Skip to main content

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

updated 9:04 AM EDT, Fri August 2, 2013
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
updated 8:23 PM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
Wilson Raj Perumal tells CNN how he rigged World Cup games: "I was giving orders to the coach."
updated 4:23 AM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
He should be toddling around a playground. Instead, his tiny hands grip an AK-47.
updated 12:52 PM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
CNN's Will Ripley travels to North Korea, visiting an international wrestling festival and a slide-filled water park.
updated 5:20 AM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
Our whole solar system appears to be inside a searing gas bubble, scientists say.
updated 8:30 AM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
In a raid on a luxury apartment complex, agents caught up with a French-Algerian man they accuse of bringing back terror to Europe.
updated 8:02 PM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
One journalist murdered, another still being held by ISIS -- a ransom negotiator talks to CNN about trying to get a hostage home alive.
updated 8:28 AM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
Was a police officer justified in shooting and killing Michael Brown?
updated 12:54 PM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
Don't like the country you live in? Meet the people who created their own "micronations."
updated 2:35 PM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
South Africa Music Legends stamps
Artist Hendrik Gericke puts a spotlight on iconic performers from South Africa in these incredible monochrome illustrations.
updated 5:46 AM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
We asked you what you would like to know about Ebola. Experts answer some of your most common questions and concerns.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT