Doctor recommendations needed.

by Harry on January 31, 2017

Forgive the momentary frivolity. I’m as exercised as anyone by what is going on. But Capaldi’s leaving. Give us a moment of your distracted time to provide recommendations for his replacement, ideally with reasons. Personally, I am such a fan of Toby Jones at the moment that I can’t imagine anyone else doing it. Except maybe Sean Pertwee. Still, I can listen.



Martinned 01.31.17 at 2:28 pm

Hayley Atwell, surely?


sanbikinoraion 01.31.17 at 2:55 pm

Idris Elba, assuming he’s not the new Bond.

The BBC has a list of “possibles” although many of these seem to be “possible” on the basis that they once said once that they’d be interested.

On that basis let it be known that I too, am available for the part.


Doctor When 01.31.17 at 3:05 pm

Nigel Farage?


Jeff 01.31.17 at 3:19 pm

Jennifer Lawrence, why not?


Neville Morley 01.31.17 at 3:43 pm

Tamsin Greig.


jdkbrown 01.31.17 at 3:43 pm

Second Idris Elba!


Mike Furlan 01.31.17 at 3:52 pm

Naomie Harris


Pub Editor 01.31.17 at 3:55 pm

It should be a British actor, so that goes against Lawrence. Sorry.

I do like the idea of flipping the script and finally having a female Doctor. Emma Watson and Rose Leslie would both be fine picks, imho.

Anthony Stewart Head, who was marvelous on Buffy, would be great except that he already appeared as a villain during the Tennant years.

I like Idris Elba for the part. Alexander Siddig would also be a strong choice; he was quite good as Dr. Bashir on Deep Space Nine.

I also really like Richard Madden, who played Robb Stark on Game of Thrones. He’s married to Jenna Coleman and familiar to the Dr. Who production team, so his name has been mentioned before as a possibility.


Frances 01.31.17 at 3:56 pm

Hayley Atwell AND Idris Elba! Two Doctors are better than one.


MPAVictoria 01.31.17 at 4:04 pm

Hugh Grant….

/Stephen Fry?


Chris Munro 01.31.17 at 4:06 pm

Olivia Williams & Olivia Colman are top of my list. Hayley Atwell is one I just smacked my forehead for not immediately thinking of. Melanie Liburd from Game of Thrones should be in the mix. If the new show runner isn’t ready for a woman and must have another dude, I’ll join the chorus in favor of Idris Elba.


mds 01.31.17 at 4:08 pm

Seconding Tamsin Greig. Episodes is ending, though I don’t know the future status of Friday Night Dinner. Background in stage, drama, and comedy. And I remember thinking of her either pre-Smith or pre-Capaldi. Cater to my whims, I say.


Jim 01.31.17 at 4:10 pm

Helen Mirren


pnee 01.31.17 at 4:27 pm

@Pub Editor #8

Anthony Stewart Head, who was marvelous on Buffy, would be great except that he already appeared as a villain during the Tennant years.

FWIW, Time Lords can potentially control their next appearance, and model it after a person they know.

Lalla Ward was a guest star in the “Key to Time” arc and also a regeneration of Romana. The script hung a lampshade on it, stating in dialog that it was her choice to look like the previous character.

Not sure why the Doctor would choose to look like a previous adversary, but you never know.


mds 01.31.17 at 4:40 pm

As an aside, say what you will about Steven Moffat (and there’s plenty to say), but even if he was unwilling to “pull the trigger” himself, it was his tenure that as far as I know made it explicitly canonical that regeneration can switch biological sex. (I’m thinking of Gaiman’s “The Doctor’s Wife” and Moffat’s own “Dark Water” and “Hell Bent.”) The original series seeemed to tentatively suggest that this wasn’t the case: e.g., use of “Time Lady,” gendered-sounding names for female Time Lords, anyone else who had regenerated apparently stayed the same sex. So, like, one-and-a-half kudos units for laying the groundwork.


Frank Wilhoit 01.31.17 at 4:56 pm

Martin Freeman.


Dipper 01.31.17 at 5:01 pm

Miriam Margolyes


Barry Freed 01.31.17 at 5:17 pm

Anthony Stewart Head, who was marvelous on Buffy, would be great except that he already appeared as a villain during the Tennant years.

FWIW, Time Lords can potentially control their next appearance, and model it after a person they know.

Capaldi was also in an earlier Tennant episode, The Fires of Pompeii.

