During Sunday’s live broadcast on BBC America, Scottish actor Peter Capaldi, whom fans might know from Torchwood, The Thick of It, and this (pretty good) spoiler Easter egg, was crowned the twelfth Doctor on the popular series Doctor Who. The other Doctor Who contestants showed gracious smiles as the exited the stage, where their families awaited them with open arms and heavy hearts. You could faintly hear their loved ones let out their rehearsed condolences: “Maybe another time…and space!” “Doctor who even cares about these judges, they literally don’t even know anything.” But the sobs of the formerly potential doctors drowned out even th– oh, it wasn’t a contest? They just hired a new guy, like normal? Eek! Whoops! Ahhhh. Anyway, this guy’s the new guy! From The Guardian:

Internally the BBC referred to the selection process as project Houdini, with reportedly only 10 people knowing Capaldi had been chosen.

“It is so wonderful not to keep this secret any more,” [Capaldi] said. “For a while I couldn’t even tell my daughter. Being asked to play the Doctor is an amazing privilege. Like the Doctor himself I find myself in a state of utter terror and delight. I can’t wait to get started.”

Steven Moffat, lead writer and executive producer of Doctor Who, said: “It’s an incendiary combination: one of the most talented actors of his generation is about to play the best part on television.” he said. ” Peter Capaldi is in the Tardis.”

Who would have thought that in our lifetimes we’d see an either non-white or non-male or both Doctor Who? It can be hard to tell sometimes, because many things still remain frustratingly backwards, but things are actually changing for the better and more inclusive at a fairly quick pace, and– oh wait, what? Uggggggh, there are so many things I had wrong originally about this new Doctor Who!! Anyway, here he is as Sid’s dad on Skins

And as Malcolm Tucker on The Thick of It.

(He is very good.)

Comments (96)
  1. On the one hand, yes, it is past time for more inclusivity on DW. On the other hand, I just love Malcolm Tucker so much guys. It is really fun to make cross stitches of his sayings.

  2. I don’t make it a habit to quote my own tweets here, but I am too tired to come up with new thoughts about this, so: “And the world was shocked to learn that the new Doctor was an OLD white man, this time.”

  3. This was a missed opportunity to have the perfect (and non-white) Doctor- Richard Ayoade/Maurice Moss. I would have watched the shit out of that.

  4. At least Videogum is more open-minded; our new Gabe is a woman this time.

  5. I’m fine with this. At the rate they were going, I thought the next Doctor would look like this

  6. Maybe they should have mixed it up by hiring someone who isn’t British. I know someone who is about to have a lot of time on his hands.

    Yeah, bitch, TARDIS!

  7. young
    attractive
    female
    non-white

    Despite the new Doctor’s acting chops, I am not pleased. However, it’s good we don’t have a female Doctor yetgiven Moffat’s problem writing female characters with agency.

    • I am not warm for number 12′s form.

    • Although I am personally ok with this casting as I have previous (great great great) affection for this actor, I totally agree.

      However, what has bothered me most about the announcement is reading douchebag comments about how the lady fans won’t watch because he isn’t cute like Doctors 9 through 11, which first: um, what? That is dumb. (TMI FOLLOWING) And 2: in all honesty, he is the first doctor I have found super attractive. David Tennant is charming and goofy, but I would climb Peter Capaldi like a tree. Oh, fanboys, you don’t know what you’re in for.

      • The first time you find someone with gray hair super attractive is sort of a watershed moment in your life as you reach adulthood, and one I think about a bazillion nerds are about to go through all at once.

        • Like I’ve seen attractive older guys, but my ladybits closed up shop for Capaldi.

          • Yeah, he’s not everyone’s cup of tea. But I do think the role in particular makes people sexier to some people. Like, why else would anyone want to frick Matt Smith?

        • It’s like when you watch kids/tween shows and you think the parent/s are hot and done care about the stars’ looks at all.

          That’s how you know you’ve reached adulthood lol

      • that is an interesting assessment because i have literally found none of the doctors to be attractive whatsoever. if i watched british teevee shows merely for the men that i found attractive luther would be the only british teevee show that i could watch.

      • Yeah… the Doctor doesn’t have to be attractive. I guess David Tennant was pretty good-looking but Matt Smith doesn’t do anything for me and I love him as the Doctor. I would say this new guy is more attractive than Christopher Eccleston but neither of them exactly lights my fire. Don’t get me wrong, I love watching attractive men on my television. But if I just wanted to see hot men I would watch True Blood (it is a fact that hot men are the only reason to watch True Blood).

