Peter Capaldi needs Doctor Who just as much as it needs him

The part of the Doctor is the role of a lifetime for Capaldi - as well as a great move by Steven Moffat, says Mark Jefferies


Peter Capaldi could have been happy to be known as swearing Thick of It star Malcolm Tucker for the rest of his life.


But if there is one role that could change all that and reinvent the 55-year-old as a versatile actor, it is playing Doctor Who.

The part gives Capaldi a chance to leave Tucker behind and move on in a way not many other roles would.

So whilst it is a great signing by show boss Steven Moffat and head of drama Ben Stephenson, Capaldi has good reason to take it on too.

Moffat also knows the show has been facing a bit of a backlash in the last 12 months.

Ratings have been falling and there has been some criticism about the storylines, so perhaps going for another unknown would have been risky.

Speaking after Sunday’s BBC1 show, Moffat admitted he thought about Capaldi for his first appointed Time Lord but went with Matt Smith. He now feels like it’s a good time to have a big and established British TV star taking over. 

The part seems perfect for him and, personally, I think he is a brilliant actor.

He won’t worry too much about the press, has been to the States before with film In the Loop and seems hugely excited.

Fan reaction from Whovians also seem to be very positive. But forgive me, I am a cynical journalist who sometimes sees the glass half empty, so I’ve thought of a couple of possible problems.

One is Jenna-Louise Coleman.

At 27 she is 28 years younger than Capaldi, so whether they will work as a partnership remains unclear. 

And then there is also the Time Lord’s flirtation and sexual chemistry.

This was something evident in abundance with Matt Smith and David Tennant and their sidekicks, but may have to be toned down unless an older female comes in.

The only other possible negative I can find is that children who are fans may have preferred a younger Time Lord, so they can imagine being him in just a few years. Capaldi will be more like a father figure to them, like William Hartnell, the first Doctor.

But really I am being super picky here. On the face of it, the role seems a perfect fit for both Capaldi and the BBC.

If only we could travel in time until the middle of 2014 to watch his first episode.

Mark Jefferies is Deputy showbiz and TV editor at the Daily Mirror


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