Even if you’re the most casual Doctor Who fan, you’d have heard by now of the news that the next Doctor might be a woman. This could be anyone from comedian Sue Perkins, to movie star Emma Thompson and—the person the Internet is most clamoring for—Sherlock’s Lara Pulver.
But, since this piece of news is still unconfirmed, I’m going to assume that the next Doctor would still be a dude and, if tradition holds, he will not be ginger. In that spirit, the lists I will be presenting in this post will be a collection of British dudes who I think might be awesome if chosen to play the Doctor. Yes, I said lists. Two. One for those I like but not that much (in short, the honorable mentions). And two, the actual list.
Here we go.
Honorable Mention #1: James McAvoy
Most people might remember him as Charles Xavier from X Men: First Class. I myself just finished listening to BBC Radio 4’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere (which you should totally listen to, by the way), and I thought that James McAvoy has a great mix of humor and darkness in his performances. And that Scottish accent…man, it’s like music to the ears. Do you think he’d make a good Doctor?
Honorable Mention #2: David Morrissey
Most of you would remember him as the creepy leader of Woodbury who keeps zombie skulls in his room from AMC’s The Walking Dead. On the other hand, if you really are a Doctor Who fan, you’d recognize him from somewhere else. Keep thinking, you’ll get there.
Yes, you’re right. He has played the Doctor, once. Well, he thought he was the Doctor. David Morrissey played the poor Jackson Lake in the episode The Next Doctor. He was a 19th century mathematician who got caught in the crossfire when the Cybermen tried to invade earth. An infostamp backfired and caught him full on, giving him all the information about the Doctor and making him think that he’s the new incarnation. Side note: his TARDIS was a hot-air balloon.
Problem is, David Morrissey says he doesn’t want to be the Doctor. For shame.
Honorable Mention #3: Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman
Yes, these two come as a package. Mostly because they look cute together, but also partly because there’s little chance that either of them would take the role. Benedict Cumberbatch, as most of you fangirls know, is busy playing the modern-day incarnation of Sherlock Holmes. He also just finished playing the Angel Islington in the Neverwhere radio play, is starring in the new Star Trek movie, and is set to play the dragon Smaug in the rest of The Hobbit movies. Needless to say, he’s busy.
The same can be said for Martin Freeman. They’re both moving on to bigger things, which makes them less and less likely to play the Doctor. *sigh* But good news, there is talk of a brief Sherlock / Doctor Who moment in the episodes leading up to the 50th anniversary episode. Maybe in a prequel? We’re not sure, but Matt Smith is dropping hints everywhere.
Honorable Mention #4: Aiden Turner
Most people would recognize him as the nicer-looking half of the young dwarf-duo from The Hobbit. I know him as the vampire Mitchell from Being Human, and that’s where I first thought he’d be a good Doctor. He’s the perfect brooding type, and his Doctor would be a logical extension of Christoper Eccleston’s Ninth. In the words of this article: “Some fans have been clamoring for a darker and somewhat more abrasive version of the Doctor and so, the Turner incarnation would be decked out in all black all the time. You would never see a shred of color on the man at all. The Turner Doctor is impatient, unfriendly, and wants to be alone. The signature traits of the doctor are there: his needs to right wrongs and the like, but much like the early days of the 9th doctor, he’s not exactly going to offer the bad guy a hand if they’re about to fall into a flaming pit of their own making. He’s perfectly fine letting the bad guys burn.”
Honorable Mention #5: Michael Sheen
Everyone here knows who Michael Sheen is. And I think he’d make a great Doctor. And he’s not even a complete stranger to the series–he played that disembodied voice that ate Time Lords in The Doctor’s Wife. But I can’t quite see him as the Doctor. Do you understand? No? Sorry. Still, do you think he’d take a massive paycut just to play the Doctor?
Before we go on to my actual list, I need to tell you that Matt Smith and I agree on one thing: the Doctor has been getting younger and younger every incarnation, and that needs to stop. The next Doctor should be older and more stereotypically wise-looking, which is great since that’s an age bracket that the UK is not lacking in. Another thing, this list won’t be in any sort of order. So enjoy.
