Peter Capaldi has announced that he’s leaving Doctor Who at the end of the year, with his final appearance coming in this year’s Christmas special episode. A new actor will then take on the role for Chris Chibnall’s first season as showrunner in 2018.
The news was revealed on this evening’s special edition of the Jo Whiley show on BBC Radio 2, “An Evening With Peter Capaldi.” Capaldi said, “One of the greatest privileges of being Doctor Who is to see the world at its best. From our brilliant crew and creative team working for the best broadcaster on the planet, to the viewers and fans whose endless creativity, generosity and inclusiveness points to a brighter future ahead. I can’t thank everyone enough. It’s been cosmic.”
Executive producer Steven Moffat’s added, “For years before I ever imagined being involved in Doctor Who, or had ever met the man, I wanted to work with Peter Capaldi. I could not have imagined that one day we’d be standing on the TARDIS together. Like Peter, I’m facing up to leaving the best job I’ll ever have, but knowing I do so in the company of the best, and kindest and cleverest of men, makes the saddest of endings a little sweeter. But hey, it’s a long way from over. Peter’s amazing, fiery, turbulent Doctor is still fighting the good fight, and his greatest adventures are yet to come. Monsters of the universe, be on your guard – Capaldi’s not done with you yet!”
Charlotte Moore, director of BBC Content, commented, “Peter Capaldi will always be a very special Doctor to me; his adventures through time and space started just as I arrived on BBC One. He has been a tremendous Doctor who has brought his own unique wisdom and charisma to the role. But, it’s not over yet: I know the next series is going to be spectacular. He’s a fine actor who I hope we work with again when he leaves the TARDIS.”
Brian Minchin, executive producer said: “Peter Capaldi is an extraordinary Doctor and has taken the show to amazing places. Although I’m sad he has decided to move on in 2018 I’m delighted that we have one final series with Peter Capaldi and Steven Moffat. I know what they’re planning and it’s going to be incredible.”
Mark Gatiss Tweeted, “Profoundly sad that the wonderful Peter Capaldi is leaving at the end of the year. But he is – and always will be – a great Doctor Who.”
Capaldi’s final series as the Doctor, the tenth since the return of Doctor Who in 2005, will premiere on BBC One on Saturday 15 April.
While it’s no surprise that Capaldi will leave alongside Moffat, it’s a shame that his Doctor didn’t get a chance to work under a different showrunner. We’d have love to have seen a fourth year of Capaldi but you can understand how a complete shake-up would look preferable. So many will be pondering – did he jump or was he pushed? And what does that mean for new companion Bill (Pearl Mackie)?
We’d also place a bet on the next Doctor being younger again. Odd really, that after years of people moaning that Tennant and Smith were too young to be a “real” Doctor, a reversion to a more traditional older Doctor didn’t quite click with the public.
The real question is: will the new Doctor finally be something other than white and male?