Peter Capaldi departing 'Doctor Who'

The Oscar-winner's days in the Tardis are numbered, but who'll take over the celebrated role?

Peter Capaldi departing 'Doctor Who'

Peter Capaldi took over as the 12th Doctor in 2013 [BBC]

Oscar-winner Peter Capaldi has said that his time as the Time Lord is coming to an end, with the Scottish actor revealing he is to step down from fronting Doctor Who later this year. Capaldi has revealed that the 2017 Christmas special will be his final episode.

As one of the best-known roles in all of science-fiction television, fans of the rebooted series will be on tenterhooks as they await the BBC’s announcement of which actor – or actress – will replace Capaldi and become the 13th Doctor.

The bookies’ favourites?

According to the bookmakers, English actor Ben Whishaw, best known for his role as Q in the Daniel Craig Bond series, is the favourite to take over the role. Whishaw, 36, had been previously linked to the role when Matt Smith left the show in 2013, but has since taken a number of supporting and indie roles in Hollywood movies.

Richard Ayoade of The IT Crowd comes next, though having just signed on as the new presenter of Channel 4’s revival of The Crystal Maze, he’s likely to be ruled out of the long filming schedule the BBC’s sci-fi family drama demands.

Making up the rest of the top five are another Craig-era Bond star, Rory Kinnear, followed by Miranda Hart and Jason Flemyng. If the role went to Hart, best known for her eponymous sitcom, she would be the first actress to ever take on the role of the regenerating Time Lord, a staple on British TV since 1963.

A new Doctor and showrunner

Another name in the ring is recent Golden Globe winner Olivia Colman, who previously appeared in Doctor Who playing a version of herself. But as Steven Moffat, who spearheaded the show’s 2005 return to the small screen after it was cancelled in 1989, is to step down as showrunner, Broadchurch’s Chris Chibnall is taking over, having worked with Colman on that murder mystery.

Capaldi, 58, said of his decision to leave the series: “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.”

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