        • David Tennant (and his Scottish accent) and Alex Skarsgaard. Hoo-wee.

        • Oh, totally. But douches have been complaining for years that female fans (they always say female) only watch Doctor Who because tee hee the Doctor’s just so CUTE, never mind that we might actually like the show on other merits, never mind that as individuals we are interested in different aspects of the show. IT’S JUST BECAUSE SO AND SO IS CUTE AND IT MAKES A NICE BREAK FROM EATING SALADS.

          I know it is pointless, but I feel like it is somehow sticking it to the douchebags by <3-ing Capaldi. Even though that is not why I have ever watched, nor will I watch it because of that.

          AND IT'S NOT LIKE HAVING NUBILE YOUNG ATTRACTIVE WHITE COMPANIONS ISN'T IN SOME WAY FANSERVICE.

          I just have a lot of feelings about this. Mostly angry feelings.

          • it’s almost like nerd fandoms can be incredibly sexist…

          • The companion thing is definitely problematic, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that my favorite season was the one with Donna, even though I found her extremely annoying at first. The show is much better when the Doctor and the companion have a sibling-style relationship than when they have *~*romantic tension*~*.

          • Someone found a fly in their salad this morning…

      • It’s super dumb to assume that. I mean, I’ve seen people on Twitter/Tumblr freaking out over him not being attractive enough, but I just assume they’re teenagers–and since when do teenagers ever make good decisions–and move on with my life.

        My pick was Chiwetel Ejiofor, but I’m pretty sure with 12 Years a Slave coming out, his TV time is done for a bit.

        Now I just hold out hope that, one day, Tilda Swinton plays The Master.

        • I adore and intend to marry Chiwetel Ejiofor, but I don’t think he’d be quite right for the Doctor. I can’t really see him being manic and goofy like that.

          If we’re talking ladies, and going with the “been around but aren’t super famous” formula, I would love to see someone like Romola Garai in the role.

        • I am holding out hope that Tilda Swinton plays everything in everything forever. I LOVE YOU TILDA!

      • And he played in that punk band with Craig.

        CRAIG FERGUSON 4 MASTER. CRAIGFERGUSON4MASTERCRAIGFERGUSON4MASTER.

    • i re-watched the entire new doctor who series in anticipation of this event and i’ve gotta say, moffat blows the big one. every time his name floats through the space vortex i wonder to myself, will this episode be completely anti-woman or merely suggest that we are silly childlike creature incapable of doing anything without the doctor? the sad thing is, when i first watched the show i loved it and i was able to get over the horribly written female characters because it was just whimsical fantasy, but now i watch it and i just get angry.

      • Exactly. I was so excited for Clara’s backstory, then it became revealed she gave up her life/future to serve the Doctor. It’s ridiculous.

        • literally all of the women in this last incarnation have been not so good. clara gives up her life for the doctor, river gives up her life for the doctor (not to mention the whole she only lives for the doctor story line that was really fucking painful to watch.), amy pond is basically what? she is a dimwit who is worshiped by a good man who she repeatedly does awful things to and then somehow we are supposed to believe he is going to stick around for a thousand years? syke, you are an awful person and rory deserves better. i have this feeling that moffat just hates women and sees himself as the doctor. i miss martha jones. i miss donna. i miss characters who actually questioned the doctor instead of just doing everything for this obviously sociopathic man.

          • Martha and Donna did not work for me at all, at first. Ultimately, I liked them so much that their post-doc fates really hurt to see. (SPOILER: Martha has to spend a year at war to save the world and Donna remembers nothing? Gah!) Whereas Amy was instantly likeable and was introduced in a very cool way in the Moffat-written episode “Eleventh Hour” (I love the way he says he’ll be back in 5 minutes and then it’s 12 years. That’s full of wonder and heartbreak, it kills me.)

            (And, to me, that intro sets up a lot of Amy’s arc. I mean his first visit imprints an ideal man on this lonely/scared little girl and so as adults Rory is stuck having to live up to that fantasy? Worse, as it turns out the fantasy is real? And to win her Rory has to sort of time-travel through 1,000 years himself, the hard way, and it makes him kind of a robot? I don’t know, it almost works for me! It stretches credulity more than usual but… almost! I don’t see it as so awful, anyway).

            I give Moffatt credit for two things: 1) He got the Doctor away from being in love with the companion like #9 & #10 were with Rose (although I admit I have no idea how the Amy story plays out, since I’m quite a bit behind) and 2) The episode “The Girl In the Fireplace,” which is very nearly lifetime-pass territory.

