I've always been a huge fan of Capaldi's, first noticing him in Prime Suspect and subsequently in Neverwhere, The Crow Road and Torchwood. He's a fantastic actor and will almost certainly make a stunning Doctor. He's also enormously talented in other areas, having written and directed for film and television. He was also the lead singer of Glaswegian punk rock band Dreamboys - late night talk show host Craig Ferguson was the band's drummer.
So who is this guy? What should you watch to find out what he's like? These are my personal recommendations.
- Local Hero. In an early role, Capaldi plays Knox Oil and Gas representative Danny Oldsen in Bill Forsyth's acclaimed Scottish film. Even if you don't care who Capaldi is or what his acting is like, this is a brilliant movie.
- Lair of the White Worm. Capaldi plays archaeologist Angus Flint is this hands-down absolutely dreadful English horror film directed by Ken Russell. It's awful, yet it's weirdly watchable.
- The Thick of It/In the Loop. I think most people would agree that Capaldi's signature role is as British political operative Malcolm Tucker in the brilliant comedy TV series The Thick of It and its spin-off movie In the Loop. It's one of the finest performances in the history of British comedy.
- The Crow Road. In 1996 Capaldi played Rory McHoan in this great four-part adaptation of the Iain Banks novel. I don't think this one was ever released in Australia - certainly I had to import the British edition of the video back in the day to get the chance of seeing it. It's worth tracking down.
- Prime Suspect III. In a key early role Capaldi plays transsexual Vera Reynolds in this rivetting police thriller. This miniseries also stars Helen Mirren, David Thewlis, Ciaran Hinds and Mark Strong, so it's a pretty awesomely acted thing.