The Musketeers star Tom Burke: “Peter Capaldi is a Jedi master of courtesy”

The Doctor Who actor is also "a brilliantly dangerous, mercurial, unpredictable force of nature" according to the BBC drama's leading man

Ever wondered what it’s like to film on set with new Doctor Peter Capaldi? Well, actor Tom Burke – who plays Athos in the BBC’s big-budget new drama The Musketeers – is lucky enough to have had the privilege not once but twice, and apparently, it’s an absolute pleasure…


“I’d worked with him before on The Hour. Peter’s one of my favourite actors and he’s a Jedi master of courtesy,” Burke told “He’s a brilliantly dangerous, mercurial, unpredictable force of nature while you’re filming and while he’s acting, and then when they say ‘Cut’ he’s a lovely, lovely man. And I’m delighted he’s playing a hero [in Doctor Who] having played a villain [in The Musketeers].” 

Capaldi – who was announced as Matt Smith’s successor last August – plays Cardinal Richelieu in the 10-part series based on Alexandre Dumas’s 19th century novel, which also stars Luke Pasqualino, Howard Charles and Santiago Cabrera as the swashbuckling D’Artagnan, Porthos and Aramis.  

But while Capaldi’s casting in Doctor Who marks a new and exciting chapter in The Thick of It star’s career, it comes as a mixed blessing for the cast and crew of The Musketeers, ruling him out of a second series. What was the general feeling on set the day the new Doctor was announced?

“I think predominantly everybody felt very happy for him and very excited to see him as the Doctor,” said Burke. “It was a gradual realisation that he wouldn’t be able to do the second series and people are now very excited about who the next villain will be so that’s going to bring a new energy. Hopefully he’ll be as good as Peter was.” 

And as a long-standing friend of Capaldi’s, what did Burke make of his Doctor Who debut on Christmas Day? “I thought it was very good, a very nice way to begin.” 

The Musketeers begins this Sunday at 9:00pm on BBC1