June 6, 2013

11 People Who Could Be the Next Face of Doctor Who, but Probably Won’t

Doctor Who - BBC photo

In recent Doctor Who news, current Doctor, Matt Smith, announced he would be hanging up his bow tie after the Christmas special following the 50th anniversary. Matt Smith is the eleventh Doctor during the show’s entire run, and is the third Doctor during the reboot-era.

While the announcement broke the two hearts of Whovians around the universe, media outlets were quick to place bets on who could potentially be the next face of Doctor Who. I decided to compile my own list of 11 actors and actresses who I believe could do wonders in the role, but most likely won’t be flying the TARDIS.

Julie Andrews

Julie Andrews photo by Eva Rinaldi

Julie Andrews photo by Eva Rinaldi

There are too many parallels between Doctor Who and Mary Poppins for me to ignore Julie Andrews. She can carry on the comedic and witty banter, while also being proper and quintessentially British. I think an encounter between William Hartnell as the First Doctor and Julie Andrews as the Twelfth would make for excellent television; if only that were possible.

Benedict Cumberbatch


Benedict Cumberbatch (Photo by Sam Hughes [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons)

Benedict Cumberbatch is definitely favoured to play the Doctor, if it were up to the Internet. We know he’s got the acting chops, but his increasing popularity and firm establishment in the lead role of BBC’s Sherlock (which happens to be the other baby of Doctor Who show runner Steven Moffat), probably means he won’t take on another huge TV role like the Doctor. Now, if the Master were to make a return…

Morgan Freeman


Morgan Freeman (Photo by Lwp Kommunikacio)

Morgan Freeman could bring back the Doctor with a bit of that “grandfather” quality from the Hartnell-era, while still progressing the character forward. As proven in past roles, Morgan Freeman can show that great level of knowledge and wisdom of the Doctor.

Ewan McGregor

66ème Festival de Venise (Mostra)

Ewan McGregor (By Nico Genin [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons)

Ewan McGregor has that charm that lends itself well to the Doctor. He can handle the action of the series while being smiley and good-natured. Not to mention the man’s got great hair. But alas, Ewan doesn’t watch the show nor does he seem to have any interest.

Ian McKellen

Ian McKellen (By Southbanksteve [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons)

By Southbanksteve [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Ian McKellen is an extremely talented actor with stage, film, and TV experience. He can play the cheerful side of the Doctor, then flip a switch and show his seriousness and intensity. However, in this genre, it could be difficult for fans to see him as anyone other than Gandalf or Magneto.

Colin Morgan

Colin Morgan (photo credit: ChibiChiii via photopin cc)

Colin Morgan (photo credit: ChibiChiii via photopin cc)

Colin Morgan is a young 27-year old, and I don’t think it would be so bad to have a young Doctor again. He’s already shown his acting ability in BBC’s Merlin, but he’s also a talented stage actor. However, Merlin fans could be considering him partially because we’re still not over that series finale. Colin Morgan has also already appeared in Doctor Who during the David Tennant-era, so probably not this time young warlock!

Gary Oldman

Gary Oldman (Photo by Sam Hughes [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons)

Gary Oldman (Photo by Sam Hughes [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons)

Imagining Gary Oldman running around the TARDIS console makes for a fantastic image. Gary has a huge range of roles he’s played in the past, so it’s hard to predict just in what way he would take the role, but what’s certain is that he would definitely take his own spin on it.

Lee Pace

Lee Pace on ABC's Pushing Daisies

Lee Pace on ABC’s Pushing Daisies

His days on the fairytale-esque TV show Pushing Daisies, show that Lee Pace has got that quirky and whimsical element that would be a huge asset as the Doctor. I believe he would easily be able to perform emotional scenes, comedic scenes, and everything in between. Lee Pace as the Doctor actually isn’t such a far-fetched idea. He isn’t yet a widely well-known actor, and would be my ideal choice. Whether or not he would be considered though, depends on the casting directors’ openness to casting an American.

Maggie Smith

Maggie Smith’s performances have repeatedly shown that she is great at making her acting choices. She does many small subtle things to evoke huge emotions. She would be great as a very composed twelfth Doctor, who occasionally lets that inner child slip out.

Emma Watson

Georges Biard [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Emma Watson (Photo by Georges Biard [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons)

In the past, Emma Watson has been a fan-favourite to be cast as a companion of the Doctor, but I’m keen to the idea that she would do well as the Doctor. She could expertly handle the quick-witted dialogue of the Doctor, and she has got a variety of different acting skills at her disposal.

Catherine Tate

Warning, this video contains spoilers!

Okay, okay, this one is completely impossible. Seeing as Catherine Tate is already known as the legendary Donna Noble in the Doctor Who universe. The idea of the DoctorDonna was an amazingly enticing idea that they introduced and took away again, in the same episode!


These actors and actresses largely have one thing working against them in their consideration to play the Doctor, and that is their level of fame, and how familiar the audience is with their past roles (Lee Pace is the exception in this list). Neil Gaiman, author and writer of two episodes of Doctor Who said,

I want to see The Doctor. I want to be taken by surprise. I want to squint at a photo of the person online and go “but how can that be The Doctor?”. Then I want to be amazingly, delightedly, completely proven wrong, and, six episodes in, I want to wonder how I could have been so blind. Because this is the Doctor. Of course it is.

If you don’t watch Doctor Who (yet), you definitely should. It’s a great show to pick up during your downtime from college or university, and will be hard not to get pulled into the mania and excitement when the 50th anniversary is right around the corner.

So who is your dream Doctor? Or would you rather not speculate, and wait until the official announcement? Let us know in the comments below!

About the Author

Dulce Rosales
Dulce Rosales
Traversing the galaxy as a fourth-year business student at SFU, Dulce always takes a moment to stop and smell the metaphorical roses (Not real ones as she has a slight pollen allergy). She is a passionate fan of being a passionate fan of things. Feel free to geek out with her any time online and off!

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