Roads Not Taken: Capaldi Could Have Auditioned Earlier
It turns out Capaldi could have auditioned for the title role of Doctor Who earlier than the 12th Doctor this past year. Much, much, much earlier. Like, a couple of decades earlier.
In this clip, from the Series 8 DVD release Q&A, Capaldi reveals he had a chance to audition for the role of the Doctor…in the mid 1990s. The incarnation in question was that of the Eighth Doctor, and the revival was the FOX produced American movie version of the show. (Which should be Exhibit A for anyone who ever makes the mistake of asking why their isn’t an American Version of Doctor Who.)
(Make sure you check out Moffat’s reaction. It’s clear he’d never heard this story before.)
Capaldi’s reason isn’t even related to how bad the movie script was, or how big a flop it was going to be. After all, at the time, no one knew that. In 1995, most fans thought this could be the big chance for a Doctor Who revival. No, Capaldi turned it down, bless his heart, because he couldn’t bear it if they rejected him.
He’s lucky though. Instead the role went to McGann, who now stands as the actor most robbed of his chance to define the role on TV, especially after we got another glimpse of him in the 50th Anniversary prequel “Night of the Doctor.” Not that McGann didn’t have plenty of time with the character in radios plays and so forth for a near decade. But by waiting, Capaldi got to play the character on screen far longer than he would have if he’d gone for it and got it in the 90s.
Sometimes things just work out.