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The Word: 'Doctor Who' showrunner's second thoughts on Peter Capaldi

Everyone seems thrilled at the casting of Peter Capaldi as the new star of "Doctor Who." But showrunner Steven Moffat initially didn't want him.

"The Thick of It" and "In the Loop" star Peter Capaldi is the twelfth incarnation of Doctor Who. Credit: Getty Images "The Thick of It" and "In the Loop" star Peter Capaldi is the 12th incarnation of the Doctor.
Credit: Getty Images

Everyone seems thrilled at the casting of Peter Capaldi as the new star of "Doctor Who." But showrunner Steven Moffat initially didn't want him.

"Oddly enough [Capaldi] briefly went through my mind the last time and I didn’t think they were right," Moffat said during the BBC's half-hour reveal special. "This time … that moment has arrived."

The "last time" he means is 2009, when he cast then 26-year-old Matt Smith in the role. Smith was the youngest actor ever to play the Doctor, and after a modern era of three successively younger Doctors, it does seem like it was time to go with someone more mature. Otherwise they would have had to cast a member of One Direction.

The strangest part of Capaldi’s CV? He’s an Oscar-winning filmmaker.“Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life”— which he wrote and directed after his wife accidentally confused the writer’s name with that of director Frank Capra — won an Academy Award for best short film in 1995. It stars Richard E. Grant as a brooding Kafka who learns the meaning of Christmas.

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