Who will be the next (and last?) Doctor?

All of the incarnations of Doctor Who as cats

All of the incarnations of Doctor Who as cats

Matt Smith is leaving Doctor Who Christmas 2013. What makes this particular regeneration remarkable is that it could very well be the last one. The revelation of John Hurt as a ‘missing incarnation’ of the Doctor could very well make Smith the 12th rather than the 11th Doctor, thus making his next life the last (unless you take what was said in the Sarah Jane Smith episode regarding regenerations as canon).

The news is till new, but there are already a few hot choices for what actor could be playing the next Doctor Who in 2014.

David Threlfall

David Threlfall

David Threlfall is best known for playing the lead in the award-winning Shameless (UK). A talented actor with a wide range, I never would have considered him for the part, which may be why he is perfect. That said, he doesn’t fit the sexy image that the BBC has been pushing since David Tennant. This would be a step in an entirely new direction and one that the program has needed for some time.

Stephen Mangan

Stephen Mangan

I enjoyed he comic actor Stephen Mangan in Hyperdrive and Green Wing (still have not caught Dirk Gently or Episodes). I like Mangan a lot and think that he has a unique screen presence that could lend a lot to Doctor Who, but am unsure if the public would accept him.

Ben Daniels

Ben Daniels

fan made poster

fan made poster

The most popular choice online right now is Ben Daniels, the award-winning actor from the popular series House of Cards. This could be the strongest actor in the running, but he lacks the quirky personality and weird character that is commonly associated with the Doctor. I personally don’t see it, but he’s where the money is apparently.

A female Doctor?

It has been rumored since producer John Nathan-Turner threw out the notion on daytime TV back in 1983 when Peter Davison was departing. Since then, it has come around now and again. Is the public ready for a female Doctor Who? If so, it would be a bold move on the BBC’s part.

For this, I am totally going to crib a few choices from Big Finish scribe Alan Barnes, mostly because I think they are interesting options.

Vicky McClure

Vicky McClure

I admit to being unfamiliar with Vicky McClure, but she did appear in the film and TV series of This is England. Not sure about this choice.

Lesley Sharp

Lesley Sharp

From the Mike Leigh film Naked, the TV series Clocking Off and of course the Doctor Who adventure Midnight, Sharp is one of the most accomplished actresses in this list in my opinion. She also has distinctive facial features, something that I think of as a pre-requisite for the part.

Gina McKee

Gina McKee

Gina McKee starred in the Borgias and the excellent film In the Loop. A superb actress, she’s just a bit too alluring and sexy to play the Doctor. But that’s not a mark on her talent and screen presence.

Amelia Bullmore

Amelia Bullmore

Amelia Bullmore is an outstanding choice. I have loved her comedic appearances in the Chris Morris series Jam and later alongside Steve Coogan in I’m Alan Partridge. Possibly my favorite option for a female Doctor.

Make your choice!


Paul_McGann_Dr_Who
My own choice is to bring back Paul McGann, an actor who was not given a fair shot at the part on screen and is in great shape for TV. The fact that he wasn’t even approached to appear in the 50th anniversary special is frankly inexplicable to me, hence the animated image below.

Sadly, the image is not showing up, but it showed an angry McGann kicking a smug cheerful Moffat out of his desk chair.

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11 thoughts on “Who will be the next (and last?) Doctor?

  1. I always find the notion of a female Doctor to be perplexing. Female timelords are aplenty, even had one as a regular on the show for a while… but aside from a one-liner in “The Doctor’s Wife”, I see no logical reason for the timelords to be gender-changing as a race.

    IF they wanted to add a female timelord, that would be fine… but changing the gender of the main character? That just doesn’t work for me.

    I concur with the “bring back McGann” thought, though. Seems to me that he would like to do it… and this is as good of an opportunity as any, to me… take a break from the current continuity… and have a few series of Paul McGann! For all viewers, he would be like a “new” Doctor anyway… you can tell all manner of stories… and not only could you eventually show his regeneration into Ecceston at some point, but you could also bring the conclusion of his series back around to tie into wherever you leave Matt Smith off and then introduce that next Doctor.

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  2. More likely, John Hurt is the Valeyard; “There is some evil in all of us, Doctor – even you. The Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation” – The Master in Trial of a Time-Lord.

    Also, the Time Lords had control over the 12 regenerations. They offered the Master a “complete new life cycle” and of course other things, such as the Traken Union can allow time lords to cheat the end of their regenerative cycle. Then of course, there’s the notion in Lungbarrow that suggests that the Doctor/Other took over a timelord body while it was on the loom (the reason why he has a naval and other time lords do not).

    As for the next Doctor, I vote Colin Morgan from Merlin.

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    • I’m hoping for the Valeyard myself… it would be a nod to the classic series in a previously unexpected way… having 3 Doctors (Tennant + Smith + Valeyard) but not having them all on the same side!

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  3. My ideal 12th Doctor: 1) Older (late 40s, early 50s) 2) A direct opposite of both Smith and Tennant. Not quirky like Smith or overly eccentric like Tom Baker. A return more to the English gentleman of William Hartnell. A lot more guarded and, most importantly, more of a thinker rather than a talker (“I keep my mind open and my mouth shut”). A Doctor who upon entering a room doesn’t feel the need to babble on and on. He’ll get his speeches but he’s more of an observer.

    I think of David McCallum as Steel in Sapphire & Steel or David Warner and David Collings’ portrayal of The Doctor in Big Finish’s Unbound series. What I’m getting at is a harder edged Doctor who overtime, like Hartnell, warmed to his companions. Not that he’s outright hostile to them, except when they do something stupid, but the kinder side comes out once in a while. For example he’ll be completely ruthless one minute but then if one of his companions is hurt he’ll show great concern. Oh and bring back the frock coats.

