The 13th Doctor Casting Controversy in 4 Slices

Rumours had been circulating for months but it was finally confirmed  that Peter Capaldi would be leaving Doctor Who after the tenth series this year. After news broke there was a flood of articles and social media posts about who would replace him and become the 13th incarnation of The Doctor.

I decided to add my two cents to the debate and chat about some of the candidates. For ease of digestion I have grouped them into four bite size pieces. Alons-y, Geronimo and here we go:

#4 A Previous Actor

Let’s get this one out of the way quickly. A number of people have mentioned having a previous actor like Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith or Paul McGann return to the role. It was established in “The Day of the Doctor” that the Doctor can return to old faces, though likely not the same personalities. I am 99.9 per cent sure this will never happen and I do not want it. Keep the franchise moving forward, not back! Moving right along.

#3 A Young Face

If the BBC execs want to play it safe then they will go with a young actor. I loved Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor but there were some fans who complained about him being too old for the role. I would tell them they need to check their Doctor Who history but that’s another post for another time.

Names that have been thrown around include Ben Whishaw, who plays Q in the new James Bond films, and Harry Potter star Rupert Grint, who would be our first ginger Doctor. I think Grint is a little too high profile but Whishaw could be an interesting choice.

#2 A Black Actor

People have also thrown out the idea of a black Doctor. As we saw with the General in “Hell Bent” a Time Lord can change race and also gender (more on that in the final point). I personally have no problem with a black, Indian, Chinese or a Doctor any race or ethnicity. He’s an alien – the colour of his skin does not matter.

Some names tossed around include The IT Crowd’s Richard Ayoade, Supergirl’s David Harewood (who I did not know was British) and movie star Idris Elba (will never happen). Ayoade could be cool but I love Harewood as Martian Manhunter so he should stay where he is.

#1 A Female Doctor

The one suggestion that has some fans waving their sonic screwdrivers in glee and others sounding their cloister bells in panic is for the 13th Doctor to be a woman. Dunh dunh dunh! Both the General and Missy have shown that Time Lords can change their gender when they regenerate so the canon is solid. But the real question is – should they? I was initially not feeling this idea but the more I hear it the more I like it. I don’t see it just as pandering to feminists but a choice that can add some freshness and vitality to franchise. And remember prior to the Eighth Doctor our favourite Time Lord did not have any romantic relationships and this is not really a key component to the character as whole. Compare this with James Bond whose womanising is as much a part of the character as his vodka martinis and his Walther PPK. So Jane or Jenny Bonds please.

Returning to Doctor Who in terms of female Doctor candidates we have another Harry Potter star, Emma Watson but I think that is just wishful thinking. Marvel’s Agent Carter herself Hayley Atwell was also thrown out and I think she would be splendid in the role. The front runner according to bookmakers, however, is Tilda Swinton who appeared last year as The Ancient One in Doctor Strange.  She is Hollywood but not as big as star as Elba or the Potter actors so that would not distract from the character. And from what I have seen from her I think she has the acting chops to kill in this role and I would definitely be on board if she was chosen. And with her ethereal looks she is perfect to play a two millennia-old alien.

So that’s my take on it. Who do you think should be the 13th Doctor. Feel free to share in the comments. For my ranking of the Top 13 Doctors you can click here




  1. Regarding David Harewood. He had a previous role Doctor Who. That of Joshua Naismith in the 10th Doctor’s swan song The End of Time. While he would be great for the role, if they were going to go with a black actor, I would like to see Colin Salmon (Arrow, Brosnan’s Bond movies) get it.

  2. My personal pick, if it was up to me, would be Hayley Atwell. She’s an amazing actress, and I think she’d play the role well enough that even those who oppose a female Doctor would come around.

  3. I honest think to boost it back and make history like they want david tennant is perfect. Just to bring him back for to seasons at least. He spreads said he would love to do it. Matt has kinda gone on and plus david…just everyone seems to adore and still miss him.

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