Earlier today, before the big announcement, I was talking with my wife and some friends about who the new Doctor might end up being. I mentioned that Peter Capaldi had been a press favourite for the last several days and that I thought he would make a superb Doctor. However, I also declared that there was pretty much zero chance that he would actually turn out to be the new Doctor.
Well, as most people probably already know, I was utterly wrong there. I was not able to watch the live show of his announcement due to other commitments (to be honest, even if I could have, it was all a bit too pomp-and-circumstance for my tastes), but I was able to check briefly on-line shortly after the announcement to find out the degree of my error. And I am suitably humbled.
Seriously though, I do think Peter Capaldi is an excellent choice. I haven't seen much of The Thick Of It, the show he's probably most well known for, but the small bits I've seen of his performance have impressed me. However, he absolutely blew me away in Torchwood: Children of Earth. His performance as Frobisher is one of the things that makes that miniseries one of my all-time favourite things ever. I think Capaldi could do amazing things in the role of the Doctor and bring it a gravitas that we haven't really seen since Christopher Eccleston (provided the scripts are decent, that is).
I'm really glad to see an older actor chosen for the part again. I wrote a couple months ago about what I'd like to see in a new Doctor and this was one of my criteria. Capaldi is actually about the same age (55) as William Hartnell was when he took the role back in 1963. Change is an important part of introducing any new Doctor and after two very young Doctors in a row, an older actor will help to emphasize that change.
Although Capaldi will make his debut as the Doctor at the end of this year's Christmas special, we won't really see his performance as the Doctor until sometime next year. As such, it's not really possible to judge exactly what that performance may be like. However, I am very optimistic.