky to get such another great actor in the role, and Capaldi has all the skills and ability to surpass his immediate predecessors such as Smith, Tennant and Eccleston. Frustratingly, though, it’s another year before we really get to see this exciting duo in action – but I’m sure it’ll be more than worth the wait. The Hartnell-esque fingering of his lapel and eccentric hand gestures on Sunday already suggest that Capaldi’s Time Lord will light up Saturday nights like no other.
Also, he’s Scottish. And Scottish people are the best… *
Many thanks to Matthew Kilburn for the scan from DWIFC Magazine, Issue 2, May 1976, published by the Doctor Who International Fan Club.