Some good suggestions here (Hayley Attwell, Anthony Stewart Head, et al but can we replace Stephen Moffat as showrunner?


Barry Freed 01.31.17 at 5:19 pm

Apologies I messed up the blockquoting above. First two paragraphs were taken from commenters above.


Barry Freed 01.31.17 at 5:20 pm

I’m a serial commenting fool, I see Moffat is leaving along with Capaldi. Carry on.


Phil 01.31.17 at 5:30 pm

Tony Head would be marvellous, as would Toby Jones. But I keep thinking of Susan Calman.


chris y 01.31.17 at 6:09 pm

John Hurt. If they regenerate him for this, he can go on and do other stuff later, to everybody’s benefit.


Glen Tomkins 01.31.17 at 6:57 pm

Sadly, I can’t recommend myself for the part. I’m not an actor, and in real life I’m a Time Serf rather than a Time Lord, so it’s not as if I can just be myself in front of the camera.


Ben 01.31.17 at 7:18 pm

Rebecca Front. Keep that The Thick of It pipeline running.


levi 01.31.17 at 8:18 pm

Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch


Oliver Morton 01.31.17 at 9:35 pm

Gillian Anderson. obvs


matt wilbert 01.31.17 at 11:03 pm

David Mitchell would bring a new approach. Can’t see it working for more than one season though.


SC 01.31.17 at 11:20 pm

Current Ladbrokes Doctor Who replacement odds:

Richard Ayoade has been moving up the list :)


Warren Terra 01.31.17 at 11:44 pm

@ matt wilbert, #27

David Mitchell, the author, as showrunner. David Mitchell, the comedian, as The Doctor.

A lot of tremendous suggestions in this thread, but many of them seem too … dignified. Remember, this is a children’s TV show, among other things it is, and the Doctor is often (and, I’d argue, best) something of an otherworldly clown. I adore Capaldi, and he’s hardly the first Grumpy Doctor, but think the more whimsical doctors wound up more iconic.


JP 02.01.17 at 12:07 am

Well, since you mention it, I would rather like to see Adeel Akhtar (who played Wilson Wilson in Utopia) take on the role. I think he’d be rather Troughtonesque.


Dave Maier 02.01.17 at 12:24 am

Some excellent suggestions! I do wonder whether (or when) it will be a woman. I’m partial to Emily Blunt myself. If not, then maybe Jeremy Northam (who would have been a great Bond, but he’s probably too old now). Although Warren @ 29 makes a good point about whimsy, which would be another point for Martin Freeman (good one, Frank @16!) or maybe Andy Serkis. In any case I am glad such weighty decisions are in more capable hands than my own.


Warren Terra 02.01.17 at 1:34 am

@SC, #28: current Ladbroke’s odds

I’d be intrigued by a proposal to reunite the League Of Gentlemen as showrunners for Doctor Who, but I’m surprised by the strong showing at Ladbroke’s for Reese Shearsmith as The Doctor. He’s not only my least favorite candidate for that particular role of the people named at Ladbroke’s, he’s my least favorite for that role from the League Of Gentlemen.


JimV 02.01.17 at 1:38 am

Bertie Carvel, who played Jonathan Strange in the BBC miniseries. As I watched it, I thought his character was a good fit for the good Doctor.

“Could a magician kill a man?”

“A magician could, but a gentleman never would.”


ZB 02.01.17 at 2:23 am


If it ends up being another white man, Hugh Laurie would make a good pick. He can clown and he can also be scary.


DavidMoz 02.01.17 at 2:50 am

Bill Nighy


Alan White 02.01.17 at 5:34 am

After hating him so much in The Fall, Jaime Dornan would make an excellent Doctor. Real acting chops there, though from NI.


Jim Buck 02.01.17 at 11:28 am

Victoria Coren Mitchell because she is a comely timely lady who’ll twist some flax around them Daleks.


harry b 02.01.17 at 2:05 pm

Hah, I thought of Victoria Coren Mitchell too. Not exactly an actor, and maybe too knowing (it easy to imagine her breaking the fourth wall a bit too often). Maybe Jemma Redgrave? Its a shame that Geoffrey Bayldon has retired. And 93.
I imagine that Bill Nighy is regarded as too old. But he would be perfect. If we could just have him for a season, I’d be happy.

