MCM: Peter Capaldi


Before he was Doctor Who, Peter Capaldi had a long career in British TV, mostly crime procedurals and murder mysteries. But he also showed up in decent number of frock flicks on the big and little screen. He alternates between quirky, charming roles and glowering, dastardly roles, and I’d love to see him in a few more historical productions.



Azolan in Dangerous Liaisons (1988)

Peter Capaldi, Dangerous Liaisons (1988)

He plays the Vicomte de Valmont’s valet, who engages in quite a bit of devious behavior on behalf of his employer. With a smile.

Peter Capaldi, Dangerous Liaisons (1988)

At the ready!



Robert Wood in Shadow of the Noose, “The Camden Town Murder” (1989)

Peter Capaldi, Shadow of the Noose (1989)

In one episode of a TV series about a Victorian barrister. Peter Capaldi looks yummy!

Peter Capaldi, Shadow of the Noose (1989)




Young Sorleyson in December Bride (1990)

Peter Capaldi, December Bride (1990)

This, however, seems to be an early “glowering” role for Capaldi.



Claude Langton in Poirot, “Wasps’ Nest” (1991)

Peter Capaldi, Poirot (1991)

Omg, I dated this boy in college! Multiple times. *swoon*

Peter Capaldi, Poirot (1991)

He plays some kind of artsy fellow in this obligatory ’20s mystery.

Peter Capaldi, Poirot (1991)

Whoa! Things get weird.



Mr. Vladimir in The Secret Agent (1992)

Peter Capaldi, The Secret Agent (1992)

Per IMDB: “A triple agent attempts to blow up the Greenwich Observatory in 1894.” I’m just here for the white tie.



Lord Fellamar in The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling (1997)

Peter Capaldi, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling (1997)

The very foppy bad guy. I NEED HIS WIG PLS.

Peter Capaldi, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling (1997)

A rather inept bad guy.



Jean Cocteau in Modigliani (2004)

Peter Capaldi, Modigliani (2004)

Set in 1919, this biopic of the artist Amedeo Modigliani includes his circle of friends, and Capaldi plays this French poet.



King Charles I in The Devil’s Whore (2008)

Peter Capaldi, The Devil's Whore (2008)

Looking good as the king in this English Civil War romance.



Caecilius in Doctor Who, “The Fires of Pompeii” (2008)

Peter Capaldi, Doctor Who (2008)

Before he became the Twelfth Doctor, he played a sculptor in Pompeii who meets the Tenth Doctor.



Balthazar in The Nativity (2010)

Peter Capaldi, The Nativity (2010)

Ye olde biblical thang.



Samuel Kent in The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher, “The Murder at Road Hill House” (2011)

Peter Capaldi, The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher (2011)

In one episode of a 1860s murder mystery series.



Cardinal Richelieu in The Musketeers (2014)

Peter Capaldi, The Musketeers (2014)

A) I think this series is silly as shit. B) I never really got into the whole Three Musketeers story anyway. C) I don’t understand why Cardinal Richelieu would be dressed like this. D) Peter Capaldi looks bad-ass here. E) I love capes.

Peter Capaldi, The Musketeers (2014)

Wait for it…

Peter Capaldi, The Musketeers (2014)




The Doctor in Doctor Who, “Deep Breath” (2014)

Peter Capaldi, Doctor Who (2014)

The Doctor doesn’t typically wear historical clothing, but in Capaldi’s first episode post-regeneration, he was in Victorian London & hadn’t figured out who he was or what his signature look would be yet. So he wore Victorian clothes, & I’m counting it as a frock flick!

Peter Capaldi, Doctor Who (2014)



The Doctor in Doctor Who, “Thin Ice” (2017)

Peter Capaldi, Doctor Who (2017)

Later, the Doctor takes his companion Bill to the London frost fair in 1814. While companions often dress to fit a historical time period, this is another rare episode where the Doctor does as well.

Peter Capaldi, Doctor Who (2017)



Mr. Micawber in The Personal History of David Copperfield (2019)

Personal History of David Copperfield (2019)

So well cast in this as a wacky, good-natured schemer!

Peter Capaldi, The Personal History of David Copperfield (2019)



Dolben in Martin’s Close (2019)

Peter Capaldi, Martin's Close (2019)

Something about a trial and maybe a ghost? IDK, but I do like the crazy hair.




What’s your favorite of Peter Capaldi’s frock flick roles?

