When Matt Smith announced that he was hanging up his sonic screwdriver and leaving Doctor Who it left a big whole in the series, and Whovians were desperately hoping that whoever took on the role could live up to the expectations they have of what makes a great Doctor.
For me, the ultimate Doctor will always be Tom Baker as he filled the role during the key Doctor Who loving stage of my childhood. Teen Number One loves Christopher Eccleston, whereas being just a little younger Teen Number Two firmly believes that David Tennant is the ultimate Doctor role model.
The BBC announced the new Doctor is Peter Capaldi, I was excited to see how he develops
50th Anniversary Mini-Episode Teaser
Peter Capaldi Is The 12th Doctor.
Peter Capaldi is the 12th Doctor. He’s Scottish, he has a good pedigree with the BBC, and he’s older than the recent crop of Doctors from the Moffatt era. I think he’s a good choice, he has a huge range, and can express all manner of emotions physically.
In the “interesting” category, he’s a total Doctor Who fan boy, and the BBC dug out a letter published in the Radio Times (a TV guide) from Peter when he was 15, thanking them for a great episode, and making further episode suggestions. Conspiracy theorists point to his role in the recent World War Z movie, where the credits list him as WHO Doctor, as he played a doctor from the World Health Organization.
Peter Capaldi may be best known as the spectacularly foul mouthed Scottish spin doctor in The Thick of It, but I suspect he’ll make a brilliant PG rated Doctor, but with menace and rage expressed through his eyes and physical movements,
I’m excited to see him as the new Doctor, and intrigued as to who could make a compelling companion for him, so far we’ve had a bit of a curious companion switchover. His movie interpretation of the Malcolm Tuck role is brilliant in the TransAtlantic crossover In The Loop with James Gandolfini.
The Other Entries
It was a two-horse race between Ben Daniels and Chris Addison with Chiwetel Ejiofor having some backers, before the books were closed after the non-announcement of Rory Kinnear.
James Frain looked an interesting choice, but with his recent high profile role in The White Queen as Lord Warwick the KingMaker in the days before King Richard III’s ascention to the throne, was firmly in the running to play Christian Grey in the 50 Shades of Grey Movie.
Chiwetel Ejiofor is an interesting candidate, coming straight off the back of his success as the lead in 1930s London Jazz mystery Dancing on the Edge and the dark thriller Shadow Line.
Is it time for the first black Doctor?
It looks like a lot of money was placed on Ben Daniels as he shot straight up the leader board of favorites to play the 12th Doctor Who. He’s looking like someone who may have had a call from Stephen Moffat. With TV series like Cutting It, The State Within and Law & Order under his belt, as well as a stint on Merlin, he’s been around the block.
He’ll be perhaps best known to American audiences as Adam Galloway in the recent US remake of House Of Cards, which was a real treat.
It’s not unheard of for a politician who wants to get elected to put some money on themselves to shift the odds and make themselves look suddenly popular, maybe Ben learned a trick or two on House of Cards. Watch this space.
The Risk BBC Cymru Takes With Each New Doctor
Bringing Dr Who back was a huge risk for BBC Wales in 2005. The show had been off the air for a whole generation, and was no longer on anyone’s Saturday night must watch list. TV had moved on, families no longer gathered to watch the latest shows as they were broadcast. People watched alone in their rooms, or on their laptops. iPlayer, TiVo, Sky+ and a range of other options allowed people to watch shows when they wanted rather than when the schedulers planned them.
A combination of great writing and great casting brought a whole new generation of fans, even more passionate than the last. This leaves BBC Wales in the tricky position of having to keep people happy, whilst knowing that it will be an impossible task to do so. I wish them luck, in the meantime, here’s what Dr Who fans are buying and selling right now.
Could The Next Doctor Be A Woman?
There was much discussion about whether this Doctor would be a woman. Billie Piper, famous to fans of Doctor Who as companion Rose, was a current frontrunner as a female Doctor. The idea hasn’t ever been ruled out for the future, but it certainly hasn’t been ruled completely in. What do you think?
Should The Next Doctor Be A Woman?
Early Front Runners to Play the 13th Doctor
Russell Tovey has had a good run in Being Human, and is used to playing extraordinary characters. He needs a new challenge and Doctor Who could be it. As an openly gay actor, he has so far only played straight men. An ambiguous alien could be just what the doctor ordered.Damien Molony is making a late showing, another Being Human graduate, he played Hal in the most recent series.
The early front runners for the 12th Doctor showed a clear distance between themselves and the rest of the field. The betting does not, of course, take into account whether or not the individual would take the role on Doctor Who if offered. That’s a real consideration for actors who may fear the typecasting that can come with a successful run on such a popular global serial.
The job has proved to be a springboard for some, and it has certainly done David Tennant no harm, but the role does tend to stay with actors, so even when playingHamlet with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford Upon Avon, there were people scrabbling to get tickets to see Doctor Who rather than the Prince ofDenmark.
Whilst these Ben and Rupert started out favorites for 12, there’s been some interesting late entries into the field as well, and they’re all still talked about as 13 so we’ll look at each of those too.
Rupert Grint drifted out to 25/1. He has struggled a little to throw off his Harry Potter cloak, and a step up to the lead in Doctor Who could be a good route to take him away from his childhood role. A ginger Doctor? I think it’s a good fit.Matthew Lewis is now a handsome young man, and quite an actor. Could he shake off Neville Longbottom to travel in space and time?
The Unlikely Contenders
Gossip and rumor abounded. Some of those rumors were just plain silly, but it doesn’t stop them getting press column inches. Suggestions such as David Beckham, Stephen Fry and Simon Cowell are just too silly to discuss, and whilst Rowan Atkinson and Hugh Lawrie are both British, I think that might be the only thing they have going for them as actors to get the role of the 13th Doctor.
James Corden and Ewan McGregor fall into the similar bucket of too absurd to give any thought to for me, but there are some long shots that I think need knocking off one by one:
Helen Mirren would be a brave piece of casting. Very brave, really, really ridiculously brave. So brave, some people might call it stupid. Who wants to see the woman who played The Queen as the Doctor?
She’s ruled herself out, and suggested that the next Doctor should be a black lesbian.
Benedict Cumberbatch would be fabulous as the Doctor, if only he hadn’t gone and been wonderful in Sherlock.
Sorry, he’s ruled himself out by being in another massively successful BBC series. It’s a shame, but that’s the rule (that I just made up).
Idris Elba, The Wire’s Stringer Bell, is another British actor doing rather well in the USA.
He’s doing so well that I don’t think he’d be tempted back to play the Doctor, although he was hotly tipped last time around.
Betting on the 13th Doctor has started, and so far it seems pretty open. That would imply that a decision hasn’t been made, as anyone who knew the identity of the next Doctor would have bet their mortgage on the announcement, shifting the odds. Right now Ben Daniels and Chris Addison look favorites.
David Harewood, who was brilliant as David Estes, the Deputy Director of the CIA’s Counter Terrorism Center in Homeland has appeared in Doctor Who, which automatically gets him into the rumor mill, but I think his career is too well advanced for the role.