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Peter's time has come

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LOCAL Hero star Peter Capaldi has revealed that a surprise package sent to him as a schoolboy Doctor Who fan put him on a path to showbusiness.

The Glasgow-born actor joins the Time Lord next week as a guest star in the second episode of the new BBC1 series.

He plays a Roman in the hit series' most expensive episode yet - which cost GBP 500,000 to make - titled The Fires of Pompeii.

Capaldi, who is now based in London, received a parcel through the post when he was 14 in 1972. It contained two full scripts for Third Doctor Jon Pertwee.

Capaldi said: "When I was a child, being a huge Doctor Who fan, I wrote numerous letters to the Doctor Who office largely inquiring about how the show was made.

"When it arrived the surprise package also contained set designs and studio floor plans for these episodes and a delightful letter from producer Barry Letts giving me an idea what all this stuff was.

"It was a fantastic insight into both Doctor Who and TV production generally. I had never seen a script in any form whatsoever before then and was immediately fascinated by the documents." The actor, who won a short film Oscar in 1993, was inspired to pursue a career on stage and screen by the BBC package.

He said: "That was a trigger to my ambition to work somehow - I didn't know how -- in TV. The scripts are still sitting on my bookshelf." In the new Doctor Who adventure, Capaldi plays a Roman marble salesman on the eve of the volcanic eruption which destroyed Old Pompeii.

The 50-year-old said: "It is a piece of my childhood, so it was fantastic to be there standing in front of the TARDIS. David Tennant is a lovely bloke. He makes it such a nice atmosphere on the set." Special effects experts recreated the destruction of the city and made giant molten lava monsters which attack the Doctor and his new assistant Donna Noble, played by comic actress Catherine Tate.

Capaldi has been a fan of Doctor Who since the series began in 1963. He said: "I loved it from the start. William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker.

"That was where it ended for me because as a teenager it became a little bit uncool."

Doctor Who - The Fires of Pompeii, Saturday April 12.

GRAPHIC: SCRIPTS: Jon Pertwee was third actor to play the Doctor

FAN: Peter Capaldi gets to appear on his all-time favourite show - with David Tennant as the Doctor and Catherine Tate as his assistant, top right

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  • APA 6th ed.: Docherty, Gavin (2008-04-03). Peter's time has come. Daily Express p. 3.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Docherty, Gavin. "Peter's time has come." Daily Express [add city] 2008-04-03, 3. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Docherty, Gavin. "Peter's time has come." Daily Express, edition, sec., 2008-04-03
  • Turabian: Docherty, Gavin. "Peter's time has come." Daily Express, 2008-04-03, section, 3 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Peter's time has come | url= | work=Daily Express | pages=3 | date=2008-04-03 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=17 April 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Peter's time has come | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=17 April 2024}}</ref>