Do I even need to say who Daniel Radcliffe is? And yes, I did say the next Doctor should be older but there’s been a lot of demand for Daniel to play the Doctor that I was forced to consider him. And, after some thinking, I’ve come to the conclusion that he’d actually make a good Doctor. As we’ve seen from his Harry Potter films, Daniel Radcliffe can come up with the most tear-jerking and intense performances. And, if you’ve watched any of his interviews, you know how droll and sarcastic he can be. Just the right blend of seriousness and sass to play the Doctor, methinks.
Also, in the words of a friend, “the Harry Potter films gave Daniel plenty of experience in dealing with the mysterious and the supernatural and his familiarity with a magic wand would come in handy when wielding a sonic screwdriver”.
Ah, Simon Pegg. Just look at that picture. You can see just how crazy this man can get, and he’s not exactly foreign to delivering dramatic performances. And you’d be hard-pressed to find a more beloved English actor around the world. Of course, there are people who think that if Simon Pegg is cast as the Doctor, the show would devolve to just another Simon Pegg movie, like Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz. I’m not sure how that’s supposed to be an insult, since both those movies are awesome, but whatever.
Of course, Simon Pegg’s not a stranger to Doctor Who. He’s hosted the Doctor Who Confidential for god knows how long, and he played that creepy Director in the episode The Long Game. But alas, according to Simon Pegg himself, there is no way in hell he’d play the Doctor.
I’ve always loved Stephen Fry. His views on religion, society, and gay rights coincide neatly with mine. He’s an awesome actor, and a great comedian. His role in V For Vendetta showed me he can dish out intense performances with the best of them, and all his other roles showed me his wit and sarcasm is above par. If you’ve ever watched QI (Quite Interesting), then you know exactly what I mean. He’s not bad-looking too, and his pudginess makes him adorable beyond measure.
On the other hand, he called Doctor Who a children’s programme. Which obviously created a rift between him and the show’s creators. It’d be a long shot now for him to be cast as the Doctor. And that realization is breaking my heart.
If you don’t know who Rowan Atkinson is, you don’t deserve to be alive. This man singlehandedly made generations of children laugh out loud without uttering a single word. And, to top even that, he’s been on Doctor Who? Don’t remember him? That’s okay, since the episode aired way back in 1999 as a Comic Relief special. And you know what role Rowan Atkinson played? He was the Doctor.
The episode title is Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death. And, if you clicked that link, you’d know that Rowan Atkinson wasn’t the only ‘Doctor’ in that episode, but he did play him for the majority of the episode. And he was bloody brilliant too, especially when opposite the Master Jonathan Pryce. Watch the episode, then come back here and tell me what you think.
I have two wishes for Hugh Laurie. He can either play James Bond, or he can play the Doctor. A lot of people know him as the sarcastic (and asshole-ish) Dr. Gregory House from House MD, and if you only know him from that show you’d be foaming at the mouth right about now and screaming, but he’s American! To which I say, fuck you he’s British!
Before he destroyed American TV by being the lead in a show that went on to become the most watched series in the US, he was partners with Stephen Fry for their long-running SNL-ish show A Bit of Fry and Laurie. He also worked alongside Rowan Atkinson for the historical comedy Blackadder (which, if you’re familiar with, is a bit time travel-ly as well). In short, he’s a comedian from the start.
But, if you have watched House, you’d know that his life was not all fun and games. He delivered a lot of stirring scenes in that show, which is why I love him all the more. He exudes an eclectic mix of age, seriousness, anger, laughter, love, wisdom, and badassery. Who else do you know can do all that?
Also, it doesn’t hurt that he’s goddamned gorgeous.
I’m going to end this post the same way I end most posts: by turning the question to you. The Doctor is a thousand years old, and he’s way overdue for a reincarnation. Who do you think should be the next Doctor?
While you ponder that question, I’m going to leave you with this Supernatural/Doctor Who crossover, because you just know the world needs that.
And for those readers who have friends who can’t decide whether or not they want to watch Doctor Who, make them read this. It’s sure to change their minds.