It was really only a matter of time, as we’ve gotten used to a regeneration every few years now, but Peter Capaldi has announced he will be leaving Doctor Who after this season, which we’ve already seen the beginning seeds of his regeneration start to develop. Capaldi is the 12th actor to take on the role of the Doctor, and while some fans were none too pleased when he initially took the role back in 2013, there is no doubt that he made the role his own and told a number of great stories during his time in the TARDIS.
Capaldi leaving isn’t the only shakeup the long-running series will experience, as showrunner Steven Moffat will reportedly also be leaving Doctor Who after the following season, though that exact timeframe hasn’t been confirmed yet. Broadchurch‘s Chris Chibnall is set to take over when he does decide to leave, but who should replace Capaldi? We’ve heard rumors that Death in Paradise‘s Kris Marshall has already accepted the role, though Fleabag‘s Phoebe Waller-Bridge has also been heavily rumored, assuming she’ll be done with the Han Solo spinoff in time to start filming the next season, but as of now, no one is confirmed, so we’re going to make some suggestions of our own.
Welcome to GEEK’s Shortlist.
Well first and foremost, it should be a woman. Flat out. It’s about time and they’ve gone to lengths in the show to explicitly establish that Time Lords (and Masters) can switch gender from a regeneration, both in the classic and revival series. Knowing that, my suggestion for the new Doctor would be Sue Perkins, most famously known for her work on The Great British Bake Off. Her quick wit and sharp sense of humor are evident to anyone who’s familiar with British panel quiz shows like QI and the like, or even just her non-GBBO related comedy act with Mel Giedroyc. Peter Capaldi has been an excellent Doctor but the majority of his stories have been very dark and dreary, and some comedic lightheartedness would accompany the shift in tone the show would need to make in order to transition successfully away from Capaldi’s very dour, intense, brooding Doctor. On top of that, Sue Perkins happens to already look and dress similarly to David Tennant, arguably the most popular modern Doctor, and it would be a neat little tip of the hat to continuity and the fans to acknowledge that. Even if it’s just a subtle thing, it’s too obvious to gloss over. – Adam Popovich
Here’s the thing, as much as I would love to insist that the next Doctor is a woman, the chance is very likely it won’t be, and in that case, it’s always good to have a backup. That’s where my alternate comes in, Richard Ayoade. You probably know him from The IT Crowd, where he plays an incredibly smart, eccentric, classically dressed mega nerd, which is like halfway to being The Doctor already. The guy has excellent comedic timing and improvisation skills too, which are always on display whenever he’s on The Big Fat Quiz Of The Year on top of being a full-fledged director. I love Doctor Who and what the show definitely needs right now is a big shot of light humor, creative adventure, clever set pieces and witty dialogue to reinvigorate the fanbase. Having a lead actor who knows how to shoot, act, write AND time comedy could really be a boon to the series. Let’s just commit to the next Doctor being totally unique from all the others, and with Ayoade at the helm, I bet it could be just that. – Adam Popovich
Not only is Lewis an award-winning actor who studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and acted with the Royal Shakespeare Company, but he is also a natural redhead! In all seriousness, though, Lewis has the gravitas to take over the role and is recognizable to fans on both sides of the pond due to roles in Homeland, Band of Brothers, and more recently Billions. He has done plenty of drama, but certainly, has the range to add that dash of intellectual impishness that makes The Doctor so lovable. – Tabitha Davis
Many fans have hoped for an actor of the opposite sex or a person of color to demonstrate diversity, something that has been done with other Gallifreyan time lords. If the studio is set on that option than the talented Tilda Swinton would be the way to go. Another award winning actor recognized worldwide with recent blockbuster roles in Doctor Strange, Okja, and the upcoming Suspiria remake, Swinton has a lovely androgyny that could be an interesting angle for The Doctor. That, and she looks great with red hair. – Tabitha Davis
I have to agree with Adam in the hopes that we can see a funnyman return to the role of the Doctor. While Capaldi has his own strengths, his humor was never quite on the level of some of the more zany Doctors we’ve seen over the years, and that light-hearted tone has been missed. It’s okay for the TARDIS crew to encounter serious and dark situations, as has always been the case, but that comedic edge that was so prevalent with Tennant, Matt Smith, and even Christopher Eccleston, has been missing for a while now. Simon Pegg would be the obvious funny Brit to take over the role and add a new quirky dimension to the Doctor, and may even draw back a few fans who left the show following Capaldi’s first season. Sure, Pegg has appeared a few times on Doctor Who already in small roles, but that’s easily worked around with a series that is already breaking its own rules (there aren’t supposed to be more than Twelve Doctors in a regeneration cycle…). – Scoot Allan
As for our potential female candidate, which many are saying could be the basis for the regeneration loophole that allows more than twelve Doctors, we’ve found a possible great fit with Natalia Tena. Tena is no stranger to the geeky community, having played Nymphadora Tonks in the Harry Potter series as well as Osha in HBO’s hit Game of Thrones adaptation, so the move to Doctor Who seems like a great fit for the London-born actress. She can play the serious like Capaldi as we’ve seen most recently with her work on Residue (alongside fellow GoT actor Iwan Rheon), but also has a quirky comedy to her that would be most welcome after the overly serious tones the series has fallen into recently. – Scoot Allan
(Not) Idris Elba
And finally, one of the most rumored actors for every British character from 007 to The Doctor, Idris Elba’s name has of course been bandied about. And while I absolutely love him as an actor, I for one would have to vote against his casting here. And no, it has nothing to do with the color of his skin. I believe that Elba is more than capable of most any role they want to throw at him, but his already insanely popular BBC character DCI John Luther is pretty much the antithesis of the Doctor. While both of them are highly intelligent, Luther is a much more solemn and serious character, and one important enough to be preserved. With the recent fifth season announced, Luther will make its long-awaited return next year, and with a shortage of such talent currently working in the detective genre, I’d rather he focuses his efforts there in between films, as opposed to sillier family fare like Doctor Who. – Brian Kronner
With the current series building quickly towards Capaldi’s regeneration (you can catch up with our Doctor Who reviews!), it’s likely we could have the answer to our question of who will be the next Doctor very soon… or we’ll have to wait until next season for the reveal. Either way, the change is coming, and we’re hoping we might see the biggest change in the Whoniverse yet.
Do you agree with any of our picks? Who do you want to see as the next Doctor? Let us know in the comments section below and join the discussion on the GEEK FB page!
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