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Doctor Who? It's Peter Capaldi

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The Scottish actor swears he will not be channelling Malcolm Tucker

AS it celebrates its 50th anniversary, science fiction series Doctor Who announced a radical new direction after casting Peter Capaldi, famous for playing a sewer-mouthed spin doctor in the comedy The Thick of It, as the 12th Doctor.

Local fans learned the news at 4am on ABC1 as the 55-year-old character actor, who has Oscar and BAFTA awards to his name, emerged from a glittering vortex during a worldwide television and social media event, also broadcast live in Britain and the US.

Those of us dedicated enough to be on our sofas at the time heard Capaldi, who rose to fame as irascible Malcolm Tucker in The Thick of It, confess to his lifelong love of the British TV program. "It's so wonderful not to keep the secret any longer," Capaldi said.

In his first interview, he revealed he had written, as a 15-year-old, to congratulate a magazine on its coverage of the program's 10th anniversary in 1973.

The Scottish actor won the role of the Time Lord after a secret audition in the form of a home video at executive producer Steven Moffat's house.

"It was quite hard, even though I am a lifelong Doctor Who fan, I haven't played the Doctor since I was nine in the playground," the Scottish actor joked.

He learned he had won the role when he called his agent, who simply said: "Hello, Doctor."

Capaldi will replace Matt Smith, the 11th Doctor, who was the youngest actor to take the role at 26, during the forthcoming Christmas special.

Capaldi's first breakout role was during the fondly remembered 1983 film Local Hero and he won an Oscar for best live action short film in 1995 and a BAFTA for playing Tucker in 2010. "The new Doctor certainly wouldn't put up with any of Malcolm's language or attitudes," Capaldi said.

Few TV programs have come back from the dead with the force of Doctor Who, which originally was broadcast from 1963 to 1989 before British broadcaster the BBC axed it because of low ratings. When the BBC relaunched it in 2005, 10 million viewers tuned in.

The BBC promises the 50th anniversary in November will "take over television" with an anniversary special that reunites Smith with the 10th Doctor, David Tennant, and pitted against John Hurt, playing a previously unknown Doctor.

As an older Doctor, Capaldi's portrayal is likely to be less breathless and zany than recent incarnations.

Some think the program's story-lines have become too intricate and it is due for a reboot to attract viewers other than fanatical fans, known as Whovians.

Doctor Who is increasingly important to the ABC and is one of the few BBC programs to which it retains the rights after the British broadcaster recently sold its programming to Foxtel. The ABC will launch a Doctor Who exhibition at its Sydney headquarters next week and the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular will tour Melbourne and Brisbane next year.

At 55, Capaldi is the same age as the first Doctor, William Hartnell when he took the role in 1963. But while white-haired Hartnell looked like a grandfather, Capaldi looks a man in his prime. Times have changed.

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  • APA 6th ed.: Brook, Stephen (2013-08-06). Doctor Who? It's Peter Capaldi. The Australian p. 14.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Brook, Stephen. "Doctor Who? It's Peter Capaldi." The Australian [add city] 2013-08-06, 14. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Brook, Stephen. "Doctor Who? It's Peter Capaldi." The Australian, edition, sec., 2013-08-06
  • Turabian: Brook, Stephen. "Doctor Who? It's Peter Capaldi." The Australian, 2013-08-06, section, 14 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Doctor Who? It's Peter Capaldi | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Doctor_Who%3F_It%27s_Peter_Capaldi | work=The Australian | pages=14 | date=2013-08-06 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=18 October 2021 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Doctor Who? It's Peter Capaldi | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Doctor_Who%3F_It%27s_Peter_Capaldi | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=18 October 2021}}</ref>