Heather Peace: ‘I want to be the first female Doctor Who’

By Karen FazackerleyBBC reporter

Heather Peace

 

The first woman to star in Doctor Who with a One Direction star as her companion? That’s the dream of actress and singer Heather Peace.

While the second part of that wish is pure fantasy, the ambition to become the Tardis’ first woman owner is a genuine aim and one she believes is realistic.

Best known for roles in Emmerdale, London’s Burning, Ultimate Force and BBC Three’s Lip Service, the 38-year-old, who currently plays teacher Nikki Boston in BBC One drama Waterloo Road, wants to add another iconic character to her CV.

Following the recent news that Peter Capaldi is to become the 12th Doctor, Peace genuinely hopes her time in the Tardis will come.

“I want to be the first female Doctor Who,” she says. “I’m just keeping it as a positive mental attitude.

“I think they should turn the whole thing around, I’ll be in my 40s soon and you need to be a bit older with a young male sidekick who is completely in love with her but she’s not interested.

“I’ve got it all figured out. It could be one of the One Direction boys. Time travelling is so for me.”

Peace grew up in Bradford, and says she knew which career path she wanted to take from a young age.

Heather PeacePeace studied drama in Manchester where she also held a jazz residency

Encouraged by her parents, she headed over the Pennines at 17 to study drama in Manchester before moving back when she won the role of Anne Cullen in Emmerdale.

Taking risks

Numerous theatre and TV credits followed, including The Chase, Blue Murder and Holby City, and Peace says she chose to play police officer Sam Murray in Lip Service over a part in a primetime soap opera.

“I had a job and it was between taking that on or taking Lip Service and I chose Lip Service,” she says. “That was a key turning point in my career.

“It was a shorter job than the one on the soap and it was a risk but I just thought, how would I feel if it was brilliant and I wasn’t in it and I was in the other job?

“If it was going to be brilliant I knew as a gay woman that if I turned it down I’d be mortified because I’d watch it.”

But do not think she is just there to tick another equality box, Peace has never hidden the fact she is openly gay, and admits at times it has been difficult and has shunned interviews when she was starting out in the industry to avoid the subject being brought up.

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I didn’t do any personal interviews, but I was never in the closet”

Heather Peace

“I didn’t do any personal interviews, but I was never in the closet,” she says.

“I was out to my friends and family and everybody in the industry but I didn’t want to get in a taxi cab and the guy driving know, so I just didn’t talk about it.

“I was playing piano and singing and acting before I kissed a girl. People see it as something that defines you but straight doesn’t always define someone.

“But if someone is personally hideous to me I can literally have sleepless nights. People forget I am just a girl on the end of a phone, and quite often on my own, it’s devastating, and I can go into my own head sometimes.”

‘Times are changing’

Now a patron of Manchester Pride and Diversity Role Models, Peace, who entered into a civil partnership herself earlier this summer, believes times are changing.

“When I was 24 I was told not to come out, because I was there as a female in a man’s world, you can’t even believe that now. But things have changed so much and I have nothing to lose now.”

She has taken that philosophy into the next phase of her career and with two series of Waterloo Road under her belt and the new term just starting, Peace says the show will not shy away from tackling serious storylines.

“There’s a real depth to Nikki in this series,” she says. “She is not afraid to wipe the floor with someone.

“We see a lovely warmth between her and Kacey [actress Brogan Ellis] – a lovely relationship, a 17-year-old girl who needs to find an outlet for her anger and her issues with her gender disorientation, so that whole storyline is wonderful and Nikki becomes quite maternal.”

Heather PeaceHeather Peace toured sold-out venues in the UK and Australia in 2012

Her first passion, however, is music. Peace’s debut album Fairytales reached number seven in the Official Independent Chart last year and she embarked on a sell-out tour of the UK and Australia.

She is on the road again in October, splitting her time between touring the UK, being on set in Greenock, Scotland, for Waterloo Road, and her home on the south coast, before touring Australia in early 2014.

“I’m taking a break from the acting for a little while to go on tour and record my album in December. It doesn’t mean I’m leaving Waterloo Road, I’m just taking a tiny bit of time out.

“The songs are big tunes but with dark lyrics so my banter with my fans on the night is kind of the opposite to the lyrics of most of my songs – it’s going to be a rip-ride of a journey.

“This is my chance to really make it work and if it doesn’t and if I don’t get a hit album it’s not the end of the world. I just need to throw everything at this to give it my best shot possible.”

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David Tennant talks filming ‘Doctor Who’ 50th anniversary show: ‘It was everything I hoped’

Dr-Who-Matt-Smith-David-Tennant.jpg

 

On those rare occasions when current and past stars of Doctor Who filmed episodes together the air has sometimes turned a tad chilly. But “Tenth Doctor” David Tennant says there were no such problems when, earlier this year, he and his TARDIS successor Matt Smith shot this November’s special 50th anniversary show.

