We don’t have to wait for the next Doctor Who Christmas Special to find out who will play the regenerated Twelfth Doctor, as Scottish actor Peter Capaldi was announced for the role live today during a special program on BBC (and in the U.S. on BBC America). He had been a rumored frontrunner this week, but some might have still seen him as a long shot due to his age (he’s 55).
He’s also best known to a lot of us as the extremely foul-mouthed Malcolm Tucker on the British TV show The Thick of It and the feature film spin-off, In the Loop. Capaldi is also an Oscar-winning filmmaker, for the 1995 short film Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life. (a Short Film of the Day pick two years ago). He was most recently seen as one of the World Health Organization (coincidentally known better as the acronym WHO) employees in the third act of World War Z.
The eighth season of Doctor Who isn’t really set to begin until a year from now, but this December will see the latest Christmas Special depict the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) transforming into Capaldi’s Twelfth. We can possibly expect Capaldi to also appear in the 50th Anniversary Special airing November 23 of this year alongside past incarnations of the Doctor played by Smith, David Tennant and John Hurt.
Interestingly enough, Capaldi has already appeared in an episode of Doctor Who — he portrayed Caecilius in 2008’s “The Fires of Pompeii” opposite Tenth Doctor David Tennant. A year later he played a character on Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood for five episodes. Given that this is a commemorative time for the TV show, it’s actually quite fitting that Capaldi will be the oldest version of the character since the First Doctor, William Hartnell, who was also 55 when he debuted in the role. How old was Capaldi when that happened? 5 years old.
Watch a NSFW montage of Capaldi’s f-bombs in In the Loop: