Just Who Is Peter Capaldi?

We know the 55-year-old Scot is the next actor to play the Doctor but beyond that he’s a hard man to pin down. From The Thick of It’s Malcolm Tucker to Oscar-winning director, incoming number 12 Peter Capaldi has been through almost as many incarnations as our favourite time-traveller…

Capaldi in Torchwood 2

Peter Capaldi was born in Glasgow in 1958 where, before a breakthrough role in Local Hero, he studied art and formed a punk rock band. Steven Moffat, another Scottish fiftysomething, has made something of a habit of putting his life into his work (see Joking Apart and Coupling). Is Moffat projecting himself into the role?

Capaldi is without a doubt most famous for playing the foul-mouthed spin-doctor Malcolm Tucker and the UK press has had a whale of a time imagining a Tucker-like Doctor in the TARDIS, and there’s a fun bit of foreshadowing in The Thick of It episode ‘Spinners And Losers’….

…half an hour you were in with a shot. This is half an hour hence! We’ve fucking time travelled, yes? We’re in a weird and wonderful world where everything is different! Maybe, outside, the polar ice caps have melted, maybe there’s fucking robots knocking about and Davina McCall’s the new pope. Maybe you can download rice! I want you, right now, to think about your future, OK?

For both copyright reasons and for the sake of peace and sanity, Malcolm Tucker will not be boarding the TARDIS – but the man who played him will. We can therefore expect the same lightning-fast delivery of Ten and Eleven and, perhaps, a grumpier, ruder Doctor, more alike to One and Six.

[pullquote align=right]For both copyright reasons and for the sake of peace and sanity, Malcolm Tucker will not be boarding the TARDIS – but the man who played him will.[/pullquote]And then there’s that Oscar, which Capaldi won for writing and directing Franz Kafka’s It’s A Wonderful Life. The film, starring The Great Intelligence  Richard E. Grant, is well worth a watch, and if the Twelfth Doctor’s era looks even a little like this audiences are in for a treat. Might this hint at Capaldi having more creative input on the series than his predecessors?

Because of course, like Tennant before him, the man’s a fan. A self-proclaimed anorak. He’s been in Doctor Who before and he came back for Torchwood: Children of Earth. And now he’s back.  An art student, a punk rocker, a Scot, a fiftysomething, Malcolm Tucker and an Oscar-winning writer-director – they are all the Twelfth Doctor.

A man’s the sum of his parts, and his Time Lord even more so…


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