Who is Peter Capaldi, the New 'Doctor Who'?

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The world's longest-running sci-fi series, Doctor Who, announced today that the next Doctor will be played by actor Peter Capaldi. Matt Smith, the show's current Doctor, will regenerate in the Christmas special show later this year and emerge as Capaldi. But who is this guy, anyways — and more importantly, will the Doctor Who fandom accept him?

Peter Capaldi Announced as the 12th Doctor

The world's longest-running sci-fi series, Doctor Who, announced today that the next Doctor will be played by actor Peter Capaldi. Matt Smith, the show's current Doctor, will regenerate in the Christmas special show later this year and emerge as Capaldi. But who is this guy, anyways — and more importantly, will the Doctor Who fandom accept him?

He's Kind of a Big Deal

Capaldi was previously rumored to be the new Doctor, but some fans and commentators didn't believe the rumor because of his prominence as an actor in the UK. Although his name doesn't ring any bells here in the States, he's starred in the well-known BBC comedy series The Thick of It. 

He's Been on Doctor Who Before

Capaldi has not only appeared in the Doctor Who episode "The Fires of Pompeii" (in which he plays a pretty big role and is actually saved by the Doctor), but he has also had an important role in the third season of Torchwood, a spinoff of Doctor Who that exists in the same fictional universe. One of the biggest questions for the show coming up is how they will reconcile these appearances: Will they just ignore them? Will they make jokes referencing them? Will they try to resolve them in the plot?

He's Another Scotsman

Capaldi grew up in Glasgow, and was actually the lead singer of a punk band that included fellow Glasgow actor Craig Ferguson. He's not the first Scottish Doctor, though — 10th Doctor David Tennant was also a Scottish actor, but faked a British accent for the show (a fact that the show poked fun of in a few different episodes). So, will Capaldi get to keep his accent for the show?

You Might Have Seen Him Before

Capaldi has made appearances in World War Z, Veep, and the original series of Skins. He's also set to play in the Disney movie Maleficent with Angelina Jolie.  Although Capaldi has a pretty impressive resume, for American audiences, this will be his biggest role yet. And it's unsure how audiences will respond to him because...

He's 55

Chris Eccleston was 41 when he played the Doctor and David Tennant was 39. The rebooted, updated version of Doctor Who has had relatively young doctors compared to the previous version, and Capaldi will be making his appearance after the youngest Doctor yet — Matt Smith, who's 30 (but has the boyish face of a 25-year-old). The show's biggest audience is the millions of teen and young adult fangirls who swoon over the Doctor on Tumblr, and it's hard to say if they'll readily accept an older actor like Capaldi — although he's pretty young for the role, seeing that the Doctor's age ranges from about 900-1,100.