This Sunday the actor taking on the lead role in the jewel in the BBC’s crown, Doctor Who, will be announced. We’ll find out who the latest last of the Timelords is in a special broadcast hosted by famed sci-fi fan, Zoe Ball. She definitely is a sci-fi fan, there’s absolutely no way the BBC have rushed this program through.
The bookies are saying that Peter Capaldi, the man behind Malcolm Tucker’s sweary face, is the hot favourite and he’d probably do a fine job. The thing is, in the past Stephen Moffat and the Doctor Who team have chosen actors from the left field who are given a bit more space to do something interesting. Matt Smith came from nowhere and smashed it, Benedict Cumberbatch is nailing it as Sherlock but couldn’t get arrested until he put on that admittedly very lovely coat. Here are my choices for actors who could be great Doctors, but probably never will be.
Known to sci-fi fans from his appearance in Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror, Gleeson has shown that he can pull off a wide range of characters with his turns in Harry Potter, True Grit and Dredd. He’s got androgynous Tilda Swinton style looks and feels like he could be a natural successor to Matt Smith’s new direction.
Following in the footsteps of earlier anarcho-Doctors like Tom Baker, Dylan Moran could give this role an interesting take. He’s got acting chops too, appearing in Shaun of the Dead and Black Books. He’d definitely give a different energy from the clean cut Doctor we’ve had for two regenerations.
Admittedly the highest paid TV actor might be a tough booking for the austerity stricken BBC, but everyone was surprised by the performance Laurie turned in for his super successful show House. He’s already loved by the British public but has been off our screens for a while. He’s witty and charming and definitely wouldn’t struggle to keep pace with the thousand mile an hour dialogue of his predecessor.
Another from the "definitely too famous to take this role" camp but Arterton could do a great job of being the first female Doctor. She sometimes suffers from being cast as “the woman” in movies but has a wicked sense of humour and is definitely quick enough to keep up with the Timelords.
Someone Completely Unknown
This is the one I really want, someone we’ve never heard of. Part of it is the romantic idea that someone out there could be plucked from obscurity to take on the biggest role in British TV. But mostly it’s the success of it happening before. Matt Smith basically didn’t exist in showbiz until he took on the Doctor, and he’s been my favourite out of the “new” Doctors. David Tennant was hardly a megastar when he was cast and Tumblr is still full of people swooning over his performance as the man from Gallifrey. The most exciting outcome would definitely be getting an entirely original take on this role from a brand new face. Someone free to do it their own way, not shackled by their previous performances or public opinion.
So if the bookies are wrong and the BBC have chosen someone we’re not expecting, who do you think should be the next Doctor?