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The Twelfth Doctor Who: Peter Capaldi

Updated on November 23, 2013
Peter Capaldi is the new Doctor Who.
Peter Capaldi is the new Doctor Who. | Source

Doctor Who, the British TV series that has had a resurgence in popularity in the past few years thanks to a growing American audience took an unprecedented step on August 4, 2013 and announced who the new Doctor would be in a live event that aired in both Europe and on BBC America.

Peter Capaldi has been named as the next doctor. Although he has appeared in one other Doctor Who in 2008 (playing a different character) he will be making his appearance as the next Doctor Who during the Christmas 2013 special when Matt Smith will leave the show via regeneration.

Find out about Capaldi's past and why he was picked to secede an extremely popular eleventh doctor.

Lead Singer of Dream Boys

Scottish bornPeter Capaldi started his public career as the lead singer of Dream Boys, a punk band who also has another notable member, Craig Ferguson (who hosts a late night, American TV show on CBS).

According to the September 2009 article in the New York Times by Bill Carter, it was Capaldi that actually encouraged Ferguson to try stand-up, which eventually led to his success as a host on TV.

The punk band, stated in the mid seventies and played mostly in Scotland until the early 80's.

The band is mostly famous by association now with two of its three members achieving fame. But there are a devoted punk fans that seek the hard-to-find albums of this mostly Scottish phenomenon. Perhaps those albums will be even harder to find now that Capaldi has been named as The Doctor.

The band acted as a springboard for both Ferguson's and Capaldi's careers. But what did Capaldi do after that?

Peter Capaldi Being Introduced as the 12th Doctor

Season Four Doctor Who "The Fires of Pompeii"

Peter Capaldi is not a stranger to Doctor Who and appeared on an episode with David Tennant called "The Fires of Pompeii."

Capaldi played the father of a Pompeii family on the eve of the famous volcanic eruption. In the climax of the episode, the Doctor is convinced by his companion to save the family from the volcano and he does so, reluctantly.

In an after scene, the episode indicates that the family the Doctor saved were successful.

Capaldi also appeared on a Doctor Who spinoff, Torchwood.


Capaldi also played a recurring character in the short-lived but much-loved Torchwood series.

Torchwood was a spin-off from the Doctor Who series and was first introduced within the series.

Torchwood is a secret organization that fights aliens and other supernatural events, unknown and unacknowledged in the world around them, mostly by design.

Capaldi played the Permanent Secretary in the series.

With only 41 episodes total in the series, Torchwood has many devoted fans that would like it to return but the show was put on indefinite hiatus by its producer Russel T. Davies.

Peter Capaldi had a recurring row in Torchwood.  Pictured: Torchwood Headquarters in Cardiff.
Peter Capaldi had a recurring row in Torchwood. Pictured: Torchwood Headquarters in Cardiff. | Source

The Thick of It

Capaldi may be best known for his work as Malcolm Tucker in the British Comedy TV series "The Thick of It."

The premise of the series was a look at the inner workings of the British government with a humorous twist. Capaldi played the advisor to the prime minister, a foul-mouthed, short-tempered character.

His character's jobs included making sure the cabinet followed party line politics and crisis management for the prime minster.

The show often mirrored current British politics and ran from 2005-2012 with special, made-for-tv movies and other specials revolving around themes and plot lines from the show.

World War Z

Peter Capaldi also played a role in the 2013 summer film, World War Z.

Capaldi's part consisted of being in a team of researchers from the World Health Organization. In the film there is both zombie attacks and a virus outbreak and part of the plot involves finding the origin of the virus in order to stop.

Fans have already been quick to note that Capaldi played a doctor with W.H.O (the initials for the organization). Perhaps it was an ironic foreshadowing to his own future role as the twelfth doctor.

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Is Peter Capaldi the final doctor?

It has been common knowledge among Doctor Who fans that the Doctor can only regenerate 12 times before he dies.

This is a limit of Time Lords set by a 1976 episode starring Tom Baker as the Doctor. The episode is titled "The Deadly Assassins."

With Matt Smith being the eleventh doctor, there was speculation that there could only be one more after Smith.

However, according to a 2010 article in the Guardian written by Emily Barr, the proverbial goal posts may have already been moved. The article's title: "Doctor Who is Now Immortal" tells it all.

During a guest appearance as the Doctor, Matt Smith tells a character in the BBC show "The Sarah Jane Adventures" (another spinoff from the Doctor Who series) that the Doctor is immortal in answer to her question about how many times he can regenerate. No other information was given and the show continued.

But fans have remained unsatisfied with this one-off answer and are still seeking a more official explanation about if and when the Doctor moves beyond Capaldi.

Given the popularity of the series both in Europe and America, it is unlikely that the BBC will just let it fade away after Capaldi.

But just how the Doctor can break the rules has not been established although hints may have been giving during the season seven finale when a "dark" Doctor, played by John Hurt, was revealed. Indications are that he is an in-between Doctor and not an "official" regeneration.

More may be unveiled during the 50th Anniversary special and Matt Smith's final episode in Christmas 2013.

But that remains a problem only when Capaldi is ready to hang up his bow tie or scarf or hat or coat or whatever piece of clothing helps define him as the Doctor.

For now fans must watch and wait and learn to fall in love all over again with the twelfth doctor.

Peter Capaldi as lead singer of Dream Boys singing "Bela Lugosi's Birthday"


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