    But of course these are only the hopes of one fan. There are a lot of factors that will determine the next Doctor. The main one being whose going to be in charge for Series 8. If Moffat is staying on then I’m sure we’ll get more of the fairytale crap and a harder edged Doctor will not fit into his plans. Even if he will leave there’s the BBC who saw the success of casting Tennant and Smith and want to continue along those lines to keep young female (or male) fans interested.

    Onto the subject of Paul McGann, I would love for McGann to return but I want him to remain the 8th Doctor. I think they should do a spinoff with the 8th Doctor (Doctor Who: The 8th Doctor series). Although that probably is unlikely as the producers don’t want two Doctors competing against each other. I don’t see the harm of doing episodes with one of the old Doctors. In the Big Finish story Project: Lazarus the first part is with the 6th Doctor and his encounters with Nimrod and The Forge. The second half of the story picks up four years later with the 7th Doctor who again encounters Nimrod.
    Its a simple set-up: The Doctor comes across a villain from his past. He explains to his companion that he met said person during one of his previous incarnations. The rest of the episode is a flashback to said incarnation and then part two of the story is the current Doctor’s battles with the villain.

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    • I had suggested something like this during the Tennant “year of specials”… that they do a series that year with McGann… which is why I suggested it again now, since they seem to be taking an overly long break.

      Also… I once had the thought of doing a Doctor Who series anthology-style… so you might have 13 episodes in the series BUT, maybe a couple of those were Sylvester McCoy stories and a couple were Peter Davison stories and some were Paul McGann and so forth… it would be a nice way to feature the Doctors who can still pull it off, and not be tied to a whole series worth of stories. You could, if you wanted, wrap up such a series with a multi-Doctor story as a special at the end of that series.

      Barring that… doing a few years with McGann (agreed as the 8th Doctor) and just have modern Who on “hiatus” of a sort… I think it could work well, still keep the series going, and give them time to think about how to proceed with the next incarnation.

      Last, and not least… since you mentioned David McCallum… If he wasn’t tied to NCIS here in the US, I actually think at his age he could make a nice Doctor and change of pace from modern Who… those of us who remember Hartnell fondly would recognize a kinder gentler Doctor. It’s funny, Hartnell was brash and kurt… but modern Doctors have actually been more “villainous” in their actions in many ways… it would be nice to see an older actor restore some of the reservation and class to the character… and older actor could better convey the thoughtful way of solving a problem rather than always fighting to the death each week.

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      • Not sure that Hartnell was kindler/gentler. I seem to recall some episodes in which he was “violent” and he was certainly villainous at times… like sabotaging those fluid links because he wanted to visit the dalek city.

        Personally, I’d love to see them use the new crew (from the making of Doctor Who) to remake a few of the missing Hartnell episodes. They’d obviously have to be shortened for today’s (no attention span) audiences. I’d also like to see some celebratory appearances from other Doctors.

        They could also run a McGann series going forward to the time-war….

        Lastly, I’d love to see them grab some of the better big finish stories (particularly multi-doctor stories) and animate them for TV.

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      • I don’t know about re-filming missing Hartnell episodes. I think they’re doing a good job animating them. Besides we have the modern crew doing it we’ll be stuck with Murray Gold’s crap.

        I have to say that the writing in the Big Finish stories have been so much better than most (not all) of the episodes of the New Series. Now not every BF story is a home run and there are some clunkers in there but one can shrug off. Same thing can’t be said for stuff like Love & Monsters and Let’s Kill Hitler. So hire those writers. Hire writers who wrote for the New Adventure books like Marc Platt and Paul Cornell and stop hiring Gareth Roberts.

        And I should’ve mentioned this in my previous post: add in a little of Sylvester McCoy (later seasons 7th Doctor that is). McCoy was great in those last two seasons of the Classic Series where he morphed into a sorta chess master who knew much more than he was letting on. Do what they did in the late 80’s: make The Doctor mysterious again. And no teasing about his name and The Question isn’t enough. When the 12th Doctor makes his appearance we should be questioning his identity. He needs to be completely different than any of the previous three Doctors. Yeah Eccleston was moody at times but he still had that big grin and his “Fantastic!” catchphrase.

        The 12th Doctor’s premiere episode should take place after his regeneration (which we’ll see, presumably, at the end of the Christmas Special) like how the new series began in 2005 with “Rose.” Do we really need to see The Doctor stumble about wearing his predecessor’s clothes? In fact don’t show the Tardis. The Doctor shows up, deals with the matter, walks away, and in the distance we see him enter the Tardis and leave. Leave the reveal of the new Tardis interior (if there’s going to be one) for the second or third episode. But that probably won’t happen because Jenna-Louise Coleman is staying on for Series 8 so it seems obligatory that we have the 12th Doctor stumble about. Although one thing I do want to see from this is that the first thing the new Doctor does is take off and throw away the bowtie, commenting on his predecessor’s poor fashion sense.

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  4. Why is it that I suddenly had an evil (evil bad) idea for a series called “Doctor Who’s the Boss”… where the Doctor and his granddaughter hire on as housekeepers to a divorcee and her grandson… Strangely, the idea isn’t quite as bad as some of the recent episodes πŸ˜‰

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  5. Quite randomly… I was reminded today that before Matt Smith was chosen, Robert Carlyle was in the rumor mill… I think that was around the time he got SGU, which didn’t last… IF he could get out of “Once Upon a Time” which might not be likely… I would love to see what Carlyle would do as the Doctor.

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  6. The results can be seen in the post, but I do not think that the ‘others’ can, so here the are: Colin Morgan, Rupert Grint, David Morrissey. Interesting that Stephen Mangan got so many votes!

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