Pearl Mackie and Peter Capaldi as Bill and the Doctor in 'Doctor Who'
Pearl Mackie and Peter Capaldi as Bill and the Doctor in 'Doctor Who'

“Doctor Who” star Peter Capaldi has mixed feelings about leaving the show. The Scottish actor has revealed his real reason he will be passing on the titular role to somebody else.

Capaldi, a self-confessed lifelong fan of the sci-fi show, knew from the start that he wouldn’t be holding onto being the Gallifreyan Time Lord forever. It was a bittersweet knowledge to have at the beginning of his DW career, but he still couldn’t wait to do something else after the end of the 10th season.

“The thing is the moment you get the job, you know you’re going to have to leave it,” Capaldi told Empire in an interview. “That might just be part of my doomy, melancholic nature, but as soon as I became the Doctor, I immediately propelled my mind to this spot.”

That is okay, though. Capaldi thought it was time for a change. He has held the role since 2014, and apart from this and his other notable role as spin doctor Malcolm Tucker in “The Thick of It,” he hadn’t played a character for four years straight. “It’s not my style really,” he said.

Even before he confirmed his soon-to-be exit, it was widely speculated that Capaldi would be leaving the show after its 10th season this year. Showrunner Steven Moffat will be leaving the show to Chris Chibnall, and so it would make sense for Capaldi to leave as well.

With the lead actor gone, Chibnall would be free to start fresh with a new Doctor. It’s unclear if upcoming companion Bill (Pearl Mackie) will also be given an exit at the season 10 conclusion. If so, that would also allow Chibnall to introduce new companions for the new Time Lord.

Nevertheless, like Moffat before him, Chibnall will be penning the 13th Doctor’s first words in the Christmas special. When Moffat inherited the showrunning duties from Russell T Davies in 2010, he penned the then-new 11th Doctor Matt Smith’s first dialogue in the final episode featuring 10th Doctor David Tennant. Now Moffat is extending the same courtesy to Chibnall, giving the “Broadchurch” creator freedom to write whatever the upcoming Doctor’s first words will be.

Capaldi’s replacement is yet to be announced – or allegedly even picked – but fans already have their own bets. The actor was rumoured to be leaving the show as early as last year, and so Whovians had come up with names that could be the next Time Lord. The list includes “Harry Potter” actor Rupert Grint, “Sherlock” star Benedict Cumberbatch and even funnyman Richard Ayoade. And if the Time Lord somehow regenerates into a Time Lady, “Agent Carter” star Hayley Atwell and “Sherlock’s” Lara Pulver would be great names to start with.

“Doctor Who” season 10 will premiere in April on BBC in the UK. The episode will be released in Australia in the big screen on April 16.

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