TV There were a few eye brows on Twitter earlier this evening when it was noticed that Radio 2 would be carrying "An Evening With Peter Capaldi" introduced by Jo Whiley. I must confess I didn't listen. I was half way through a Nicholas Sparks adaptation when it started and for the most part I try to avoid pre-publicity before new series in an attempt to keep as spoiler free as possible.
But the whole notion of the programme was interesting. It's part of a loose series, so it's not a complete set up, but to give the actor two hours of radio felt unusual at this point. My first thought was that he'd be announcing that he was leaving the programme and sure enough, just before 10pm, social media confirmed as much. He'll be gone by next Christmas.
The moment when he tells the world is here. Jo sounds surprised, even though a press release was preprepared. She doesn't seem like she was expecting the scoop and then goes on to ask the right questions, about the regeneration, why he chose to leave. In general it sounds like he's had enough of it, in that way that Doctors often do after the now standard three series.
It's not been easy. Both of his seasons have been a mess, although it has to be said with more hits than misses and never his fault. He's been a superb Doctor even if the stories being told and the words he's been given to say have been variable. Perhaps in a few years, once expectations have given way to nostalgia, I'll revisit his era with a kinder heart.
On the upside it means Chibbers can head off into his version with a completely clear creative slate and like RTD and Moffat before make it his own thing. You never know, it could be good. And if it isn't we could always protest by turning up at conventions cosplaying his younger self's appearance on Open Air, in a grey suit and lemon tie.
Now we have the joy and wonder of the endless speculation about who's taking over and how they're going to announce it. Last time there was a whole year between Capaldi being announced and Smith sodding off, but the chances are it's going to be a bit tighter. After the success of the last announcement, there'll probably be another live show.
Please, please, please let it be a woman. Please. Assuming Romola Garai isn't interested (and why wouldn't she be?) Hayley Atwell's said she wants to do it and is available again now that her latest US series has been cancelled. Zawe Ashton's probably available too. It'd be nice to have someone young if only as a contrast to Capaldi and also to shake up the dynamic.
Unless they bring Paul McGann back. As The Day of the Doctor shows, it's entirely possible for him to return to some old faces. I'm sure he'd be up for it. The problem is he wouldn't be the eighth Doctor. He'd be fifteenth. Which isn't the same. Yes fifteenth. I'll have none of your War Doctor and 10.2 don't count.
Bye then, Peter. It's been a time.