Fans. We have opinions, man! With the announcement that Peter Capaldi will be leaving Doctor Who after Season 10, online speculation as to his successor has been running rampant and everyone has their picks. This fan is no different. But now, who might they be…?
While I’ll miss Peter Capaldi, three full seasons and a handful of specials is a pretty good run for the Doctor. Heck, aside from Christopher Eccleston’s single-season turn, it’s basically the trend at this point, with David Tennant and Matt Smith both putting in similar tenures. I appreciated the maturity Capaldi brought to the series. The Doctor should be an older bloke, in this fan’s opinion… this is a character who has been everywhere and seen everything, and over a thousand-plus years and several deaths, that has to wear at a guy. All that said, I fully expect the role of the Doctor to go back to another handsome young dude (because that’s what sells merchandise, after all).
Anyway, here are a few of my picks for the next Doctor. This is all just for fun, of course, but I’m going to stay away from some of the more obvious fan-picks that’ll never happen (looking at you here, Cumberbatch). In no particular order…
Well-known as a comedic actor in Britain and generally one of those guys who shows up in everything, Stephen Mangan has some offbeat science fiction under his belt. He starred in BBC4’s ill-fated 2010 Dirk Gently (not the be confused with the current BBC America series) and his work on Episodes shows he has both the dramatic chops and the charm needed to pull off the Doctor. Mangan has expressed his interest in playing the part before, so we know he’d give it his all.
If that isn’t enough, David Tennant is his son’s godfather, so if Mangan ever needed advice on the role, he doesn’t have far to go.
Mark Sheppard has already appeared in two episodes of Doctor Who (the 2011 two-parter The Impossible Astronaut and Day of the Moon) but as the casting of Peter Capaldi proves, that’s no reason he can’t play the title role. Sheppard is well-known for playing clever villains like Badger (Firefly) and Crowley (Supernatural), so he could bring a dark gravitas to the Doctor. You want a shift in tone for the next season? Mark Sheppard is your man.
Unless you’re Canadian, chances are you’re not familiar with Jonny Harris. Heck, even if you are Canadian, he’s not exactly a household name (yet). A standup comic and actor mostly known for his role as Constable George Crabtree on the CBC’s The Murdoch Mysteries, the Newfoundland-born Harris is more than a longshot here… the BBC might be more open to a Canadian Doctor than an American, but let’s face it, neither are likely. Anyway, Harris’s quick wit paired with his Newfoundland accent would make for a fantastic and unique spin on the Doctor, and he has shown his dramatic side on The Murdoch Mysteries (which I’m told does have a fan base in the UK).
I didn’t realize how perfect this was until I read this week that Hayley Atwell wanted to play the role. The Master regenerating as Missy canonized the idea that a Time Lord can switch sexes, so the Doctor could just as easily regenerate as a woman. She’s a great actress, and if her showing in Captain America: the First Avenger and Agent Carter are anything to go by, Atwell is more than capable of taking on the action playing the Doctor would demand. Some fans have been hoping for a female Doctor for a while now, and I can scarcely think of a better candidate than Hayley Atwell.
David Tennant and Billie Piper
Hear me out here! What if there was a series of Doctor Who… with no Doctor? Well, maybe we can get by with a half-Doctor. You’ll remember Rose Tyler and the Meta-Crisis Doctor (regenerated from the Tenth Doctor’s severed hand, and dubbed Ten-Two by fans) were shuffled off to a parallel Earth, never to be seen again. Let’s bring them back!
Picture this: a complication with the Doctor’s regeneration has opened a rift between the worlds, pulling Rose and Ten-Two back to their original timeline. But the new 13th Doctor has gone missing in the accident, leaving Rose and Ten-Two in the TARDIS. They set out on a mission to find the Doctor, getting into all sorts of trouble along the way.
Of course, I realize this idea is fanwank of the highest order. But it would give the writers a chance to try something new for the series while paying a nice tribute to the Russell T. Davies years, a lot of which has barely been referenced since Stephen Moffat started calling the shots.
Well, those are a few of my picks. Agree? Disagree? Think I’m a bloody idiot? Hit me up on Twitter @cpcwrites and let me know.