From Dreamboy to Doctor – Things You Didn’t Know About Peter Capaldi


If, like any Doctor Who fan with good taste and a sense of humour, you’re already tired of all the interminable internet-based whingeing on both sides of the “Peter Capaldi’s too old”, “Oh no he isn’t” debate, then you might well be glad of a bit of fun, non-age-related Capaldi trivia to help subdue your mounting irritation.

Yes, we all know Number Twelve best as Malcolm Tucker, the foul-mouthed Thick of It star, but here are a few fun facts about the newest Doctor that you probably haven’t already heard before.

Dreamboys-1In his twenties, Capaldi was the lead singer and guitarist of a Glaswegian New Wave/Punk band called The Dreamboys, which also featured comedian Craig Ferguson on drums, and storyboard artist Temple Clark (Kick-Ass, The Avengers and some Harry Potter films) on bass. In 1980, The Dreamboys released a three-song, seven-inch EP recorded live at Glasgow’s Hellfire Club. You can listen to the EP tracks (Bela Lugosi’s Birthday, Outer Limits and Shall We Dance) below, or check out this BBC America blog to see some of the record’s artwork. You can also click here to see Capaldi and Ferguson reminiscing about their rock star days on The Late Late Show in November 2009.

franzkafkawonderfulAs well as being a fantastic actor, Capaldi has also proven himself a pretty good director. In the early 1990s, Capaldi directed a short film called Franz Kafka’s It’s A Wonderful Life, which is quite possibly the weirdest Christmas film you’ll ever see, combining elements of Frank Capra’s It’s A Wonderful Life, Kafka’s Metamorphosis, and even Disney’s Pinocchio. The film stars Richard E. Grant as Kafka and won the BAFTA for Best Short Film in 1994, as well as an Oscar for Best Live Action Short the following year.

tumblr_lj2lcqeeDN1qfmdxio1_500Around the same time, Capaldi also wrote and starred in comedy-drama film Soft Top, Hard Shoulder, which follows the story of Gavin Bellini, a Glaswegian artist who has neglected to keep in touch with his ice cream-making family since moving away to London. Interestingly, Capaldi’s own family ran an ice cream business, and to this day, their name remains attached to a Scottish ice cream brand. Soft Top, Hard Shoulder won the Scottish BAFTA for Best Film, with Capaldi also awarded Best Actor for his performance.

In 2001, he wrote and directed Strictly Sinatra, a feature film about a Glaswegian-Italian lounge singer with a passion for Frank Sinatra. More recently, he has directed Jo Brand’s satirical hospital sitcom Getting On, as well as a BBC4 spoof film programme called The Cricklewood Greats.i.420.img

So there you have it: our new Doctor is certainly a man of many talents. Despite being almost 30 years Matt Smith’s senior, he’s definitely one of the coolest actors that could have been chosen for the part.


Sources: BBC America | The Radio Times

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