After months of waiting, the BBC have confirmed that today will see the announcement of the Thirteenth Doctor, Peter Capaldi’s successor in the TARDIS. There’s very little time left for theorising then, but The Gallifrey Times team have managed to chip in with their final thoughts on who number 13 should be:
If you’re anything like me, you’re probably a bit nervous about tomorrow’s announcement. Who could it be? What if they choose badly? In reality, though, whoever is cast is almost certainly going to deserve it; every actor to have played the Doctor has been just right.
I think this is the most important bit of casting for the show since Christopher Eccleston, because it is going to coincide with what seems to be an upcoming seismic shift with the arrival of Chris Chibnall (for all of the complaints about Moffat, he never strayed that far from the basic RTD playbook), and therefore will determine the direction the show goes in for perhaps as much as a decade, just as Eccleston did. With that in mind, I’d like to see a big change; not someone cast to remind us of the glory days of Tennant or Smith, but instead someone who would redefine the role in the way Eccleston did.
I don’t know for sure who that person would be. I’d like for it not to be a white male, as I think the time’s come to go with something new. Someone like Sacha Dhawan, an actor who has earned his stripes on cult shows like Sherlock, Marvel’s Iron Fist and Being Human and has a Doctor Who connection, would fit the bill. A female Doctor should definitely be considered, too – Phoebe Waller-Bridge is probably too busy right now with her own work, but she would make a fantastic Doctor if she did happen to clear her schedule.
Ultimately, who knows? Peter Capaldi has left some enormous shoes to fill, but I’m confident that, whoever it is, they’ll live up to that standard.
Possibly excluding Kris Marshall.
This is the first time I’ve ever been worried about who the next Doctor will be. With theories, ideologies and well known actors’ names being tossed around, there’s a concerning level of expectancy within the fandom. For the first time ever, the prospect of a female Doctor is just as likely as any other choice. I’m willing to give a female Doctor a try one day, but I personally hope, for reasons I shall not go into here, that the Doctor always stays male,.
So, who would I cast as Doctor number thirteen? Answer: I’ve no idea.
I do know what sort of actor I’d like though. I would still keep it male, as I think with a new show runner, companion and Doctor it’s already going to be a turbulent time, so changing the gender of a 50+ year old lead character as well would just be too much of a change for the show right now. So I’d say male, probably not as old as Capaldi but older than Smith. I wouldn’t like to see a big, famous actor in the role as it’s harder to suspend disbelief when the actor is already well known for a character. Can you honestly say when you see David Bradley as the First Doctor your mind doesn’t think, just for a moment, about Argus Filch from Harry Potter or Solomon from Dinosaurs on a Spaceship? Finally, I think if I were to shake things up a little, I’d go with an actor of a different ethnicity, but still British, as the show is, was and always will be a British show. So possibly an oldish, British, black actor.
But not Idris Elba.
Steven Moffat’s era of Doctor Who saw some incredibly bold casting decisions. Matt Smith, Peter Capaldi and John Hurt have all proved that age is no barrier to playing the Doctor, whilst Michelle Gomez’s sublime portrayal of Missy has done wonders in showing just how well a male-to-female regeneration can work. In addition to this, Series 11 will see the show’s biggest changes both in front of and behind the camera since Series 5. Just as with Smith back then, a fresh and unknown face could be just as inspired and successful a move. Whoever is announced as the Thirteenth Doctor this weekend, I hope it is a decision that the new exec team has made with the same strength of conviction – to play it safe would not be in the spirit of a show as pioneering as Doctor Who has always been.
Hype-post incoming: In all honesty, after having now had the older Doctor I have desired for years, I don’t know who I want as the 13th Doctor. A female Doctor would obviously be a staggering change and an interesting one at that, so I can tick that off as a good to go. A young Doctor again would be grand, but I worry about that being a decision purely to appeal to a young female audience. Then again, look how Matt turned out. For me, a Doctor of alternate ethnicity, after over 50 years of white-British actors, would be massive now. Give me Idris Elba and I can die a happy man. Or Tilda Swinton as the female Doctor. Please Mr BBC.
The Doctor has been white and male for over 50 years now, and in my opinion, it’s time for a change. There are plenty of amazing female actors and actors of colour to choose from and I would honestly be ecstatic for anyone other than a white man to take on the role. However, if I was casting for the role, I would like to see Natalie Dormer’s interpretation of the Doctor. From Game of Thrones, to Elementary, to The Hunger Games, Dormer has shown she’s a screen stealer, taking supporting characters and making them unforgettable, so I think she would be the perfect choice to portray the first female Doctor.