Who should be the next Doctor Who?

Doctor Who composite from

I’m a Doctor Who fan, and recently Matt Smith (the 11th Doctor) announced that he will be departing the show during this year’s Christmas Special episode. While Smith isn’t my favorite Doctor, he’s in my top five and I’ll be a little sad to see him go. Having a very young actor playing a 900 year old Time Lord was fun to watch, and Smith brought something new to a series that sometimes has a hard time finding new things to do. South Park could have easily tweaked the “Simpsons Did It” episode into “Doctor Who Did It” instead, for example.

Sci-fi fan site IO9 has a post that proposes bunch of characteristics that the next actor to play the Doctor should have. The post’s author, Charlie Jane Anders suggests an older actor, a darker and more angry personality for the Doctor, and so on. Anders’ most interesting suggestion, however, is that BBC consider regenerating the Doctor into a woman.

It’s apparently not impossible, as the episode “The Doctor’s Wife” indicates that a Time Lord known as the Corsair had regenerated as both male and female. And frankly I think it’s a fun idea.

So, what actresses do you think could pull off playing the Doctor in his first, likely very awkward female incarnation?

12 replies »

    • I’m unfamilar with Dawn French, and I know Watson only from Hermione. Watson is a bit young, IMO, for the role, and I worry that her youth and relative lack of experience would make the gender-bending nature of the transition too hard for her.

    • Mirren is one of the actresses I’ve considered myself. I don’t know Mirren’s filmography well enough to have a firm opinion one way or another.

  1. Rhona Mitra, Maggie Smith, Felicity Kendal, or Hermione Norris would be interesting. Tamsin Grieg is my first choice, though (assuming Helen Mirren wouldn’t do it).

    • I feel that, while Maggie Smith has certainly got the ability to play the Doctor, I think she’s too old. I don’t know much about your other actresses, although Greig certainly has “the look” for it.

      I’m concerned that Mitra would be too sexy for the role of the Doctor. I’m not comfortable with the dynamic that could bring to the character.

      • So we can have sexy companions but not a sexy Doctor? (Some would argue that we already have.) No, I get your reservation, but I think she could downplay the “model beauty” look and has the acting chops to pull off the quirkiness. Not my first choice, or second, but I think it might work.

        Smith IS probably too old, but I’m in the camp of very much wanting an older Doctor this go around. (Okay, probably not THAT old, but if she were ten years younger, I’ll bet she could do a fascinating Doctor.)

        • I’d like an older Doctor as well, but the right 40-something would be better than a middling 60-something.

          I think that Emma Thompson would make a great Doctor, as would Helena Bonham Carter. Other ideas who could probably do it are Cate Blanchett, and if the BBC wanted to go even further afield and not cast a UK actress, Gwyneth Paltrow.

          But there are so many great actresses already in the UK, the BBC almost certainly wouldn’t go for an American.

  2. Watch Green Wing to see Grieg in action. And The Vicar of Dibley to see Dawn French, although I can’t see her as the Doctor myself.

  3. After giving it a week’s thought, I’m sticking with my original opinion. My first choice for the new Doctor would be Sam Troughton. Don’t know why he’s not getting any buzz….