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12th Doctor Who: Mystery black actor "turned down" Peter Capaldi's new role

by Francesca Menato Published on 8 August 2013

The new Doctor Who set to replace Matt Smith in the New Year was announced this Sunday, live on BBC. Fans of the show were thrilled with the news that the 12th Doc was to be Peter Capaldi. But, it turns out he was not their only choice, as the BBC asked a black actor to take on the role - but he turned it down...

A mystery black actor was reportedly offered the role of Doctor Who, but turned it down.

Speculation around who would take over from Matt Smith as the next Time Lord had reached fever pitch ahead of last Sunday's announcement.

It was eventually revealed that The Thick Of It star Pater Capaldi had nabbed the role.

There had been a number of top names in the running beside Peter, including Ben Daniels, Rory Kinnear and Benedict Cumberbatch.

There were even some women who were tipped by the public and the bookies to possibly take on the role.

But what very few people had gambled on was a black doctor.

Doctor Who writer Neil Gaiman has insisted that there will be a non-white doctor in the future and this was "a missed opportunity".

He wrote on his blog: “Would I like a person of colour as the Doctor?

"Absolutely. And there are certainly actors good enough out there that it feels like a missed opportunity.

"Of course there will be [a non-white Doctor]."

He then went on to give us the inside scoop on just how close we were to having a different Doc.

He added: “I know one black actor who was already offered the part of the Doctor, and who turned it down. I have no doubt there will be [a non-white Doctor].”

Refusing to release the name of the actor, he was clear to explain that this person was not the producer's first choice above Peter Capaldi.

He went on to praise the work of the 55-year-old actor: “He’s an amazing actor and I really liked him when I worked with him before.

“I’m glad we’re getting an older Doctor.

“We’ve had two puppies, it’s time to see someone older - it will change the nature of the relationship with Clara in interesting ways, for a start.”

Questions had been raised over the age of the new Time Lord, but long standing fans voiced their outrage at young viewers' concerns.

One wrote on Twitter: "Are fans really calling Peter Capaldi too old to play Doctor Who? Seriously, guys? Have you ever seen the show before 2005? #getoffmylawn?"

Peter has been a long standing fan of the show and expressed his excitement at taking on the iconic role.

He recalled: "My agent rang me up and said: 'Hello Doctor.' I started laughing and haven't stopped laughing since."

He continued: "I'm surprised to look in the mirror and see Doctor Who looking back. He's not me yet, but he's reaching out… and hopefully we'll get it together."

Doctor Who © BBC Pictures
by Francesca Menato

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