Creator: Peter Capaldi

Hey, if you'd been cast to star in your favourite TV show, you'd be smiling too!
Peter Dougan Capaldi (born April 14, 1958) is a Scottish actor, hailing from Glasgow, with an extensive career on big and especially small screens. In 1995, he won a Best Live Action Short Film Oscar for writing and directing Franz Kafka's It's A Wonderful Life, and he also has two BAFTA Awards to his name. His acting work ranges from World War Z to Skins to Cardinal Richelieu in a 2014 BBC adaptation of The Three Musketeers to what was his most famous role until 2013: Malcolm Tucker in The Thick of It.

In 2013 he was cast as the Twelfth Doctor in Doctor Who, succeeding Matt Smith. A fan since childhood, he wrote a letter to the BBC's Radio Times when he was 15, and later wrote articles and submitted art to the show's various fan magazines. He wasn't even new to appearing on the series, having made a previous appearance on the show as a different characternote ; he also appeared in the spinoff Torchwood as an Anti-Villain in the Children of Earth miniseries.

His first appearance as the Twelfth Doctor was but a cameo in the 50th anniversary special The Day of the Doctor, in which only his hand (pulling a lever on the TARDIS) and his eyes (apparently glaring) were seen. The latter shot gained its own fan club, and once Twelve took center stage in the show, the legend only grew further...

Note: He has no relation with Francesca Capaldi — she's NOT his daughter!

Roles include:

Tropes associated with this actor's work include:

  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: The aforementioned Day of the Doctor close-up is currently the page image for the Live Action TV subpage of this trope, and that says it all (see Death Glare below for more).
  • Cast the Expert: More than just a fan of Doctor Who, Capaldi attempted to become the head of its national fan club, wrote a letter to the Radio Times praising its coverage of the 10th anniversary (see Old Shame, below), and even combined his art-school education with his fandom to write a detailed article for a fanzine about the show's opening sequences.
  • Cool Old Guy: Third-oldest actor to play the Doctor (after William Hartnell and John Hurt) and indications are that he's having a great deal of fun at it.
    • In Series 8, "Robot of Sherwood" has him swordfighting Robin Hood... with a spoon. The glee is palpable.
    • In the opening story of Series 9, "The Magician's Apprentice" sees the Doctor in the midst of The Last Dance, living it up a bit more than usual in a castle in Essex in 1138. On the last night before he's set to meet his destiny, before a cheering crowd of medieval folk he rides a tank into an arena, while wearing Cool Shades and playing an electric guitar! Even better? That's really Capaldi playing the guitar!
  • Death Glare: Steven Moffat even went as far as to call it "pure evilness" in an April Fool's Day joke. The script for "Deep Breath," Capaldi's first full-length episode as the Doctor, lampshades this, and gave a name to the character's most powerful attack in Doctor Who Legacy: "Attack Eyebrows".
  • Girly Run: Does this quite a bit with his characters. It's especially amusing watching Tucker doing this.
  • Happily Married: Has commented that his ideal Doctor Who companion would be "My wife" and stubbornly kept his wedding ring on while filming Series 8.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Before playing the Twelfth Doctor (who at times comes close to Mean Character territory, being much more cold and abrasive than his previous incarnations), Capaldi was known for playing vile spin doctor Malcolm Tucker and villainous Cardinal Richilieu. But he is generally hailed as one of the true nice guys of British television off-camera, and has a warm reputation in the Doctor Who fanbase (not surprising, given he's One of Us).
  • Old Shame: Seems to view his Radio Times letter as this, seeing as how he admitted to keeping it a secret from his wife during the live announcement of his casting and, during his Sydney interview, sheepishly facepalms himself when his interviewer starts reading it to the audience.
    • When the letter is brought up during his appearance on The Graham Norton Show, among other things, his facepalms become very hammy.
    • Mention The Dreamboys (a punk-rock band he sang for in his youth, with Craig Ferguson as the drummer) and watch him turn completely red and make embarrassed noises.
  • One of Us: A lifelong Who fan, although during his teen years he hid his geekdom to avoid being bullied. He apparently selected his rather stark costume (no great big scarf, frilly shirt, or crazy colors) to make it easier for cosplayers! In Series 9 he gives up all pretense; already the Doctor's been seen wearing an outfit that consists of the trademark red-lined coat over nothing more than a t-shirt and hoodie! (Also, a red velvet coat is now in the character's wardrobe for a little old-school throwback.)
  • Promoted Fanboy: A young Capaldi wrote to the Radio Times about his favourite show, hoping it would release a special episode to celebrate 25 years on air. Two-and-a-half decades later, in the 50th anniversary special, Capaldi made his debut as the Twelfth Doctor.
  • Rule of Three: As noted above, in his third appearance in the Whoniverse he becomes the lead.
  • Star-Making Role: While he'd had a successful decades-long career beforehand it was his sweary, raging performance as Malcolm Tucker that really made him a household name - to the point that at least two newspapers reported his casting as the Doctor by saying Malcolm Tucker was taking over the TARDIS. Doctor Who is this for people outside of the UK.
  • Wham Line: Admitted to turning down an Eighth Doctor audition at the Series 8 DVD launch because he felt the time wasn't right. Even showrunner Steven Moffat was stumped! Leads into a Hilarious in Hindsight moment:
    "Think of the amount of Big Finish you would have done by now."