Every finale of Doctor Who brings forth one recurring question: If they leave, who will be the next Doctor?
With Rumors swelling as to whether or not Capaldi has another season in him, I wanted to take the time and throw some names in the hat for actors I think would make a great Doctor should he leave (some of them have been in the running for the role for years now but the fantastical blue box continuously eludes them).
Nighy has been mentioned as a possible doctor even before Eccleston got the role in ’05. He’s the embodiment of sophistication, and speaks with a wonderful diction that has a sort of eloquence that doesn’t come off as condescending or smug. He has dipped his toes in the waters of sci-fi with roles in Underworld, Shaun of the Dead, Harry Potter, and even played a time traveler in About Time. How he has been in the running this long but so far been relegated to roles like the museum curator in the Van Gogh episode is inexcusable.
This is a long shot (since Marvel has their hooks in him), but he’s worth mentioning. Ejiofor has proven he has serious acting chops when he won the BAFTA for his role in 12 years a slave. But sci-fi fans probably more easily recognize him from when he played the conniving villain in both Serenity and Children of Men, two very different roles but played with subtlety and layers that a less experienced actor could have easily mishandled/ruined.
The wild card, Ayoade is another BAFTA winner (albeit for a less heroic role). He is most commonly associated with playing a nerd on the show The IT Crowd, a role he was born to play. Unlike most on this list, Ayoade makes no effort to be cool, can never be accused of being suave, and almost certainly would be picked last for any sporting match (all traits that fit a certain Time Lord). When Matt Smith played the 11th reincarnation, his mannerism and stature were not intimidating, but his intelligence and his ability to always have a solution for any problem were. He scared off entire planet-crushing species with a speech and a bluff; and Ayoade has that in him in droves. He shows of his intelligence in everything he’s in, but I see signs of the Doctor coming through when he pontificates about his favorite devices in Gadget Man.
Known to most BBC viewers as George (the werewolf) on Being Human, Tovey is another Who alumnus that is always in the running for the lead but keeps getting downgraded to bit parts (Alonso in the ’07 Christmas episode). He’s shown he can work with others while having a leading role in a well-received show (the aforementioned Being Human). He also has the luxury of being suggested for the role by Russell T. Davies , and working with Steven Moffat in Sherlock (Season 2, Hounds of the Baskerville). So there is a preexisting familiarity.
Most recognizable for his role as Al Capone in Boardwalk Empire, Graham seems to go overlooked in every high profile project he works on (Pirates of the Caribbean, Boardwalk Empire, Gangs of New York), but always delivers with a duality that very few actors can pull off. The scenes he had as Capone where he was interacting with his onscreen son made an otherwise psychopathic character seem sympathetic and relatable. Yes, he can play a loose cannon, someone with the kind of fury that is expected from a thousand-year-old-being that doomed his species, but he’s also capable of truly tender moments like the aforementioned and the character moments he delivers in the This is England series.
Mostly associated with comedic roles (Episodes and Black Books), Greig has the uncanny ability to take a comedic moment and add vulnerability and ferocity in an instant (lending herself to the Doctor’s constantly fluctuating mood swings). But she can also contribute just as much to the laughs as her male counterparts and has both the experience and talent to do the character justice, while taking it in a new direction and making it her own.
Honorable mention: Eddie Izzard.
I’ve loved Eddie Izzard since I first saw him on the British-version of Who’s Line Is It Anyway? He’s an incredible comedian/actor with loads of depth that he can bring to the character. But if that’s not enough for you, I dare you to view this image and think he wouldn’t be a fantastic Doctor. One of the better Doctor poses we have ever seen.
Those are my picks for who I think would make an excellent Doctor, do you agree? Let us know in the comments below.
| Featured image made by Martin Driver