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NEW FACES PART TWO: The Early 1980s

Doctor Who entered a new era in the 1980s. A producer who recognised the value of high-impact publicity stage-managed increasingly colourful introductions for each new Doctor…

‟Here we go – the big reveal, the crunch moment we’ve all been waiting for. Joining us now, live in the studio, exclusively on the BBC, please welcome the Twelfth Doctor, a hero for a whole new generation. It’s… Peter Capaldi!”

This was presenter Zoë Ball on BBC One on Sunday 4 August 2013, introducing the actor who would be replacing Matt Smith as the star of Doctor Who’s 2014 series. Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor was a real-time broadcast direct from the BBC Elstree Studios in Borehamwood, revealing the identity of the Twelfth Doctor not only to an audience of 6.3 million viewers across the UK but also around the world, in a 7.00pm (GMT) simulcast shown on BBC America in the US, Space in Canada, and ABC1 in Australia.

The half-hour programme took the form of a chat show presented in front of a studio audience of Doctor Who fans, with Ball chatting to an eclectic selection of studio guests: Fifth Doctor Peter Davison, Bernard Cribbins (Wilfred Mott), Liza Tarbuck (the voice of Captain Kaliko in 2007 animated serial The Infinite Quest), comedian Rufus Hound (later seen as Sam Swift in 2015’s The Woman Who Lived) and 13-year-old Daniel Roche from BBC sitcom Outnumbered. There were also pre-recorded contributions from Sixth Doctor Colin Baker, companions Anneke Wills (Polly), Katy Manning (Jo), Janet Fielding (Tegan) and Jenna Coleman (Clara), along with science professors Brian Cox, Robert Winston and Stephen Hawking.

In an attempt to maintain secrecy in advance of the broadcast, the BBC Shows and Tours website had invited viewers to apply for tickets to see the recording of “an exciting new BBC One series pilot, celebrating some of the UK’s longest running TV shows”. As this ‘pilot’ was described as focusing on the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, ticket holders were encouraged to come along in costume, although this was not compulsory. Few fans were fooled by the subterfuge. On the day, the first arrival, Borehamwood local Steven Ricks, began queuing at 9.15am and by mid-afternoon the queue was already snaking out of the studio entrance and along the adjacent Eldon Avenue.

Although the casting of Peter Capaldi was still supposedly a closely guarded secret, many of those in the audience had a pretty good idea who they were about to see introduced as the Twelfth Doctor. Matt Smith’s departure had been announced on BBC News on Saturday 1 June and the identity of the next Doctor had become the focus of intense media speculation over the summer months. Among the front-runners were Ben Whishaw, Russell Tovey, Andrew Scott, Daniel Rigby, Chiwetel Ejiofor, David Harewood, Chris Addison and Olivia Colman, but in the week leading up to the Doctor Who Live broadcast, it was widely reported that Capaldi had suddenly overtaken Ben Daniels and Rory Kinnear as the bookies’ favourite at odds of 7/4.

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About Doctor Who Magazine

TOM BAKER REVISITS HIS FIRST SERIES AS THE DOCTOR IN AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW! As part of DWM’s detailed preview of the forthcoming Season 12 Blu-ray set, Tom Baker reflects on the role that changed his life. Also in this issue... ROGER MURRAY-LEACH An extensive interview with the production designer who achieved the impossible on Season 12 of Doctor Who. THE HOLMES MASTER PLAN How Season 12 script editor Robert Holmes created a storytelling formula that continues to influence the modern series. KEVIN LINDSAY The life and career of the Australian actor who played Styre in Season 12’s The Sontaran Experiment. BREWING UP The untold story of how Doctor Who led a marketing campaign for tea bags in 1976. GEORGIA TENNANT The actress talks about how her life has changed since she made her Doctor Who debut – and met her future husband – in 2008. JESSICA MARTIN Jessica talks about illustrating her character Mags (from The Greatest Show in the Galaxy) for a new Seventh Doctor comic. NEW FACES The second part of a series looking at how new Doctors have been introduced to the public. THE TIME TEAM It’s hankies at the ready as the Time Team watch tearjerking episodes from 1982, 2006 and 2010. THE CLOCKWISE WAR Part Three of a new comic strip adventure written by Scott Gray and illustrated by John Ross. PLUS... The Blogs of Doom, previews, DVD and audio reviews, news, prize-winning competitions and much more!