          • FULL DISCLOSURE I haven’t watched the show in a year, and I had to check the wikipedia just now to figure out where I left off: the middle of the two-parter in Series 6 where they’re stuck in a castle with a sinister double of the Doctor. It was very tense and I doubt they will get out of this one.

          • HOTSPUR you gotta keep going so you can be as broken hearted and traumatized as the rest of us. ahhhh ahhhhhhh, say through season 7 episode 5.

          • Oh no. Okay. I will get back on it. I miss it.

      • eh, I still like Moffat. I honestly don’t see him writing women characters any worse than most things out there. I love Amy to death, but I do agree that Clara’s story was weak. I loved Victorian Clara, but modern Clara was not fun. The whole last season was a little “eh” to me. But seasons 5/6 made me love Moffat so much more than Davies and his melodramatic crap. Yes, he made Donna but Davies also destroyed Donna, so I hate him with a passion.

        • Well and what the hell are we supposed to do with Clara now? She’s not written off. She’ll still be around. That’s really fucked up now that her story exists EXCLUSIVELY to serve the Doctor.

      • what River Song? Madame Vastra and Jenny? Those are strong female characters. Do you even watch the show? Plus everyone knows Amy Pond wore the pants in her relationship with Rory. Every human is a silly childlike creature incapable of doing anything without the Doctor. Whether it’s a male or a female.

        • we can just agree to disagree. there are many folks who have written about moffat and his anti-woman plot lines. there are tumblrs dedicated to it. perhaps they can explain it better than me.

    • I don’t watch Dr.Who, M.D., but I will defend Steven Moffatt’s ladies, if only for the lady characters on Coupling.

      • Such a good show. Also, his wife produced it so maybe she had a good influence?

        I think Moffat has just become a giant troll that likes to piss people off, so that’s why everyone is so mad at him.

      • I like Coupling a lot but if you take a step back it’s pretty freaking depressing when it comes to gender relations. The women are all completely neurotic and obsessed with their looks; the men are blubbering man-children who don’t care about anything but sex. I mean, it’s a show in which one episode tells us the Temple of Woman is a beauty salon and the Temple of Man is a strip club. It’s really a deeply cynical show as far as male/female relations are concerned.

  8. Is the doctor known for amazing bouts of profanity? If so, I may start tuning in because nobody can swear like peter capaldi.

    • each doctor is different, if they allow profanity because of capaldi i think it would be a new welcome twist. at least he won’t be walking around talking about how bow ties are cool because blech.

    • Gah, I wish. But Doctor Who (believe it or not) counts as a kids’ show here…

  9. I wanted Richard Ayode, but what I really wanted was Richard Ayode with the Boosh taking over the series as writers, which I’ll never get, so why bother even caring about things.

  10. As a new fan of the show, I am not impressed. I guess Martha and Donna weren’t your typical companions for the Doctor, but I think I’d like a Richard Ayoade (Moss Darko, KW) instead.

  11. I assume Idirs Alba was too busy filming Pacific Rim 2.

    • No. He died. :(

      • He went over the edge?

        • I DON’T LIKE TO TALK ABOUT IT! (Every Idris Elba on screen death is an emotional tragedy. That butt, just no longer existing in that particular universe. I can’t.) (But yes, spoiler alert, he basically did go over an edge into a place never to be seen again.)

    • I really don’t think Idris Elba would make a good Doctor. He’s far too calm, collected, and cool. The exact qualities that make me want him to be James Bond so badly are pretty much the reasons I don’t want him to play the Doctor.

      • exactly. i think idris elba is amazing as luther and would be the perfect bond. but he is a little too cool to be the doctor. the doctor needs to be a somewhat anxious energetic fellow running around being all quirky and ish.

  12. i do love how the u.k. still suffers from internal bigotry, like we are supposed to be thrilled that they hire a scottish person every now and then. dude, outside of the u.k. everyone assumes that you are all like cousins or something.

  13. I remain cautiously optimistic.

  14. I’ve never seen Doctor Who. But I follow maybe 3 separate women on Pinterest who are CONSTANTLY pinning Doctor Who stuff. Like one a day at least. I always thought this meant that it was an interesting show for ladies (yes, I have male Doctor Who fan friends) but given what specialk said up there, maybe that’s not true!

    • truck, are you following me on Pinterest? Because if you are, I am so, so sorry (Doctor Who reference!)

    • I mean it’s a good show, but I loved Donna and Martha as companions, because they were standalone good characters who were self-reliant and plucky. Martha’s a doctor. Amy was sassy but not much was going for her and I felt so sad for Rory playing second fiddle.
      In short, the companions were much more relatable and three-dimensional than more recent ones.

