Who's Next? New Doctor Peter Capaldi may stay just 13 episodes
NEW Doctor Who Peter Capaldi could see his role as the Timelord finished after just 13 shows.
Details of the Scots actor's contract were let slip by show boss Stephen Moffat - who picked Capaldi to take over the TARDIS.
The dramatic handover from Matt Smith, 31, will be seen in this year's festive special which will be one of the highlights of Christmas Day TV.
After that Capaldi, 55, will star in two series of six episodes each before waving goodbye to the Timelord - or signing a new deal depending on how popular he has been.
Moffat, 51, confirmed that the former The Thick Of It star will be seen in 13 episodes next year.
If he moves on he will follow in the footsteps of Christopher Eccleston's short 2005 run as the Doctor - which left many fans frustrated.
Explaining why he picked his fellow Scot for the role, he said: "We couldn't have had another quirky young man because Matt had nailed the part.
"Peter's already a bit of a national treasure, an incredibly skilled, fine actor.
"As most people have realised, the moment you think of him in the part, you find it hard to think of anyone else.
"Every time I was at a TV do and Peter was there, he'd come over to talk about Doctor Who and he was the first to congratulate Matt.
"I started thinking, 'What if that genius actor might actually say yes?'"
For Capaldi's first season, Moffat promises something different for Doctor Who.
He added: "It will offer the best ever entrance into the TARDIS."
And reassuring fans about the changeover he said: "I sympathise with the kids who have grown up with Matt.
"It's like when you move home and your mum and dad say, 'You'll make new friends.'
"I always resented the intruder, but then after a while I forgot there had been one before him."
But before that, there is the 30th anniversary show, to be shown on November 23, also featuring the return of the 10th Doctor, David Tennant, 42, former assistant Rose, played by Billie Piper, 31, and veteran actor John Hurt, 73, as a mysterious version of the Doctor.