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The new Doctor is in, and he's Peter Capaldi

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2014-08-22 Daily Advertiser.jpg

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The 12th face of the 'Who' universe relishes the role


His hair has grayed, and he has ditched the bow tie, but make no mistake: The Doctor is still alive and well.

Peter Capaldi, who takes over Doctor Who's leading role Saturday on BBC America, is the 12th man to play the part in the British sci-fi series' 50 years. Predecessor Matt Smith is 25 years his junior, but Capaldi, 56, says the heart of the character hasn't changed.

"He's sort of fiercer than Matt," Capaldi says. "But he's not grim. He's actually very funny and passionate. He loves the universe and this job that he has, this freedom to travel through time and space. He's a guy who's passionate about life and art."

A Scottish actor with 30 years of TV and film experience, Capaldi might be known to U.S. audiences from movies such as Dangerous Liaisons, World War Z and In the Loop.

Doctor Who's fast-paced season premiere offers dinosaurs, cyborgs and frilly Victorian costumes. A handful of familiar faces help the show and viewers transition, including returning co-star Jenna Coleman as Clara, the Doctor's time-traveling companion.


"I feel like Peter came in with such a strength and idea and was really brave," Coleman says. "(I'd be) expecting a reply from maybe what the 11th Doctor would say, and suddenly this new Doctor does not respond in the same way ... As an actor, that was a great, great thing."

Capaldi says Smith and David Tennant, the show's 10th Doctor, have given him advice, though as a life-long Who fan, he already knew the character's history.

In the days leading up to Doctor Who's return, Capaldi, Coleman and executive producer Steven Moffatt embarked on a seven-city world tour.

"In America, there's a big sort of hipster audience — it's a different kind of constituency than from, say, South Korea or Australia, where it's a very family-oriented sort of show," he says. "And one of the tricks is trying to cover all of those audiences."

Capaldi has completed the new season's 12 episodes and begins shooting a Doctor Who Christmas special in September. He says he's relishing the challenges of a job that involves chasing aliens and gallivanting in the TARDIS, the show's time machine.

"You know, the other day ... I ended up suspended on wires all day. People kept shouting up at me, 'Are you OK?'

"I felt like I was 9 years old. Not only was I Doctor Who, I was Superman."

DOCTOR WHO BBC AMERICA, SATURDAY, 8 ET/PT

WATCH THE VIDEO LIFE.USATODAY.COM Capaldi discusses his new role.


Caption: Capaldi, 56, is ready to test the limits of time and space.

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  • APA 6th ed.: Matheson, Whitney (2014-08-22). The new Doctor is in, and he's Peter Capaldi. The Daily Advertiser .
  • MLA 7th ed.: Matheson, Whitney. "The new Doctor is in, and he's Peter Capaldi." The Daily Advertiser [add city] 2014-08-22. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Matheson, Whitney. "The new Doctor is in, and he's Peter Capaldi." The Daily Advertiser, edition, sec., 2014-08-22
  • Turabian: Matheson, Whitney. "The new Doctor is in, and he's Peter Capaldi." The Daily Advertiser, 2014-08-22, section, edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=The new Doctor is in, and he's Peter Capaldi | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/The_new_Doctor_is_in,_and_he%27s_Peter_Capaldi | work=The Daily Advertiser | pages= | date=2014-08-22 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=22 August 2019 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=The new Doctor is in, and he's Peter Capaldi | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/The_new_Doctor_is_in,_and_he%27s_Peter_Capaldi | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=22 August 2019}}</ref>
  • Title: The new Doctor is in, and he's Peter Capaldi
  • Publication: USA Today
  • Date: 2014-08-22

  • Title: The new Doctor is in, and he's Peter Capaldi
  • Publication: Argus Leader
  • Date: 2014-08-22

  • Title: The new Doctor is in, and he's Peter Capaldi
  • Publication: The Daily Advertiser
  • Date: 2014-08-22