Only 11 people have ever officially played Doctor Who, so when the announcement of the 12th came yesterday, it set Twitter abuzz with conversation. In fact, there were more than a million mentions of the news over the course of the day.
This was only the second announcement of a new Doctor since Twitter was created, and the first since 2009 (not counting the announcement of John Hurt appearing in the 50th anniversary special!) so Whovians flocked to Twitter to discuss it.
When official Twitter account @BBCDoctorWho announced that Peter Capaldi would be the new Doctor, replacing outgoing Matt Smith, it was no surprise to see that Tweet get more than 30,000 retweets and favourites:
For the whole of Sunday, #DoctorWho trended in the UK as fans awaited the excitement. Hashtags on Twitter allow fans of anything - a TV show, a sports team or music fans - to congregate around the same conversation.
Steven Moffat trended number 1 in the UK and worldwide, David Tennant trended at number 3 worldwide, and at one point 7 of the ten UK’s trends were Doctor Who-related.
The BBC’s live coverage of the announcement started at 7pm UK time. The peak of Twitter conversation came at 7.27pm UK time, when the new Doctor was announced, with 16,198 tweets per minute (TPM). And celebrity Doctor Who fans and actors were also quick to get involved in the global conversation.
Writer Armando Iannuncci, who worked alongside Capaldi on TV show ‘The Thick Of It’ had this message to share:
There can’t be a funnier, wiser, more exciting Time Lord than Peter Capaldi. The universe is in great hands. #DoctorWho— Armando Iannucci ( @Aiannucci) August 4, 2013
And Alastair Campbell joined the conversation, referencing the fact Capaldi’s character in ‘The Thick Of It’ is said to be inspired by him:
Very grateful for all the congratulatory tweets re my new role as Dr Who, however undeserved. Good luck to Peter Capaldi— Alastair Campbell ( @campbellclaret) August 4, 2013
Doctor Who actors Karen Gillan and John Hurt also shared their excitement:
CAPALDI! Superb choice. Swear I’ve seen him in Pompeii…— Karen Gillan ( @KarenGillan2) August 4, 2013
Congratulations to Peter Capaldi and to the BBC. Another splendid Doctor!— John Hurt ( @WithJohnHurt) August 4, 2013
It’s shaping up to be a fascinating autumn series on UK television screens - Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary special, plus the return of favourites like X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing.
And with 95% of public conversation about TV happening on Twitter, fans are sure to be joining the conversation on the platform throughout the season.