Peter Capaldi Is Doctor Who’s Twelfth Doctor, So Who The Hell Is Peter Capaldi?

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Doc12Earlier this afternoon, the BBC officially announced that actor Peter Capaldi will be taking on the role of the Doctor in Doctor Who, playing the twelfth incarnation of the iconic character and taking over the role from the departing Matt Smith. Capaldi had been the early favorite among British bookmakers, and many Who fans are thrilled to see him taking on the role. But there were also quite a few folks commenting here and on Facebook with the question: “Who the hell is Peter Capaldi?”

It’s a totally understandable reaction. Capaldi is a very talented actor, but he isn’t that well known unless you’re a regular consumer of British television. But fear not: GFR has got your back. We’ve put together a quick guided tour of some of the actor’s best roles. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Peter Capaldi.

The Thick of It / In the Loop
One of the Capaldi roles you’ll see mentioned the most is the character of Malcolm Tucker in the 2005 British political comedy series The Thick of It. Capaldi won a BAFTA for his performance as the British Prime Minister’s enforcer/spin doctor, a foul-mouthed thorn in the side of Hugh Abbot (Chris Langham), who heads of the fictional “Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship.” Capaldi reprised the role in the American adaptation In the Loop, where he was joined by actors such as Tom Hollander and James Gandolfini. As Tucker, Capaldi is a never-ending font of hilariously creative profanity, wielding his caustic dialogue with the same poetic aplomb as Ian McShane’s Al Swearengen in Deadwood. Needless to say, the clip below is not remotely safe for work…


Captain Jack Harkness Won’t Return To Doctor Who, But Someone Else Might

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John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness

I’m beginning to wonder if the folks behind Doctor Who aren’t just pranking us. Three months into the year, there’s still no official confirmation whether any previous Doctors (the characters or the actors who played them) will return for the big 50th anniversary episode, and it seems like most of the related stories of late have been somebody denying that they’re returning, or saying they haven’t been asked. Today, it’s Captain Jack Harkness.

Actor John Barrowman, who played the dashing, omnisexual Captain Jack in both Doctor Who and the spinoff Torchwood, had seemed hopeful about returning in recent weeks, but that hope has been dashed, courtesy of a blunt tweet from Barrowman earlier this week.



Torchwood’s John Barrowman Cuts A Rug To Beyonce’s Single Ladies

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We cover a lot of different stuff here at GFR, because our goal of covering “science and science fiction” covers a wide spectrum, from the fantastic to the fascinating to the frankly indescribable. You can lump this one into that third column, because I have absolutely no idea where this video originated, nor do I have a context to help clarify why it exists. It simply is. If I had to guess at a reason why there’s a video of John Barrowman dancing to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies,” I would theorize that the universe simply realized that such a thing simply Needed To Happen, and thus it did. If I have any complaints, it’s that the Universe took its sweet time in steering me toward the video. The last three years have, in retrospect, been all the poorer for my not knowing this existed.

Simple expression of Barrowman’s lust for life? Perhaps. Curious enigma that may in fact contain all the secrets of the universe? Quite possibly. Thoroughly enjoyable? You betcha. In the meantime all we can do is watch, and perhaps dance along at home, alone and with the drapes closed. Take it away, John…


And thanks to Mindy for pointing out the existence of this video!


Torchwood Writer On Where Miracle Day Went Wrong

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With Doctor Who celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, one of its little siblings unfortunately won’t be throwing any victory parties anytime soon. I speak, of course, of Torchwood, the Who spin-off featuring the adventures of the immortal Captain Jack Harkness and company. In spite of getting a big marketing push to woo American audiences for its run on Starz, Torchwood: Miracle Day was a disappointment both narratively and in the ratings department. One former Torchwood writer thinks he knows where Miracle Day went astray and lost its “essence.”

12 - The Torchwood Team_Courtesy of Starz


Bad News For Torchwood Fans Wanting More

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Fans of Torchwood have been left hanging in the aftermath of the BBC/Starz co-produced series, Torchwood: Miracle Day. While it received a decent marketing push prior to airing in July – September 2011, Miracle Day disappointed in the ratings department, and there’s been no definitive word when/if we might see the further adventures of Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) and Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles). Well, Torchwood creator/former Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies has been making the rounds to promote his new kids’ show, Wizards vs. Aliens, and during a radio he was asked about the future of the Who spinoff…and the news isn’t great.

During a radio interview with Irish talk show host Graham Norton, Davies said that, while Torchwood isn’t officially cancelled, he has no plans to return to it anytime soon. Here’s the quote:

I loved making it [in the States], and I would have carried on if circumstances hadn’t brought me back to this country, so it’s kind of in limbo for me at the moment.

I’m not working on it at the moment. I’m only working on Wizards vs. Aliens — when I get back to work one day, I don’t know, it’ll be old news to the BBC then! It’s not officially cancelled… It’s in a nice limbo where it can stew for a while – those shows can come back in ten, twenty years time.


Maybe Torchwood Isn’t Dead

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Things haven’t looked good for Tochwood since Miracle Day debuted on the Starz channel last year… and then rapidly turned into a ratings flop. Even a lot of serious fans jumped ship, labeling the new series as a major step down in quality from previous Torchwood incarnations. Because of Miracle Day’s problems no one has been willing to commit to doing more of the Doctor Who spinoff, but here’s some good news: It’s not entirely dead.

Despite the low ratings Starz now seems open to doing more of it. In fact it sounds like the holdup isn’t the network, but series creator Russell T. Davies. Starz CEO Chris Albrecht recently revealed, “You know, Russell [T Davies] is so busy, Obviously, we’re in touch with the BBC all the time. They are our partners on [new shows] DaVinci’s Demons and Harem. We told them, we stand by ready for any news, but I think it would be a while before Russell came back to Torchwood.”

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