The actor was introduced during a live broadcast on the BBC Sunday. He’ll be the next in a long line of actors to play the quirky Doctor since the beloved British sci-fi show began back in the 60s.
Brits know Capaldi as foul-mouthed political operative Malcolm Tucker in the BBC comedy The Thick of It. American fans might recognize Capaldi from the zombie pandemic flick World War Z, where, interestingly, he played the role of a W.H.O. doctor.
Leading up to the announcement, only about 10 people knew who the newest Time Lord would be. That’s a feat nearly as stunning as a time-traveling phone booth, considering the frenzy surrounding the decision since Matt Smith, the current Doctor, announced he was stepping down in June. Bookies put odds on a number of British actors (stopping after Capaldi’s odds reached 5-6), and hopes were high that the 12th Doctor would be a woman, black, gay — or all of the above.
Capaldi will get the keys to the Tardis from Smith in a special episode on Christmas Day. But, as CNET notes, Capaldi’s selection is not the only cause for celebration for Doctor Who fans this year.
“…there’s the small matter of a 50th birthday to celebrate. Alongside a drama about the creation of the show, Smith joins forces with previous Doctor David Tennant in a special 50th anniversary episode on 23 November. The special episode, also starring John Hurt, will be broadcast around the world exactly half a century after the show first put kids behind the sofa one momentous Saturday teatime in 1963.”