I have to keep remembering how awful I felt when they announced Matt Smith, and how wrong I was.


sanbikinoraion 02.01.17 at 4:05 pm

I find it hilarious that Chris Addison is right up there when the rumours about him having been cast before were intentionally started by Paloma Faith as a joke. He’s also moving into directing, having done a lot of the most recent series of Veep.


mds 02.01.17 at 5:18 pm

I think it’s a little weird when someone who’s previously appeared on the show gets the role, be it Colin Baker or Peter Capaldi. Of course, Nighy obviously wouldn’t have to look the same as he did in “Vincent and the Doctor,” but still.

On the other hand, Toby Jones has the perfect out because in a sense he was already playing the Doctor in his previous appearance. “No one else in the universe hates me more than you do.” And then he wakes up with that face? Okay, I think I’ve just talked my way around to it, if Tamsin Greig isn’t available.


Barry Freed 02.01.17 at 5:24 pm

Let’s go with older and older Doctors: Michael Caine.


Barry R 02.01.17 at 6:06 pm

I would love to see Shirley Henderson in the role. A bonus would be the continuation of the Scottish Doctor theme.


Oliver Morton 02.01.17 at 6:11 pm

Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Meera Syal

Sanjeev Bhaskar

Or, for that matter, Sanjeev Bhaskar and Meera Syal in some sort of regeneration-gone-wrong spousal job share.


Harry 02.01.17 at 6:41 pm

Doesn’t anyone find it odd that Colman is the favourite? Don’t get me wrong, when Cris Munro suggested her I thought, “yes, she’d be great”. But not ‘yes, that’s likely’…


Harry 02.01.17 at 6:44 pm

“Or, for that matter, Sanjeev Bhaskar and Meera Syal in some sort of regeneration-gone-wrong spousal job share.”
Perfect. I wondered about Mitchell and Coren Mitchell doing the same, but Bhaskar and Syal might be even better.


Jim Buck 02.01.17 at 6:58 pm


hellblazer 02.01.17 at 11:15 pm

Maxine Peake. Wouldn’t happen, for various reasons, but what the hell.


Frank Wilhoit 02.02.17 at 1:00 am

The next Doctor should, in my view, be chosen as a package with the next Master/Mistress. (This assumes that the latter character is due for some intensive development; the only alternative would seem to be to shelve the character for quite some time.)

Capaldi and Gomez have never had anything like the chemistry that Tennant and Simm had. The increasing insanity of the character is well drawn, but Capaldi’s Doctor seems baffled by it, almost to the point of disengagement. Perhaps this has been purposeful; and, whether or not it was, perhaps year’s series will change it. A good regeneration hook would be some kind of disaster that engulfs them both and leaves them entangled to some extent, each containing bits of the other.

The only other suggestion I could put forward would be for the opposite situation, where the Master/Mistress went back into cold storage, because it is someone who literally could have no equal: Lenny Henry.


SC 02.02.17 at 1:17 am

@ 44 Harry “Doesn’t anyone find it odd that Colman is the favourite? ”

There’s a New Statesmen article about that.
In short: “. . . new Doctors have been people who have worked extensively with those making the decision to hire them.”


derrida derider 02.02.17 at 3:36 am

I dunno, if I were them I’d be going for the other end of the age spectrum. Some unknown female RADA graduate as the Dr and a serious piece of beefcake as the “are-they-an item-or-not?” offsider.


Greg Hays 02.02.17 at 4:04 am

@25: Cumberbatch’s mother was a lead in Image of the Fendahl


Thomas Beck 02.02.17 at 5:06 pm

If you have to go old, male, white, Malcolm McDowell. Emma Thompson, if she’d do it. Robbie Coltrane.


Jesús Couto Fandiño 02.02.17 at 7:05 pm

Oh, Coltrane. Playing a Doctor with more than a thing in common with Fitz. That would be great.


Aaron Morrow 02.02.17 at 9:01 pm

Gina Bellman?


drveen 02.04.17 at 6:47 pm

Very interesting suggestions in this thread, leading me to try a … brain twist. Colman as doctor, with Elba as the companion. Done wrong, disaster. Done right, neverending eye-opener.

Swinton though… might be the better choice.


Ruth 02.04.17 at 8:19 pm

Eddie Redmayne would be an amazing Doctor!!!! Doctor Who hasn’t been the same since David Tennant, and I feel Eddie would be just as fab!


Sasha Clarkson 02.04.17 at 9:03 pm

Personally I want the Doctor’s daughter to return for a major role – perhaps taking the lead for half a series when the Doctor is incapacitated?

“Hello – I’m Jenny…”

“Jenny Who?”

“That’s right!”

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