Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Who'll be the new Doctor Who?

"Doctor Who" fan extraordinaire Ross Ruediger pointed out to me that David Tennant won't be continuing as The Doctor after the five specials that will air over the next year.

While Tennant has been superb in the role (even most old-school "Who" fans consider him one of the best Doctors ever), it does make some sense for him to move on now. Russell T. Davies, who resurrected the franchise a few years ago, is also leaving, and, as we all know, Steven Moffat (responsible for some of the best Davies-era episodes like "Blink" and "The Doctor Dances") will be taking over. We know that Moffat can write for Tennant, but it's a trademark of the franchise that a new actor takes over the role every few years.

Even before Tennant made his exit official, some fans were speculating that, whenever he left, Moffat might bring in one of his old leading men to replace him, with James Nesbitt from "Jekyll" and Richard Coyle from "Coupling" mentioned most often. I'm not incredibly plugged into the British TV scene, so let me open it up to you all: who would you like to see as The Doctor come 2010?

37 comments:

David said...

I think Anthony Stewart head would be interesting. I know he's been in an episode before, and his name was a part of the rumor mill way back. Out of the two you mentioned, I think James Nesbitt is the one who would be a better fit for that role.

Miranda said...

Ooh, Anthony Stewart Head would be awesome.

I think Richard Coyle would be good ... I loved him on "Coupling."

I just hope they don't do something stupid with it.

Alanna said...

Oooh. Richard Coyle? I like that. I'd also be fine with James Nesbitt or David Morrissey. The tricky thing, though, is that it's such an iconic role, with the risk of the actor forever being associated with the Doctor. I've no idea what Nesbitt has said about the casting rumors, but I wonder if he'd be willing to go that route given that he already has a successful career.

I also wouldn't mind them mixing up the race and/or gender, but I have a feeling that would be a bit more than the show willing to take on. Then again, I like that Davies and Moffat seem to enjoy taking risks.

Anonymous said...

rowan atkinson.

J said...

Aw, man, this ruined my night. I wanted a Tom Baker-sized run with Tennant. You'd think he'd want to hang around and see what sort of niftiness Moffat summons up. Phooey.

I guess he can always return as Rose's alt-U Doctor, but... phooey.

I'm too bummed to speculate.

Nicole said...

I know he was going to leave sooner or later, but this news makes me sad. A gender switch would probably make sense, since they were laying the groundwork with that Doctor/Donna stuff. I think following a year of great performances, people would be able to accept Catherine Tate as the Doctor. However, I don't think she would do it.

If they were going to have a non-white doctor, I think Colin Salmon would be a good choice. He is more intimidating physically than Tennant and could play it less jokey.

I also don't mind the previous suggestions of Anthony Stewart Head or Richard Coyle. If the new Doctor is hired based on links to the executive producer, then you could also add Jack Davenport as another possible option. Richard Armitage would also work, but he just started on Spooks (MI-5) this series so I don't know if he would do it.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out, and whether the Eleventh Doctor will be younger or older than Tennant.

Alyson said...

Eddie Izzard for Eleven!

Eric said...

Well, if he doesn't think it's typecasting, I'd like to propose Henry Ian Cusick (better known as Desmond Hume.)

der Hundepo said...

How about Idris Elba? He could bring a little intensity to the role, to say the least.

Anonymous said...

Nesbitt would be terrific.

Toby said...

My fave suggestions:

Julian Rhind-Tutt from 'Keen Eddie'

Roger Rees

Bill Nighy

Keith Phipps said...

Comics gossip columnist and Doctor Who fan Rich Johnston keeps floating the name Patterson Joseph as a rumored replacement.

Ross Ruediger said...

Alan -

I'm pulling for Rufus Sewell, as I really don't expect his current CBS series to be on the air in 2010. I think he's different enough from Tennant and would be able to do something strange with the part. Besides, he basically looks like a good-looking Tom Baker, anyway.

Stevie said...

Russell Brand has some free time now...

Seriously though, this is a bummer.

I'm sure he's doing other things but if they stick with cute and young, Martin Freeman could be good.

Ross Ruediger said...

I, of course, did not mean to imply that Tom Baker wasn't good-looking in his own unique way.

Nicole said...

I'm pretty sure Russell Brand is banned from the BBC for a really long time.

Matthew L said...

I think we pretty much knew this was probably going to happen - didn't Tennant once say he thought he would leave when RTD left? - but it's still sad news. Tennant has done a great job in the role, and his absolute enthusiasm for the role was wonderful, to the point where it seems impossible to not have him in the role (and I speak as a long-time fan of classic Who who is completely used to the changes in actor). But his departure does allow Moffat a clean slate to make the show his, and that is a good thing.

In terms of new actors, James Nesbitt seems completely wrong for the role and his name is just being thrown out because he's a big name in the UK and worked with Moffat before. To be honest, I'm hoping it's noone that has been mentioned. Both Eccleston and Tennant were surprise casting decisions, but both did really great jobs. Hopefully Moffat will cast someone just as unexpected and just as brilliant.