24 Responses

  1. lynda

    IIRC also he played a very neurotic George Harrison in one of the made-for-tv Beatles movies they did after John Lennon was killed? (I figure since you included Andrew Scott as Paul McCartney in another movie this also rates a mention.)

  2. NuitsdeYoung

    For me, one of the great weaknesses of ‘Dangerous Liaisons’ was that Peter Capaldi as the valet was waaaaaaaay more attractive than John Malkovich as Valmont. I could have believed in the former playing a dashing young rake far more than the latter.

    He looked great as Richelieu; could have played him in a proper biopic.

    • Lily Lotus Rose

      Oh, no! John Malkovich was SO HOT as Valmont!! Whenever, I try to convince my friends that he’s hot, I’m like–watch Dangerous Liaisons. But I absolutely agree with you about his look as Richelieu and that he’d be excellent as him in a “proper biopic.”

      • Bea

        no, no, no, we were ROBBED
        Valmont SHOULD HAVE BEEN Alan Rickman, as on stage–Malkovich can’t even come close.

        • Lily Lotus Rose

          Oh, Bea…who can argue with that? I had no idea that Rickman had played Valmont on stage until I read about it somewhere on this blog. I think there is a picture too… and of course Rickman looked delish!!! And, of course, I accept that he was excellent in the role because he was excellent in everything. But, I still stand by my original comment that John Malkovich was HOT and AWESOME as Valmont and also that between a choice of Malkovich or Capaldi as Valmot, I choose Malkovich. And I’ll add that he was also HOT as a Valmont-type in Annie Lennox’s “Walking on Broken Glass” music video, also reviewed on this blog.

  3. susan l eiffert

    Love seeing him in these earlier and later roles! He transfixed me as Vera Reynolds in Prime Suspect. I’d never seen him before. A great actor.

    • KayHay

      He was remarkable as Vera. So moving as that damaged creature. He should have won many awards! Also the first time I saw Ciaran Hinds who has done a number of Frock Flicks, notably as Captain Wentworth in Persuasion and Mr. Rochester in one of those dozens of Jane Eyres.

  4. Michael McQuown

    First thing I ever saw him in Was “Lair of the White Worm,” with Hugh Grant; not a period piece, but an early outing for both of them. I would go for “Liaisons” as the period piece.

  5. Lynne Connolly

    Tremendous actor! My favourites of his are the young Peter in Local Hero, and of course Malcolm in The Thick of It and In The Loop, but neither of these are historicals.
    He was a great Doctor, but the scripts were awful.
    Loved his Richlieu!

    • Al Don

      You took the works right out of my mouth! Likewise my favorites from him are Local Hero and In the Loop. His way of sandblasting people with obscenities becomes almost poetic, such is his flair.

      Such a good actor.

  6. Cheryl from Maryland

    Not a Frock Flick, but those of us who can stand really, really bad Ken Russell films can see him at his youngest and sweetest as he and Hugh Grant compete for the floppy hair title in “Lair of the White Worm.” With bagpipes!

  7. Lily Lotus Rose

    Yes, he looked and was FABULOUS as Richelieu in The Musketeers. Yes, the show was silly, but, I mean–it’s The Musketeers!! Also, Richelieu is such a JUICY role! (Although my fave Richelieu will forever be Tim Curry from the ’93 version.) He’s great in everything I’ve seen him in, so it’s difficult to answer. Totally forgot he was in Modigliani, probably because I was drooling over Andy Garcia the whole time. And now, I have to track down The Secret Agent, I had no idea that was adapted for film!! Good post!!

    • lynda

      I watched the shit out of that show and enjoyed every minute! It’s delightful Dumas fanfic.

  8. Charity

    I named my gray cat after Capaldi. Cap for short. Everyone assumes I named him for Captain America. Pfft. NOPE.

    I love the hell out of him as the Cardinal in The Musketeers. He’s the only reason I keep watching it. Fabulous character and a snarky performance. (Oh that lovely voice he has!) And it was hilarious — the last time I watched Dangerous Liasons with a friend, we both went — wait IS THAT CAPALDI? IT WAS. A baby-faced Capaldi! We were Much Amused.

  9. Damnitz

    Roux Azolan is my favorite role in “Dangerous Liasions” and in my opinion Peter Capaldi did a great job. I love his work together with John Malkovich as the perfect team.

    • SarahV

      I had the hottest of the hots for Azolan in that movie. So sly and vulpineQ