Doctor Who Unveils The Twelfth Doctor: GFR Live-Blog

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WhoThe time has come, Whovians! As I write this we’re about 20 minutes away from the premiere of Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor. As we reported earlier this week, this special will introduce us to the actor next taking the mantle of the iconic Time Lord, and will feature interviews with executive producer Steven Moffat, Eleventh Doctor actor Matt Smith, and whoever the new guy is. Place your last-minute bets, people!

12:54 CST – I tune in early, BBC America is showing “The End of Time.” Apparently I’ll be kicking this thing off while sobbing uncontrollably.

12:59 – “Geronimo!”

1:02 – Here we go!

1:03 – A quick history lesson plays up the legacy. Doctors and companions, Daleks and Cybermen. The introducer greets the “citizens of the universe!” It’s hell getting a work visa in the universe.

1:06 – Fifth Doctor Peter Davison is on the stage! Unsurprisingly, he doesn’t know who the new guy is either, but they still take the time to ask him about it.

1:07 – Davison touches on one of the show’s funny coincidences: his daughter Georgia is married to former Tenth Doctor David Tennant, and she played the Doctor’s daughter in the episode called…well, “The Doctor’s Daughter.” It’s the sort of twisty lineage the Doctor himself would appreciate.


1:11 – We get a look back on Matt Smith’s tenure via a pre-packaged bit. He talks about the controversy of his age when he was cast. Smith says he always wanted to play up the physical comedy of the role (he’s the Kramer of Doctor Who), and points out that Steven Moffat wasn’t crazy about the bow tie at first. Bow ties/fezes/stetsons are cool.

1:14 – I was one of those skeptical about Smith at the beginning, but he’s won me over over the years, even when the show itself has stumbled a bit in recent seasons. Here’s hoping he gets a send-off half as epic as Tennant’s.

1:15 – “The next Doctor has entered the building!”

1:16 – They obviously had no idea it would survive this long back in the day, but the concept of regeneration really is a brilliant narrative hook. Talk about how much of a crazy idea it was the first time…would the audience stick around when their hero suddenly became somebody else?

1:18 – Good to see them spending some time exploring the show’s long legacy. This could easily have been focused just on the news guy. If you’re going to keep us in suspense, celebrating the Doctors who came before is a good way to do it.

1:20 – Wilf! Host lady mentions that he inadvertently killed Eleven, he jokingly threatens to leave. Wilf actor Bernard Cribbins apparently could have been the Doctor back in the day, but Tom Baker got the role instead. Also, dude was a paratrooper. #TeamWilf

1:24 – They keep twisting the screws of anticipation…by talking about how much everybody is anticipating this. Moffat reveals that he made a video tape of the new guy in order to try and win over the Powers That BeBC.

1:25 – Stephen Hawking wants a lady Doctor, with a dude companion.

1:26 – Moffat’s three words to describe the new Doctor: “Different. From. Matt.”

1:27 – It’s Peter Capaldi!


1:29 – Capaldi says he prepared for the role by playing scenes from earlier episodes. He was actually filming when he got — or rather missed — the call to tell him he got the role. When he called back, they greeted him with, “Hello, Doctor.”

1:31 – Capaldi previously appeared in Doctor Who in the episode “The Fires of Pompeii”…alongside Karen Gillan, who eventually went on to play the companion Amy Pond.

1:32 – Matt wishes Capaldi good luck and says the casting news made him really excited. “Good luck, man. It’s gonna be a thrill.”

All in all, a very solid choice. After casting such a young actor to play Eleven, it’ll be nice to hand the show off to an older gent for a while. And as Moffat said, he is a very different actor from Smith, so that should placate some of the more vocal “Matt Smith sux” crowd.


  • Matthew Gribben

    So it’s still not a girl then

    • Ebowarrior


  • Cyndi Smith

    Thank you! We don’t get BBC America in our temporary condo & it’s KILLING ME! :) I really appreciate your play-by-play.

  • Matthew Gribben

    Peter Capaldi? Really!?

  • Maoprotohl

    And still not ginger!

  • Cindy Kay Sermersheim

    Very… very….v ery UNHAPPY. Been watching since 1971…. and I might actually stop watching…

    • Thør


      • Cindy Kay Sermersheim

        Don’t like the choice for Doctor. I stopped watching when Colin Baker portrayed the Doctor and skipped several episodes when Christopher Eccleston portrayed the Doctor, so I can do without the program again. Both those times, I got my “Doctor Who” fix by watching my videos of previous Doctors, now I have DVD’s too, and Netflix, so I can watch older episodes until Capaldi is replaced.

    • Ebowarrior

      And why again?