“I suppose you’d expect me to say we’re new best friends and I love him like a brother,” the Scottish actor tells EW. “But that is sort of how it was. I had a fantastic time and that wouldn’t necessarily have been the case. I’m coming back onto a show that’s effectively somebody else’s show and used to be mine and that’s potentially quite a weird situation to be in. Going back to something I knew so well and had such fun memories of might have backfired. It’s a quite rare set of circumstances: Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig don’t get to play James Bond next to each other. But actually it felt familiar enough that it was like coming home and working with Matt proved to be a real joy. I hope I’m speaking for him when I say we really enjoyed bouncing of each other and playing sort of two aspects of the same character. It was everything that I hoped it might be and nothing that I feared it could be.”

The special 50th anniversary show — which also stars Jenna Coleman, Billie Piper, and John Hurt — will be broadcast on BBC America, Nov. 23. Tennant is currently starring in the BBC America crime drama Broadchurch, the trailer for which you can see below.

Doctor Who: Peter Capaldi will keep his Scottish accent

Glaswegian actor Peter Capaldi will retain his Scottish tones when he takes over the role of Doctor Who.

 

 

Fans of Malcolm Tucker’s Glaswegian burr will be pleased to hear that actor Peter Capaldi will be keeping his native accent when he becomes the 12th Doctor.

Doctor Who writer Steven Moffat revealed some hints about what viewers can expect from the new Time Lord to Doctor Who TV. Moffat said he was “pretty certain” Capaldi would keep his accent and would be an “older, trickier and fiercer Doctor”. As a guide, Moffat said fans can expect the 12th Doctor’s first few episodes to be similar to Tom Baker’s: “He’s really quite difficult to take at the beginning”.

Capaldi is known for playing spiky, difficult characters. As well as the foul-mouthed Malcolm Tucker in The Thick of It, he won acclaim for his portrayal of a damaged journalist in BBC Two’s The Hour last year.

‘Doctor Who’: ‘Luther’ creator Neil Cross writing for Peter Capaldi

From DigtalSpy.com   Story by Morgan Jeffrey

 

Luther creator Neil Cross has confirmed that he will return to Doctor Who for its eighth series.

Cross told Stuff.co.nz that he is “really excited about writing for Peter Capaldi” – the 55-year-old actor recently cast as the 12th Doctor.

Peter Capaldi arriving for the Orange British Academy Film Awards

© PA Images

Peter Capaldi

“I am going back [for series eight],” the writer revealed. “I have got story ideas tucked away… there’s a whole bunch of stuff I want to do.

“[Showrunner] Steven [Moffat] is clearly very busy with the 50th anniversary special and Christmas special, but I have to find out from Steven what his intentions for the Doctor are and what sort of stories he wants me to write.”

Cross – who previously wrote Who episodes ‘The Rings of Akhaten‘ and ‘Hide‘ – described Capaldi as “an outstanding choice” to replace current lead Matt Smith.

The Doctor (Matt Smith) & Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman) in Doctor Who S07E02: 'The Rings of Akhaten'

© BBC

The Doctor & Clara in ‘The Rings of Akhaten’

“I am familiar with Peter Capaldi’s work and I am looking forward to it,” he said.

“There’s something about his physicality, his image, his wit, that evokes the Doctor. There’s something about him that evokes classic Doctor Who.”

Doctor Who‘s 50th special will air on Saturday, November 23, with Capaldi’s first full series to follow in 2014.

> Bill Nighy turned down Doctor Who: “It comes with too much baggage”

Watch Digital Spy‘s Geek TV special about Peter Capaldi and the 12th Doctor below

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Just ‘Who’ is Peter Capaldi anyway?

A guide to help catch up on the Scottish actor’s filmography before he debuts as the new Doctor later this year.

 

In Europe, many folks thought that Peter Capaldi had a fairly good shot of being the next star of the British sci-fi show Doctor Who.

When the news was announced in a BBC America special on Sunday afternoon, the response for many in the USA probably was , “Who?”

Capaldi, the Scottish-born actor who will become the 12th Doctor later this year, has had a busy career in his native U.K., both on TV and in movies — plus in some films that you don’t have to be an Anglophile to know.

Before Matt Smith “regenerates” into the 55-year-old Scotsman in the Doctor Who Christmas Special, here’s a guide to catch up on all things Capaldi:

The Thick of It. Let’s hope there is a “No swearing” sign somewhere in the TARDIS — Capaldi shows a true talent for hurling four-letter curses in the political comedy, which can now be streamed on Hulu. He won the British Comedy Award for best TV actor twice (in 2010 and 2012) as his acerbic and volatile government PR man Malcolm Tucker. (His R-rated encapsulation of Star Warsis a thing of brilliant, NSFW beauty.)

In the Loop. Capaldi reprised his role as Tucker in a Thick of It spinoff movie in 2009 that parodied the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq by taking a tongue-in-cheek look at all the behind-the-scenes machinations. Also noteworthy for those who stream it on Netflix: the late James Gandolfini as a military assistant to the U.S. Secretary of defense.

