Peter Capaldi's a busy, busy man. What with 12 episodes of Doctor Who to film each year, plus the show's considerable promotional duties, he doesn't have much time in his jam-packed schedule to squeeze in other projects. So imagine our delight when the 12th Doctor casually dropped into conversation that he's due to direct a couple of episodes of Veep. VEEP!!! The hit US comedy from Capaldi's The Thick of It creator Armando Iannucci. This isn't quite the resurrection of Malcolm Tucker but it's the next best thing, right?
The revelation came during a conversation with Shortlist magazine who asked the 57-year-old whether he'd ever consider a cameo in the Julia Louis-Dreyfus-starring political satire set in the office of US Vice President (and subsequent President) Selina Meyer. "Sure, why not? It would be fine by me." he replied, before adding: "I'm about to direct a couple of episodes, does that count? That seems like the compromise option.
"The only thing is, Doctor Who takes up so much time, it doesn't leave a lot of time to do other things. That whole team are dear friends. I'd love to work with them at some point again."
Capaldi certainly has some experience of the director's chair. His 1995 short film Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life – which he wrote and directed – went on to win an Oscar, and he's also got director credits for 2001 film Strictly Sinatra, 2012 spoof documentary The Cricklewood Greats and BBC4 sitcom Getting On starring Jo Brand.
Iannucci is no longer a producer and writer on Veep – he stepped down as showrunner earlier this year – but Capaldi's involvement in the series he set up in the States will no doubt excite The Thick of It's many fans.
We can only hope the current Doctor's new job comes in some form of exchange. Iannucci has publicly expressed a desire to write an episode of the BBC1 sci-fi series for Capaldi, telling the Guardian: “I’m a big fan of Doctor Who and obviously with Peter, who’s loving it, it would be nice to. I’ve spoken off and on to them but it’s a case of being able to fit something in. It’s a nice thought.”
Iannucci even has an idea for a story. “In our conversations there was an idea we had, but it may be a wee while yet before we get round to working out when it would be," he said back in March. "Knowing I am committed for the next year or so, it’s all on hold. Let’s get back in touch when we can.”
Our fingers are firmly crossed!