As you’ve no doubt heard by now, actor Matt Smith will be leaving the hit BBC series Doctor Who at the end of the year. In the hour-long trailer for the Christmas special that masqueraded as the series finale a few weeks back, we learned that Smith’s Doctor will come into contact with a future Doc played by John Hurt.
But seriously, beyond that one-off episode, no-one is really expecting Hurt to stick around as the title character in the Beeb’s flagship programme. After all, the show’s young audience hate seeing old people because it reminds them of their Gran’s house.
So that begs the question: who will be the next doctor? If you’ve been following the news for the past few weeks, you’ve seen the minor media furore accusing Doctor Who of being a fusty, old imperialist fantasy. So it stands to reason that the BBC might be eager to widen the casting net for the next incarnation of the Doctor. Based on no facts whatsoever, here are some prime candidates for the role:
1. Idris Elba
If you’re looking for a black Doctor, you’re also going to want him to be cool. Not Noel Clarke-acting-like-a-hard-man cool, but Idris Elba-silently-judging-you-and-ready-to-shove-a-sonic-screwdriver-where-it-don’t-belong cool. That’s why the star of The Wire would make for an awesome Doctor. Sadly, with his BBC cop show Luther still on the go and Pacific Rim about to hit cinemas this summer, we doubt he’d lock himself into a contract for what is essentially a show for kids.
2. Danny Dyer
We know what you’re thinking, next to all the doctors have been dead posho: the only Northern Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) was given the heave-ho after just one season. So why not cast someone with an air of danger; a working class hero that regular folks can relate to; an actor who can play both drama and comedy with mixed results? An actor like, Danny Dyer, say. He’s pretty much the only person on this list who wouldn’t hesitate over taking this job. “No, thank you” is a phrase that’s simply missing from the Dyer lexicon.
3. Dan Stevens
Some people might say that the Doctor is too posh. But others might think that he’s not too posh enough! Perhaps the ballsiest thing head writer Stephen Moffat can do at this point is double-down and introduce the poshest Doctor yet! And if he wants to do that, he can’t far wrong with actor Dan Stevens! After his recent departure from Downton Abbey, he must surely be looking for work: after all, most movies made in the UK these days feature men calling each other ‘slags’ and threatening each other with shooters — and we doubt he’s going up for those parts.
4. Gwendoline Christie
- “Hello, who’s this?”
- “It’s me, the 1960s! I’m calling to get my misogynist TV casting practices back!“
Considering we’re now knee deep in the 21st Century, we should probably be seeing more women in leading roles on television and what better place to start than with the most popular show on a government-funded network. If there’s one trait that characterises all of the Doctor’s previous incarnations, it’s an extroverted sense of otherness; of being supremely confident yet somewhat uncomfortable. So who better to be the first female Doctor than Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie?
In the HBO series, Christie utilises her 6’3″ frame to play Brienne of Tarth, a noblewoman who transformed herself into a warrior through hard work and sheer force of will. She’s one of the most physically striking around and she’s already proven herself on one of TV’s biggest franchises. PLUS — being a fan-favourite, she would be spared the online fury the BBC would receive if they went with, say… Gemma Arterton instead.
5. Michael Cera
Over the past few years, under the watchful eye of show-runners Russel T Davies and Steven Moffat, the franchise’s popularity has expanded beyond these green and pleasant lands. Apart from Top Gear, Doctor Who is the BBC’s most valuable property overseas.
So it would stand to reason that the show is best served by a big Hollywood actor. One with a slightly nerdy following, perhaps: someone like Scott Pilgrim and Arrested Development star Michael Cera! Sure, this would be the most blasphemous thing to ever happen to the Whoniverse, but I bet a record number of people would tune in for the first episode, if only to live-tweet their hate.
Who do you think would make for an interesting Doctor? Tell us on the comment board below, or take to our facebook page and make your opinion known!
Part 2 of Doctor Who’s 7th Series is now available at blinkbox