Doctor Who: The Time Of The Doctor – Christmas Day, 7.30pm, BBC1 "BEING asked to play the Doctor is an amazing privilege," says Peter Capaldi. "Like the Doctor himself I find myself in a state of utter terror and delight. I can't wait to get started."
Capaldi makes his debut in the role on Christmas Day, as Matt Smith bows out. "It's an incendiary combination," says lead writer Steven Moffat. "One of the most talented actors of his generation is about to play the best part on television. Peter Capaldi is in the Tardis!"
The transformation comes about as, orbiting a quiet backwater planet (as they do), the massed forces of the universe's deadliest species gather, drawn to a mysterious message that echoes out to the stars - and amongst them, the Doctor.
Rescuing Clara from a family Christmas dinner, the Time Lord and his best friend must learn what this enigmatic signal means for his own fate and that of the universe. His own fate being most pertinent – the end, for this incarnation at least, is nigh.
"We started thinking Peter Capaldi might be the right person to take on this iconic part a few months ago," says BBC controller of drama Ben Stephenson. "But it was only when he did a secret audition at Steven's house under the cover of darkness that we knew we had our man.
"He's an extraordinarily talented actor who can seemingly turn his hand to anything. We can't wait to premiere his unique take on the Doctor on Christmas Day and we are sure he's going to become one of the all-time classic Doctors." How much of The Thick Of It's Malcolm Tucker he'll bring with him, has yet to be seen. Could it be that any foul-ups by his assistant are met with a typically Tucker-esque intolerance?
Jenna Coleman, who plays Clara, appears happy, nevertheless. "I'm so excited Peter Capaldi is the man taking on the challenge of becoming the twelfth Doctor," she says. "I can't wait to start this new adventure!"
And she has a few words of advice for Capaldi on what it's going to be like in the Tardis. "It's impossible to keep still while you're in there," she says, "as there is so much to look at and play with."
While Smith's in trouble, sounds like Capaldi could be having fun.