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Peter Capaldi will take over from Matt Smith and become the 12th Doctor on Doctor Who, the long-running sci-fi series. The announcement was made as part of the much-hyped Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor TV special, in which XXXX was announced before an excitable live audience (and even more excitable online fan base). Capaldi was one of several names rumored in the days before the announcement, and was the odds-on favorite to win-- London bookies reportedly would no longer even take bets on his name. He's most famous Stateside for his role as the foul-mouthed political analyst Malcolm Tucker in In The Loop, as well as on the British series The Thick of It. Capaldi's skill of throwing f-bombs will definitely not be used as the Doctor, and man, is that a shame.
In the brief interview that Capaldi conducted after the announcement, they revealed a letter than a 15-year-old Capaldi wrote to his local newspaper about a Doctor Who special that had aired-- so when this guy claims he's a fan of the character, he's got the archival evidence to back it up. He'll also mark a significant shift from the two actors to play Who before him, David Tennant and Matt Smith, both of whom were the youngest-ever Doctors at the time they were cast. Capaldi, at 55, is practically a geriatric compared to fresh-faced Matt Smith-- but that might be a relief to those who thought Smith was too much of a baby, anyway.
Actor Peter Capaldi, The New Doctor
After a rumor broke out about his potential departure back in March, Smith, who played the role for four years, confirmed he would leave the show in early June, with his final episode scheduled to air at the end of this year. Smith will stick around through the 50th Anniversary special in November and then "regenerate"-- that is, transform into Peter Capaldi-- during the Christmas Special. After Karen Gillan, who played the Doctor's companion, departed the show last year, her replacement Clara-- placed by Jenna-Louise Coleman-- was revealed during the Christmas Special in 2012, so there's a nice parallelism there.
When Smith confirmed his departure, the show's creator Steven Moffat released a statement that promised serious heartbreak when the 11th Doctor regenerated and moved on:
But great actors always know when it's time for the curtain call, so this Christmas prepare for your hearts to break, as we say goodbye to number Eleven. Thank you Matt - bow ties were never cooler.
To get a look at the new face of the Doctor, check out this supercut of Capaldi's foulest-- and funniest-- moments as Malcolm Tucker, and let us know if you can imagine this guy commanding a Tardis through space and time.