  15. Wow, everyone is being such a downer on this thread.

    As much as I love Smith, I am super excited for Capaldi. And honestly, did anyone actually think the Doctor was going to be anything but a white dude? Seriously, people can talk about it but the structure of the show hasn’t changed that much in 50 years and it’s the BBC, they are pretty freaking traditional.

    Also, I love Moffat. Last season was a bit of a dud compared to 5/6, but I don’t care. He is still so much better than Davies. Rewatched the Waters of Mars last night and oh boy, some of the stuff just got so silly. Too silly. Davies was always really good at taking poignant moments and killing them with dumb effects and stupid plot devices. Granted, that’s what happened to Moffat last season but I’m hoping he gets the sense knocked back into him.

    Seasons 5/6 had the 11th hour, Flesh and Stone, the Lodger, Vincent and the Doctor, The Doctor’s Wife, God Complex, Girl Who Waited, Night Terrors, and Closing Time. ‘Nuff said.

    • Thank you.

    • Oh, I might not have sounded like it above, but I’m SUPER excited about Capaldi. It’s the best choice for a white guy they could have gone with.

      But, yeah, most people did think there was a shot at the Doctor being different because the BBC had been putting out polls and other feelers about the idea of a female Doctor, and plus, I don’t think desiring them to shake it up is that silly of a thing to want or desire. I’d say slogging Capaldi over it (as I’ve seen some do) is dumb, but if you wanted to see Doctor Who play with it’s ability to have Time Lords regenerate into literally any race/gender and simultaneously have a wealth of new story potential, I can totally get behind that. I don’t think there’s a point hand-wringing about it now, but I’m sure as the show goes on there will be plenty to love and lots, lots, lots to hate–if there’s anything the internet has taught me, it’s that Doctor Who fans will always have something to complain about.

      • and yes, capaldi is a fine choice. seems like a tenacious white dude with wit and the ability to speak really fast and i find that fun…but the bbc did indicate that they might be open to switching it up this incarnation. it would have been kind of exciting, no?

    • so all of the episodes you listed actually were really problematic for me and did not really paint women in a good light so we can just agree to disagree.

      • out of curiosity, what episodes are your favorite?

        I find that even though Davies wrote some good female characters I have the hardest time giving him any credit because of the over-acting and use of Daleks for every freaking finale.

    • People throwing around the name Richard Ayoade in this thread has made me a bit less excited than I was, because that would have been literally the best thing to ever happen in human history, but I’m still really liking the idea of Peter Capaldi as the next Doctor. And I don’t get all the Moffat hate. This latest season was a let-down, and the season before that was a step down from the one preceding, but it’s way too soon to write him off completely. He’s human. He can learn from his missteps.

      The one good thing about Richard Ayoade not being the Doctor is maybe he’ll have time to make another movie now. I really liked Submarine.

    • I’m going to give Capaldi a shot. I really wanted to watch Thick of It last week but couldn’t find it on Netflix. Maybe that was a sign. If I see the man act, I’m sure that would soften my heart towards him. Also, the writing has definitely got to get better than it was for season 7.2.

    • Agreed. I haven’t watched season 7 because I felt the things were getting repetitive, but I also gave up on RTD’s run when Rose got her own clone of the Doctor to make out with (how does everyone let that go as okay!?). RTD’s run was fun and I love Martha and Donna like, so very much (I’m wearing a shirt with Martha on it right now), but he had his own problems. Much like Moffat’s need to have women give up their lives for the Doctor, he wrote the series into corners by having 2 out of his 3 female companions be the Doctor’s End All Be All. Rose is clearly set as his True Love and Donna was touted as his Best Friend Ever. How do you write new characters after that point? That’s tough too. He also made Sarah Jane be so in love with the Doctor, she pined for the rest of her life! She literally said she couldn’t marry anyone because was ruined forever for pining for him. Yikes!!

      TL;DR point,
      No one’s perfect!

  16. Helen Mirren could play Romana. Oooh or Joanna Lumley. And Craig4MasterCraig4MasterCraig4Master.

    • I want Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders involved. Maybe they can be lushes. Just a thought.

    • I want Romana to come back on New Who SO FREAKING MUCH. I have so many intense feelings about Romana from childhood love of her and she is so easy to insert into the new show! Gahhhh please give me my awesome female Time Lady (but keep her awesome and smart, okay? Okay).

  17. As long as it’s better than the episode last season where they killed a planet with a leaf, I’ll be happy. #incrediblylowstandards

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