By now you know that the actor to replace Matt Smith as the next Doctor is Peter Capaldi. First off, my apologies to CNN. Apparently you were right. Just because the odds were 20-1 on Capaldi, it didn’t mean he was out of the running.
So who is Peter Capaldi? Unlike Matt Smith who was a relative unknown when he got the role, Capaldi is an actor with an already well established career. He won an academy award for a film he wrote and directed. He starred in The Thick of It. He played the Angel Islington in the Neil Gaiman miniseries Neverwhere. He even appeared in an episode of Doctor Who (The Fires of Pompeii). Not only that, he played a significant role in the Torchwood miniseries Children of Earth.
Truthfully, the more I look at Capaldi’s credits, the more stuff I know him from. This is no surprise. He is 55 years old and has been working in the business a very long time. Back when Matt Smith was cast I remember how disappointed I felt. Early images of Smith and Karen Gillan made it seem as though they were trying to appeal to a younger, sexier audience, and make it about yet another companion who is in love with the Doctor. Naturally I was completely wrong, and Smith is easily one of my favourite Doctors.
The thing is, as Den of Geek pointed out today, casting Capaldi, who next to William Hartnell is the oldest actor to portray the Doctor, this seems to announce a dramatic shift in the portrayal of the character. Instead of going younger, sexier and more glamorous, they have chosen an actor who brings a great deal of gravitas to the role. While River Song remains a viable romantic interest, there will no longer be that companion in love with the Doctor angle, certainly not with Jenna Louise Coleman. I’m excited to watch how Coleman plays off the new energy Capaldi will bring. It will be an interesting dynamic that I can’t wait to see explored. I’m still saddened that Matt Smith is leaving. And some day it would be nice to see a woman Doctor. But for now, I’m just glad we get the great Peter Capaldi, and I can’t wait for his first appearance!