James Legge

Peter Capaldi tackles the tough gig as the 12th Doctor Who

The news was announced during a suspenseful live show on BBC1 - so what has he got in store for us?

Share

Well the swirling anticipation, bubbling as it did like a Carrionite's cauldron, is finally over.

After the brooding roughness of Christopher Ecclestone; the barely-flappable cool of David Tennant; and the raggedy weirdness of Matt Smith comes....

Who knows? While we can safely assume Peter Capaldi will leave Malcolm Tucker's abrasion and hurled expletives in Westminster, he brings much more career baggage to the role than anyone else since the 2005 reboot.

Despite the press's attempts to paint Capaldi's Tucker as a raging football hooligan, the new Doctor's performance over four series of The Thick of It and a feature film in In The Loop wove among the general horridness a pathos and occasional self-doubt which would put to shame any of his predecessors as the last Time Lord.

Though, as a childhood fan, Capaldi appears to relish taking on one of the biggest roles in the history of popular enternainment, it's a tough gig. Since everyone went crazy about a 26-year-old unknown called Matt Smith getting the nod, the Topman Doctor has had the show twisted around him into a huge-budget international behemoth.

It's gained the series-long story arcs of The Wire, mixed with the visual effects of Pacific Rim, whilst keeping the British eccentricity which makes the show what it is.

To walk into that set-up cold would challenge any actor, but fans - myself included - should look forward to what the new series has in store.

Capaldi's appointment also continues a fine tradition at Doctor Who of promoting supporting players to the headline roles. In the very same episode that the Glaswegian made his mark as the Pompeiian Caecilius, we saw a young Karen Gillan (later Amelia Pond) playing a mysterious soothsayer.

And the heartbreaker that was the Series 2 finale saw Freema Agyeman playing Adeola, cousin of Martha Jones, who she would also portray in Series 3. Even Torchwood's Eve Myles got her Who break as Gwyneth, the humble and devout servant girl, in Series 1. She would later become known as Gwen Cooper, Gwyneth's distant descendant, in the popular spin-off.

Given that Matt Smith's Doctor was (let's admit it) a caricature of David Tennant's, it's good to see a change in trajectory. That growl and unwavering stare which have served Capaldi so well will surely be menacing Daleks and Sontarans before too long. While hardly a prettyboy, he's got presence and charisma to fill even the Tardis, though he'll have to surprise a few viewers if he's to imbue the role with The Doctor's robust moralism.

But details like this can wait until we see our new Doctor at Christmas.

Allons-y!

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Reach Volunteering: Financial Trustee and Company Secretary

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: A trustee (company d...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Project Manager

£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Shopfitter

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a successful an...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Sales Account Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Sales Account Manager...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Bob Geldof  

Ebola is a political AND a medical disease

Paul Vallely
 

I've tried reason, but my cat is pig-ignorant

Dom Joly
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, say DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin