Step aside, Trekkies — the Whovians are taking over the world of sci-fi fandom. The BBC’s surprise unveiling of Peter Capaldi as Doctor Who’s 12th Time Lords mashed social media records in the United States on Sunday, proving the British series’ popularity stretches across the pond.
In the U.S., the Doctor Who live special was the No. 1 telecast in social media for Sunday (excluding sports), according to data from Trendrr.TV, Tumblr Analytics and Union Metrics.
Doctor Who‘s current star, Matt Smith, announced in June that this year’s Christmas special will be his last episode as the 11th Time Lord. Showrunner Steven Moffat told Entertainment Weekly last month that he would reveal Smith’s successor “within days of finalizing the new Doctor.” The BBC announced the live special just three days before it aired, and Moffat’s crew kept a tight lid on the big secret.
The announcement ran during primetime in the UK, but it was the middle of a weekend afternoon on the East Coast, making these rankings even more surprising. According to BBC America, Doctor Who Live raked in 895,000 total viewers — one of the network’s most-watched telecasts outside of primetime, second only to the Royal Wedding. Read more>>
Doctor Who next? That’s the question that’s been on the lips of every fan of the long-running UK sci-fi series ever since Matt Smith announced last month he would be stepping down from the title role.
Smith played the Time Lord’s 11th incarnation. Now BBC has revealed it has found his replacement — and will be unveiling the 12th Doctor live on a surprise TV special Sunday at 2 p.m. ET. The show will be simulcast live on BBC America.
“The decision is made and the time has come to reveal who’s taking over the TARDIS,” showrunner Steven Moffat said in a press release Thursday. “For the last of the Time Lords, the clock is striking twelve.”
The announcement show — which prompted the hashtag #DoctorWho to become a worldwide trend Thursday — is a last minute insertion into the BBC TV schedule. That means Moffat very likely made the decision on casting the new actor this week, perhaps even within the last 24 hours.
“We’ll announce a new Doctor within days of finalizing the new Doctor,” Moffat told Entertainment Weekly last month. “Because it’s very, very hard to keep any kind of a secret.”
UK bookmakers William Hill have Peter Capaldi as the odds-on favorite, an actor best known internationally for his role in the movies Local Hero and In The Loop. Capaldi, 55, would be the oldest actor to inhabit the role since the show was rebooted in 2005.
Interestingly enough, Capaldi also appeared in World War Z this year — as a WHO doctor.
Britain’s Prince Charles has been offered a role on cult sci-fi series Doctor Who after showing off his impression of a Dalek’s voice during a royal set visit in Wales.
The heir to the throne and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, traveled to the BBC’s Roath Lock studios on Wednesday as part of their summer tour and met with members of the cast and crew, including writer Steven Moffat and current Time Lord, Matt Smith, in celebration of the show’s 50th anniversary.
During the visit, the Prince even tried using a voice modulator to mimick the sound of the Daleks, uttering the TV cyborgs’ famous “exterminate” phrase and jokingly telling the crowd, “You are now our prisoners.”
His playful efforts impressed Moffat and he has invited the Prince back to the set to be a part of the show for real.
He tells the BBC, “I haven’t thought about how I could weave a meeting between the Doctor and the royal family, but Prince Charles’s attempt at being a Dalek was great. There would be a part in the show for him if he wanted it.”