As we reported, the current Doctor Who; Matt Smith (who has played the Doctor for 4 years) is leaving the show at Christmas, speculation has been rife over who will replace him. With the season finale having John Hurt pop up as an unknown Doctor could he stay on after Smith’s departure? He will probably have prior commitments and would be unable to stay long term on the show so I think that’s a no, but if not him then who? Well the bookies are currently taking bets on it, and have a full list of their suggestions you may want to look at, either at The Guardian or The Mirror, but here are some of my ideas for possible contenders.
An interesting notion is either Benedict Cumberbatch or Martin Freeman will take over the role. Now, Moffat does work on both Doctor Who and Sherlock and has made it very clear he wants to keep both of these shows separate and in their own universes. Could he be doing this so he can keep one of them on stand by as the Doctor perhaps? With the success of The Hobbit and Star Trek Into Darkness at the box office, Hollywood will be after these two, and with the pair already committed to Sherlock the work load would likely be too much for either of them.
Frankly some of the names that have come up as possible Doctors seem a bit strange so let us clear some of these out of the picture. Rowan Atkinson is on the bookies list and he would be a great Doctor, in fact he already has been in a Red Nose Day TV special. It would seem strange to reuse him again even if that short was not considered cannon. Anthony Stewart Head is another name that has been floating around, most famous as Giles on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and has already starred in the episode of Doctor Who called School Reunion. Would fans be able to detach themselves away from the alien teacher he played before to enjoy him as the Doctor now? I am not sure, but he would make a hell of a Doctor if they decided to go for him, however unlikely.
So who does that leave us with? Below are 8 of the actors who have the best chances of playing the time lord…
8. Ben Whishaw
Ben certainly has the exposure as his turn in Skyfall must have now been seen by everyone on the planet. Playing Q in that movie he sometimes comes off like he is on audition for Doctor Who anyway, with the quirky hair and glasses and wicked tongue he uses his brains and his words to great effect. He is young too, so if he wanted to leave the role early and continue with his film career he would certainly have the option. With Skyfall doing so well though I have to think that the chance to appear in more mainstream or personal projects would be more appealing to him at this stage.
7. Rory Kinnear
Rory Kinnear has also had a role in Skyfall and as a slightly older gentleman than Ben would make for an interesting choice. If he would take the role is anyone’s guess, but there is something about his acting style that makes me think he would settle right into the role nicely and bring that british-ness to it that we are used to seeing.
6. Damian Molony
A relative new face, he is most famous to UK audiences for his work on the last two series of Being Human. Having seen very little of his work it is hard to say if he would be a good match or not. He does not seem to be quirky enough for the role but would he want to jump right into another TV series so soon after finishing one?
5. Russell Tovey
Russell Tovey has a similar problem. He too has been in Being Human and in an episode of Doctor Who (in a Christmas special) and though he is quirky enough to do it, I don’t think he is quite the right person for the job. He even admitted that himself as he once auditioned for the role of the 11th Doctor and found it terrifying (full interview with Russell about his interview here).
4. Stephen Mangan
Out of all the names included this is one of my favorites. Mangan is a superb actor who manages to mix stupidity, cockiness and a sense of quirky fun into every role he plays. With his turn on the Douglas Adams show Dirk Gently he pretty much nailed that character and as I was watching him perform all I could think about was how he would make a good Doctor. He has already tweeted the message “don’t bet on it” with regards to him getting the role, but how many times have we heard someone deny a role only to be confirmed later on (J.J.Abrams and Star Wars anyone?).
3. Patterson Joseph
Patterson is another incredible actor who has been on the scene for a while, and a black Doctor may open up the show to a whole new audience. The main thing is he can act. However, he has already been in two episodes of Doctor Who called The Bad Wolf and Parting of the Ways, as well as appearing in a Doctor Who audio book. If this be in his favor or not at this stage I cannot say?
2. Olivia Coleman
The interesting thing about this regeneration is that Moffat has mentioned he has been considering a female doctor, and who would be better than Olivia Coleman? With amazing performances in Broad Church where she portrays hard hitting and emotional changes in character all through the successful shows run and with a ditzy but hilarious role in the comedy show Green Wing, she certainly has what it takes to be a great Doctor and also a history making one. She has also played a character in Doctor Who, this time as a monster in The Eleventh Hour.
1. Ben Daniels
Ben Daniels is the bookies’ favorite for this job and you can see why. Working on Law and Order and Merlin means he has dipped his toes in popular TV shows before and he has a great look to him that just draws you in. Also he is an older actor who may bring a different approach to the show.
Whomever it is in the end, we won’t have to wait long for an answer as Radio Times has already reported we could get the news on casting next month. Just for fun though I thought I would leave you with some of my choices for The Doctor, starting with Idris Elba. Idris would play an incredible intense Doctor with pretty much every role he plays been brilliant he would add a darker tone to the show.
Mark Gatiss who has written episodes before for the show has that quiet charm to be a more refined choice for the role. He can also do creepy and sometimes out right bonkers acting with his numerous roles in The League of Gentlemen as evidence of this. Finally we have Joe Gilgun who is best known as Rudy in Misfits. Christopher Eccleston was great as a northern doctor and I think some regional accent work would be great fun. Also Joe is a great actor but what I really want to see is him play Rudy via Doctor Who. No way is any of this happening but the fun of this new regeneration for the Doctor is the guessing. Check back in a month’s time to see who really will be taking on the mantle of the time lord.
[Editor’s Pick: Adam has a great list compiled here but I would give anything to see Miranda Hart manning the Tardis. No doubt she would find a way to crash it into Buckingham Palace but it would be fun to watch!]