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Peter Capaldi and Laura Fraser in 'Neverwhere' (BBC)
Peter Capaldi and Laura Fraser in 'Neverwhere' (BBC)
Peter Capaldi and Laura Fraser in ‘Neverwhere’ (BBC)

It’s now been a week since Peter Capaldi was announced as Doctor Who‘s Twelfth Doctor, and yet we’re still having to pinch ourselves to believe it’s actually true. The BBC Worldwide Youtube channel have now gotten in on the act of celebrating, by publishing a clip of Peter in one of his earliest forays into telefantasy: the 1996 miniseries Neverwhere.

Originally broadcast on BBC Two and later adapted into a bestselling novel, Neverwhere was written by “The Doctor’s Wife” and “Nightmare in Silver” scribe Neil Gaiman, based on an idea by comedian Lenny Henry. The six-part series follows a young man named Richard, who following an act of kindness is plunged into a hitherto unknown fantasy world deep below London, filled with the people who have “fallen through the cracks”.

Peter played the pivotal role of the Angel Islington – one of the story’s many fantastical characters or elements that are named after actual areas of London – and demonstrates in this clip his ability to mix charm with underlying menace. It’s also the same role, incidentally, that Sherlock‘s Benedict Cumberbatch played in a recent Radio 4 adaptation of the series.

Gaiman and Capaldi aren’t the only links between Doctor Who and Neverwhere, either. The clip also features Paterson Joseph in the role of the Marquis de Carabas – a somewhat Doctor-ish performance that was a contributing factor in his being linked with the role prior to Matt Smith’s casting. Joseph also appeared in the 2005 episodes “Bad Wolf” and “The Parting of the Ways” as Rodrick.

If the above clip whets your appetite for more Capaldi – not to mention lead stars Gary Bakewell (Backbeat) and Laura Fraser (A Knight’s Tale) – you can get the special 15th Anniversary DVD release of Neverwhere from Amazon.

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By Seb Patrick