Prime Suspect. The third season of the British cop drama in 1993 — which starred Helen Mirren as Scotland Yard detective Jane Tennison — revolved around a child pornography and prostitution ring, and Capaldi had a dramatic supporting role as a transsexual. (Episodes can be streamed on Amazon Prime, or just wait for the Prime Suspect: The Complete Collection to arrive on Blu-ray Aug. 27.)

Dangerous Liasions. Come for John Malkovich’s over-the-top and scheming Sebastien de Valmont in Stephen Frears’ 1988 period drama, stay for Capaldi as Valmont’s loyal-to-a-fault valet Azolan.

The Lair of the White Worm. Hugh Grant, Catherine Oxenberg and Capaldi vs. a giant dragon/snake/worm hybrid in 1988. ‘Nuff said, really.

The Hour. Before The Newsroom, there was The Hour, a British series about an English current-affairs program during the Cold War. Capaldi played Randall Brown, the eccentric 1950s-era head of news that garnered him a BAFTA nomination for supporting actor.

Doctor Who. Yep, Capaldi’s turn as the Doctor won’t be his first time on the series. In the 2008 episode “The Fires of Pompeii” opposite the 10th Doctor, David Tennant, Capaldi starred as a Pompeii merchant who has bought the Doctor’s time-traveling TARDIS and is found by the Time Lord one day before Mount Vesuvius erupts.

Torchwood: Children of Earth. Set in the same sci-fi universe as Doctor Who, the third Torchwood series in 2009 featured Capaldi as John Frobisher, a government type who was — unfortunately for him, as the whole thing turned out — picked to be a liaison between the prime minister and a race of malevolent aliens known as the 456.

World War Z. If you can’t find it at your local multiplex, check out the Brad Pitt zombie movie when it comes out on Blu-ray Sept. 17 to see Capaldi as a World Health Organization doctor who helps Pitt’s Gerry Lane find a cure before the whole world is zombified.

Strictly Sinatra. Capaldi has had success behind the camera, too — he won a best live-action short Oscar in 1995 for Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life, which can be streamed at Amazon. Head on over to Netflix, though, to check out Strictly Sinatra, Capaldi’s 2001 film about a singer who gets in trouble with the Mob when a gangster’s wife falls for him. The actor also is slated to direct the comedy Born to Be King, scheduled for release next year and starring Ewan McGregor and Kate Hudson.

Peter Capaldi: The next Time Lord

Peter Capaldi

 

Peter Capaldi has been named as the 12th actor to take on the lead role in BBC series Doctor Who.

At 55 – the same age as William Hartnell when he was cast as the first Time Lord in 1963 – he has an impressive list of credits to his name on both film and TV.

The Glasgow-born star is the first Oscar winner to play the part after winning the Academy Award for best live action short film in 1994 for Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life.

He became a household name thanks to his performance as foul-mouthed spin-doctor Malcolm Tucker in BBC series The Thick of It.

That role saw him win a Bafta TV award for best male performance in a comedy role in 2010, and he was nominated for the same award in 2006, 2008 and 2013.

His performance as Tucker in 2009 spin-off film In The Loop also saw him nominated for acting honours at the British Independent Film Awards, as well as London, Los Angeles and New York film critics’ awards.

Peter Capaldi in The Thick Of ItCapaldi won a Bafta for his role as spin-doctor Malcolm Tucker in The Thick Of It

Capaldi attended the Glasgow School of Art and it was while studying there that he landed his breakout role in the 1983 drama Local Hero directed by Bill Forsyth and starring Burt Lancaster.

Early roles in TV series Minder and Hollywood film Dangerous Liaisons led to a string of parts on shows such as Prime Suspect, the Crow Road and Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere.

More recently he appeared in Skins, The Devil’s Whore, Torchwood: Children of Earth and BBC mini-series The Nativity.

Capaldi has also written several TV shows, including a documentary about 500 years of Scottish portrait painting broadcast on BBC Four and Cricklewood Greats – a spoof about the heyday of the British film industry.

He also wrote 1993 film Soft Top Hard Shoulder – which was nominated for a Scottish film Bafta – as well as writing and directing the 2001 gangster film, Strictly Sinatra.

Capaldi’s stage credits include Professor Marcus in The Ladykillers at the Liverpool Playhouse, which later transferred to the Gielgud Theatre in the West End.

A lifelong fan of Doctor Who, landing the role of the Time Lord is a dream come true for Capaldi.

He even wrote a letter to the Radio Times when he was a teenager in 1973, praising the magazine for its Doctor Who special celebrating the show’s 10th anniversary.

Peter Capaldi's letter to the Radio TimesPeter Capaldi’s letter to the Radio Times in 1973 praising its Doctor Who coverage

The Doctor Who casting comes after a busy year for the actor, who was seen on the big screen in zombie film World War Z and in BBC Two drama series The Hour, for which he was also Bafta nominated.

He is currently filming new BBC One drama series The Musketeers, in which he plays Cardinal Richelieu and which will air next year.

He will also appear in the forthcoming Julian Assange film The Fifth Estate as Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger and Disney’s Maleficent – a take on the Sleeping Beauty tale, starring Angelina Jolie.