Skip to main content

Doctor Who? Next time-travelling star of British show to be revealed Sunday

August 2, 2013 -- Updated 1304 GMT (2104 HKT)
The BBC draws back the curtains to reveal who will be the next British actor to play the famed Doctor. He is Peter Capaldi, seen here attending the British Comedy Awards at the O2 Arena on January 22, 2011. The BBC draws back the curtains to reveal who will be the next British actor to play the famed Doctor. He is Peter Capaldi, seen here attending the British Comedy Awards at the O2 Arena on January 22, 2011.
HIDE CAPTION
Travel through time with Doctor Who
Travel through time with Doctor Who
Travel through time with Doctor Who
Travel through time with Doctor Who
Travel through time with Doctor Who
Travel through time with Doctor Who
Travel through time with Doctor Who
Travel through time with Doctor Who
Travel through time with Doctor Who
Travel through time with Doctor Who
Travel through time with Doctor Who
Travel through time with Doctor Who
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Next star of seminal British show "Doctor Who" to be revealed live on Sunday
  • British actor Peter Capaldi, star of political comedy "The Thick of It," is odds-on favorite
  • 50th anniversary of show's first episode to be marked by biopic, special episode
  • BBC: "Even those working with new Doctor on other projects have no idea"

(CNN) -- Whovians, clear your calendars -- the next star of the British science-fiction series "Doctor Who" will be unveiled Sunday during a live half-hour television special on the BBC.

The 12th Doctor of the long-running show, which has aired 33 seasons and nearly 800 episodes since it premiered in 1963, will be revealed in front of a studio audience set against a backdrop of a swirling vortex, Daleks, and the TARDIS, the BBC has announced.

Peter Capaldi, who starred as a foul-mouthed spin doctor in the British political comedy series "The Thick of It," has been the odds-on favorite to step into the good Doctor's blue phone booth-shaped time machine after Matt Smith, the 11th Doctor, announced in June that he would be leaving the show after four years.

Ben Stephenson, Controller of BBC Drama Commissioning, said: "We can't wait to unveil the next Doctor ... It's the biggest secret in showbiz, even those working with the new Doctor on other projects at the moment have no idea they are in the presence of the 12th incarnation."

The show will air live simultaneously on BBC One in Britain at 6:00 p.m. GMT and on BBC America at 2:00 p.m. ET.

READ MORE: "Doctor Who" to mark 50 years with biopic

The seminal British series first aired in 1963 -- when the broadcast of the premiere was delayed due to coverage of the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy -- and spawned a number of spinoffs, books, stage performances and radio shows before going off the air in 1989.

The show returned to television in 2005 to critical acclaim in Britain. The BBC has said it will debut the new Doctor in this year's Christmas special.

Rory Kinnear, who played Bill Tanner in the James Bond films "Quantum of Solace" and "Skyfall," and Idris Elba, better known as Stringer Bell from the HBO drama "The Wire," have also been tipped as candidates to be the next incarnation of the Time Lord.

As fans eagerly await the appointment of the next Doctor, the BBC will celebrate the 50th anniversary of "Doctor Who" with a biopic about the show's origins.

"An Adventure in Space and Time" will premiere later this year and fictionally recounts the creation of the series while exploring the team behind its first episode.

The show will also mark the highly-anticipated milestone on November 23 with a special episode starring Matt Smith, David Tennant -- Smith's predecessor -- and John Hurt as the Doctor, according to the BBC.

Emily Zemler and Kevin Taverner contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 0102 GMT (0902 HKT)
A 15-year-old pregnant girl is rescued from slavery, only to be charged with having sex outside of marriage, shocked rights activists say -- a charge potentially punishable by death.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0333 GMT (1133 HKT)
After sushi and ramen, beef is on the list of must-eats for many visitors to Japan.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1607 GMT (0007 HKT)
Airports judged on comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 1748 GMT (0148 HKT)
Scientists use CT scans to recreate a life-size image of the ancient king.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0959 GMT (1759 HKT)
Despite billions spent on eradicating poppy production, Afghan farmers are growing bumper crops, a U.S. government report says.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1319 GMT (2119 HKT)
With so many new attractions on the way, the next few years are going to be a roller coaster ride.
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 0429 GMT (1229 HKT)
Thomas Malthus famously predicted that rising populations would create a food crunch: Could this be true?
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 0945 GMT (1745 HKT)
The lives of everyone close to Oscar Pistorius and the girl he killed are changed forever, his siblings say.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 1402 GMT (2202 HKT)
Gene Simmons reflects on 40 years of KISS, and how even rock royalty needs sound business principles.
October 18, 2014 -- Updated 1033 GMT (1833 HKT)
From "Sick Man of Europe" to the world's fourth largest economy.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0915 GMT (1715 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT