Peter Capaldi has confirmed that he originally turned down the chance to become Doctor Who.
The Scottish thespian was asked to audition to become a Time Lord back in 1996. However, the devoted fan of the beloved sci-fi series was too chicken to actually do so.
Capaldi was asked to audition for the 1996 TV movie. This was commissioned 7 years after the show had been put on hiatus by the BBC.
The former The Thick Of It star has recently concluded his first season as the time traveling icon to rave reviews. But it was at the launch of the DVD for the show’s eighth season [via International Business Times] where he confirmed that he could have become the character a lot sooner.
Capaldi did confirm that he had a good reason for not going to the audition though. He was adamant that he wouldn’t get the role.
“I knew I wouldn’t get it. I loved the show so much that I didn’t want to have anything to do with it unless it was going to be me. I just didn’t want to have the disappointment to go through all the palaver and the jumping through hoops for something I would never get.
Because I knew it was an American pilot and they would go for somebody who was well-known and Paul was and he was fantastic so I said, ‘No, I won’t come along.’ I said to my agent, ‘Tell them thank you every much but I don’t want to go along’.”
Fox produced the television movie for Doctor Who that starred Paul McGann. The film was expected to be followed by an entire series of space exploration. However it was ultimately decided that it would just be a one-off.
There wasn’t any new episodes of Doctor Who for nine years after that until Russell T Davies returned with a revived series. It starred Christopher Eccleston, who was in charge of the TARDIS for one season before he was replaced by David Tennant and then Matt Smith.
Capaldi finally decided to audition for the show after he learned that Smith was departing. He landed the part to become the oldest Doctor in the show’s history and the Scottish thespian has taken to the iconic sci-fi series with aplomb.
It turns out that it was rather a clever move on his behalf too, because if he had landed the role back in 1996 he would have only been in just one episode. But having just finished his first season as the character he is now set to return for a Christmas Day special before starting a brand new season in 2015 too.
[Image via BBC]