So bookies late runner Peter Capaldi has been announced as the new 12th Doctor Who.
And at 55, he will be the oldest Doctor since Doctor no.1 – William Hartnell (but younger by a matter of months) who made his debut in 1963. In a weird kind of way, its full circle for the show and its just what the show needed after three years of a Doctor – who in my opinion, was too young for the role (Smith).
Capaldi is no stranger to Who, having already guest starred as a Roman Pompeii’ian in 2009’s – ‘Fires Of Pompeii’. He also plays everyone favourite sweary Government official Malcom Tucker in – ‘The Thick of It’.
His unveiling, which took place on a kind of awful sunday night chat show hosted by Zoe Ball,was all the more surprising due to the calibre of commentators, wheeled out by the beeb prior to his arrival – (Rufus Hound? – WTF!).
For some though, his choice is not the gender/race busting forward thinking appointment that has dominated the internet and airwaves for months prior. Looks like that will have to be dealt with post Moffatt.
But whilst everyone else writes about Capaldi’s acting pedigree and impressive acting back catalogue, I want to briefly touch on a little remembered Capaldi gem; 1988’s – Lair Of The White Worm – a gaudy Ken Russell B-movie horror. Where Capaldi played a Archeology student, (alongside a pre-fame Hugh Grant) on the hunt for a mythical giant white snake.
The late Roger Ebert said of it :
“It provides you with exactly what you would expect from a movie named “The Lair of the White Worm.” It has a lair, it has a worm, the worm is white and there is a sufficient number of screaming victims to be dragged down into the lair by the worm.”
Capaldi seems to be, (like Hugh Grant) another young jobbing actor who would look back on there participation in this movie, as one of those ‘what the f@#$’ moments. Some unknown actors do porn, Capaldi did softcore horror shlock.‘Lair’ wasn’t well received then or now but if you want to see the sparse beginnings of the next Doctor Who – check it out.
Nothing is so vividly realised as (80’s up for anything) soft porn actress – Amanda Donohoe naked, wearing a serpent tooth strap-on or the white worm which looked like a reject special effect from Big Trouble In Little China. Still, Capaldi seems to grin and bear it as best as he can (as did Hugh Grant!).
So back to Doctor Who, will he make a good Doctor? Well he should bring alot more acting gravitas to the role than Smith does/did. In my mind, the Doctor always held that ground somewhere between 35 – 55 years old, which added to his general seniority complex and universal weariness.
As to how they announced him , I think it would have been better to wait for the actual regeneration but I guess the beeb has a 50th anniversary to plug. As Riversong would no doubt remark – ‘spoilers’. ‘Who’ is big export business for the Beeb these days, especially on BBC America and theirs the DVD/Blue Ray back catalogue to shift.
My question is, will Capaldi invoke a mockney accent like Tennant did, or will he keep his Glasgow burr intact? Probably the latter, I guess we shall see…