Anonymous said...

From a solely in-universe perspective, doesn't this screw up the River Song story? Unless that gets taken care of in one of the specials

Kensington said...

"From a solely in-universe perspective, doesn't this screw up the River Song story? Unless that gets taken care of in one of the specials"

"...just repeat to yourself it's just a show. I should really just relax!"

:)

Russell Davies once said that he doubted a man over 40 would be appropriate in the part anymore since the show had gotten so physically demanding in its current incarnation. If Steven Moffat feels the same way, I think it would be unlikely that someone like Tony Head would be given the chance, however good he might have been.

That said, I would love to see Richard Coyle in the part! That would be amazing!

There were rumors awhile back (well before David Tennant formally revealed his plans to leave) that the young man who played the villainous school boy in "Human Nature" was being courted for the part. He would be the youngest actor yet, but I do think it's an intriguing prospect. His performance was marvelous: quirky and interesting.

Synner_man said...

The important thing about choosing a Doctor is to make sure they have the right level of quirkiness to make the role work. They need to be able to switch from humor to drama back to humor, sometimes in the same sentence.

That's why some of the suggestions (Nesbitt, Coyle and Davenport) work, since they've shown that ability in both their projects with Moffat and on their own. We've also had reports (back when the rumors first started that Tennant would leave after Davies made his announcement) that Robert Carlyle (of "The Full Monty" and "Trainspotting" fame) was on the short list to be the Eleventh Doctor. He possesses that ability as well.

jim treacher said...

Heather Mills.

What?

Dan said...

Paterson Joseph (Peep Show) has been mentioned recently. He co-starred in Moffat's Jekyll, and would be the first black Doctor.

Michael Peterson said...

Idris Elba seconded!

Nicole said...

Someone on another board suggested Colm Feore who has fantastic range, especially if you've seen him live at the Stratford Festival. (I've personally seen him play Mercutio and Hamlet, and both those characters have Doctor-like qualities) Yes, he is Canadian, but this new series is a co-production with CBC, so perhaps a few threats of withdrawing the cash could make this happen. And the Queen is still the symbolic head of state, so it's sorta the same as the UK.

mrsb said...

I'd love to see Anthony Stewart Head in the role.

ddm said...

Not sure that Richard Coyle and Moffat would get along so well. No date on this article, but it's worth reading just the same.

Matt said...

My understanding is that Coyle and Moffat have generally reconciled. Coyle didn't want to do another season for fear of being typecast as "Jeffrey" for the rest of his life. (A valid concern--see, e.g., the cast of "Friends.") Being The Doctor would certainly change that.

If he hadn't gotten worldwide/U.S. famous, Hugh Laurie would make a fascinating Doctor.

Mike said...

I would've said John Simm but I see on IMDB that he's already appeared as The Master (Sorry, I'm behind!)

Anonymous said...

How about Jack Davenport? I can't get enough of him...you know, if Swingtown amazingly doesn't get renewed of course.

Anonymous said...

Alan- for some reason I can't post when I put my LJ info in, but can when anonymous. Dunno if it's an issue on my end or yours. Will keep trying

-EmeraldLiz

Emma said...

top three, Ryhs Ifans, Kris Marshall n Ralph Little

Anna said...

I've always wanted Bill Nighy to play The Doctor.

DOCTAWHOMYPLAYBOY said...

ROWAN ATKINSON? WHO SAID THAT? HA! I can just see him playing dumb, pressing every stupid button in the tardis. I dont think rose would be quite attracted to him any more. :D

Synner_man said...

"ROWAN ATKINSON? WHO SAID THAT? HA! I can just see him playing dumb, pressing every stupid button in the tardis."

Rowan Atkinson DID play the Doctor, albeit in a "Comic Relief" sketch called "The Curse of Fatal Death" that was written by Steven Moffat. Other "Doctors" included Hugh Grant and Jim Broadbent. It is available on YouTube.

HollyMartins said...

Oh man, Idris Elba thirded! I'm only a very casual Doctor Who fan, but you can bet I'd tune in every week for time-traveling Stringer Bell...

Anonymous said...

Well, that's ten down, only three more to go before the franchise is dead.

I hope they choose someone with taste and class like Basil Brush, since most of the shows I see advertised on telly are crap like "angry man insulty reality show" and "Skins".

Comfort said...

I propose Charles Aitken. Most of you will probably be going 'Huh?'. I know that this will be totally out of the blue, but with Eccleston and Tennant both being surprise castings I really think this guy could pull it off. He was born in England and grew up in America. He graduated from RADA and I saw him in Othello as Iago at the Lyric Hammersmith. I just thought he could make a really good Doctor. Especially with Moffat taking over this could really work. He can really bring out a dark side. I kno wit sounds random but really could work, believe me. Look him up, he's not done much but he's got 'next big thing' written all over him.