      • Cindy Kay Sermersheim

        Because the actor played a character rescued by the Doctor in an episode (the Pompeii one) and was a major character in the episode not a minor character. Also, and this is more important to me, he portrayed a major character in an entire season of “Torchwood” the closely related spin-off which takes place in the “Doctor Who” universe. I associate him with the character who – although manipulated by others – was a bad guy. His character wanted to give Earth children to aliens. He knew this had been done i the past, and he was helping to keep this a secret.
        I just can’t picture him as the Doctor after he has been this bad guy in the “Doctor Who” universe.

        • Ebowarrior

          Colin Baker who played the 6th Doctor was a character called Maxill who actually shot the Doctor (Peter Davison) at one point in arc Of Infinity but still went on to be chosen as the new Doctor so it is not the first time an actor has been chosen, besides he has a wonderful acting history and was also a massive Doctor Who Fan growing up, We Shall See.

        • Headologist

          Don’t care, he’ll be brilliant. If Lalla Ward can do it with Romana, don’t see why it should be an issue. We don’t have that many actors to go around and I couldn’t give a monkeys if Capaldi has been in it before. He’s a damn fine actor. It’s a shame that you feel you can’t even give him a chance.

        • Headologist

          I also think his character was far more complex than just a “bad guy” in TW

        • Thør

          and who’s to say that the doctor doesn’t take the form of someone he has already seen? its never been (to my knowledge) explained how his new form is chosen.. after all he has no control over it. Maybe it draws from his memory/subconscious

  • mike

    he’ll be so disappointed that he’s not a ginger… on his last incarnation.

    • JBryson

      Despite what may or may not have been said in the past, I doubt that they’ll limit the number of incarnations. It’s not hard to find a way out.

      • Anonymous

        Yeah, the master did it. And besides, he still has one more Regeneration after 12.

  • Steven

    Why not somebody who isn’t in dr who or one of the companion shows already?

    • Cindy Kay Sermersheim

      I agree. I have no problem whatever with an older Doctor – I loved William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, and Jon Pertwee when they were the Doctor. I just hate that the powers-that-be couldn’t find a suitable actor who hadn’t already portrayed 2 characters in the “Doctor Who” universe – one of them a bad guy.

  • Cliff Hesby

    Excellent choice. It was time to go older, it was time to go less cuddly and comforting. Capaldi will be a fierce Doctor. A Doctor more in touch with his anger then his people skills.

    It also completely transforms the relationship with Cara if she stays to a more paternal one – the sexual tension between Doctor and companion shtick has been done to death the last few years.

    • Cindy Kay Sermersheim

      Really? Because there was no sexual tension between Matt Smith and Karen Gillan (Amy) since she was so very much in love with her Rory – and that was an important point throughout the story arc.

  • Thør

    Finally someone with age that can bring real depth to the character. I was getting tired of the overly childish nature the show had taken since its regeneration. Moffat is successfully resurrecting it from the Russell Trash Davies days.

    • kcgeek

      Wow….it’s interesting to see how different people’s perspectives can be. I HATE where Moffat has taken the show. The most surprising moment for me was during this most recent series’ finale – when it ended I realized that I honestly didn’t give a f**k what happens next. I will probably watch the special later this year, but after that, I’ll stick with Orphan Black and wave bye to the TARDIS

      • Thør

        I’m not saying this last seasons whole over ridding arch has been the best. To be honest it probably hasn’t but I personally have been finding M.S doctor boring. I’m hoping this sets a more serious tone, Doctor who needs a little less cheese IMO

  • kdawg

    Oh well hopefully he will regenerate after 1 season

    • Tom

      He can’t. This is his last regeneration. This is the last doctor. So long as the show sticks to lore, at least.

      • Headologist

        No it isn’t, he has 12 regenerations not 12 incarnations. And that has already been explained away, and can be done so again.

    • Cindy Kay Sermersheim

      We can but hope!

  • Quido

    Hate, hate, hate. LOATH ENTIRELY!!!!! ggrrrrrrrrr

    • Cindy Kay Sermersheim

      Same here…. Hate… loathe…. despise…

  • stromm

    Wait! Why has he regenerated older this time?

    • Ebowarrior

      This is not benjamin Button?

    • Cindy Kay Sermersheim

      They have always said that he can regenerate to look any age since he is so old. I have no problem with the Doctor being portrayed by a middle-aged (or older) actor. My complaint is that this actor had a role as a major character in an episode with Tennant’s Doctor and had a role as a bad guy in an entire season of “Torchwood” which is not only set in the “Doctor Who” universe, but is closely related since the characters have repeatedly done cross overs.
      If the bad guy hadn’t committed suicide maybe he could be both and deal with himself. Boo! Hiss!

  • Ebowarrior

    Very happy with the choice.

  • Headologist

    Interesting that most of the dislike for Capaldi comes from the US. Almost everyone in the UK apart from teenage girls (and that’s a broad brush and not entirely true) are ecstatic. And not just because they disliked Matt. They didn’t. And neither did I.