LONDON — Scottish thesp Peter Capaldi has been tapped to play Doctor Who in the long-running BBC sci-fi series of the same name. He is the 12th actor to play the role.
Capaldi, who replaces Matt Smith at the end of this year, is best known in Blighty for playing a foul-mouthed spin-doctor in BBC political satire “The Thick of It,” for which he won a BAFTA.
He also appears in movies “The Fifth Estate” and “World War Z.” Capaldi will be seen next year playing Cardinal Richelieu in BBC series “The Musketeers.”
The announcement was made during a show aired live Sunday on BBC, “Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor.” Guests included “Doctor Who’s” executive producer Steven Moffat, Smith and Peter Davison, who was the fifth thesp to play the Doctor. The live show was simulcast on BBC America, which has been the series’ Stateside home since 2009.
The series originally ran 1963-1989 on BBC in the U.K., going through eight men in the title role, with the explanation that the character goes through a periodic regeneration. In 2005, Russell T. Davies revived the show and its worldwide popularity grew. In the original run, New Zealand was the first country outside the U.K. to air “Doctor Who.” It didn’t hit the U.S. until several years later, via syndication, mostly on PBS. It is now estimated to be airing in more than 50 countries.
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