Peter Capaldi's Doctor Who is 'exactly how the Time Lord should be', says Armando Iannucci

The Thick of It writer said Capaldi was 'smart, funny and thoughtful' in the role

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The Independent Culture

Armando Iannucci has spoken about Peter Capaldi's performance in Doctor Who for the first time.

The screenwriter, whose hit comedy series The Thick of It starred Capaldi as hot-headed director of communications Malcolm Tucker, said he thought the actor suited the role well.

“The Peter I know is the smart, funny, thoughtful guy – and I think he’s exactly what the Doctor should be,” he said.

In an interview with the Radio Times, the acclaimed satirist said he had an inkling Capaldi would be asked to join the show.

“When David Tennant said he was leaving, I wondering if they’d ask Peter – just a flicker. He seems to have the air of the classic Doctor,” he said.

He added he thought Capaldi was the first Doctor to give off an air of “responsibility”, and has allowed Clara more room to develop as her own character.


“He’s funny in a bamboozled way. And that allows Clara more space so they’ve become a proper, classic double act. He’s also the first Doctor to give off that air of the tremendous responsibility – which you never quite saw before,” he said.

He also said Capaldi had “great gravitas”, adding his most memorable moments were when he did not speak.

“Sometimes as the Doctor, the most memorable moments are not the strongest lines – it’s what he does with his pauses and his changes of tone. He’ll just say ‘Oh good’ or ‘You’d better go outside’ in this particular way and it sticks with you far more than the finest scripting.”

Iannucci’s comments appeared in the magazine alongside other well-known names from television praising Capaldi’s performance.

Professor Brian Cox called him “complex, menacing and vulnerable. Exactly what the Doctor should be”, while Jennifer Saunders said: “I like him very much”.

Read more: Peter Capaldi shows no sign of warming up any time soon - review