The BBC's long-running sci-fi series 'Doctor Who' has picked its new lead actor: Peter Capaldi will be replacing Matt Smith as the Doctor, the BBC has announced.
The announcement was made in a special 'Doctor Who Live' episode hosted by Zoe Ball, who interviewed various celebrities (including fifth Doctor Peter Davison) before revealing Capaldi to be the incoming star of the series.
At fifty-five years old, Capaldi is the second-oldest actor to take on the role, just a few months younger than William Hartnell was when he originated the character. That's almost the opposite of Smith, who was the youngest to take the role.
Capaldi (who is Scottish, like Tenth Doctor David Tennant) is a diverse and talented actor who has been a mainstay of British television for years. He's perhaps best known for playing foulmouthed political advisor Malcolm Tucker on the political satire series 'The Thick of It' and its spinoff film 'In the Loop', but his diverse list of credits includes memorable turns in 'Skins,' 'The Hour,' and 'Prime Suspect.'
The role of the Doctor marks Capaldi's third foray into the Whoniverse: he had a rather dark role in the spinoff series 'Torchwood: Children of the Earth,' and he also played a guest role in series 4's "The Fires of Pompeii" -- an episode now notable for producing two future stars of the series (Karen Gillan, who played Amy Pond from 2010 to 2012, also guest starred in the episode) .
Though some rumors and fan speculation had hoped that the Doctor would change race or gender, neither turned out to be the case -- though Steven Moffat assured fans that such changes could happen in the future.
Having been a fan of Capaldi's ever since catching up on 'The Thick of It' years ago, I couldn't be happier to see the actor -- who has been established for years but is about to get much more famous -- take on one of the biggest roles on television.
Capaldi will debut as the Twelfth Doctor in the Christmas special on December 25, 2013.
What do you think of Capaldi's casting?