Ever since that Tim Roth rumor came up in our collective feed we here at PCU have been debating who should be the next Doctor, when, and if, Capaldi decided to step down. Though we all had different picks, the one thing we’ve all noticed is the lack of diversity in the Doctor Who universe, not just with the companions, but with the Doctor as well. We’ve seen Time Lords change races or genders, if not both, over the course of the show, the most recent being the Master so it’s jarring that the Doctor hasn’t. What that says about the show and its writers is up to you to decide but here are our choices as to who would make a much more inclusive Doctor.
After the PCU crew collectively went Tim Roth?! Slewo chimed in stating that Roth would actually be a pretty cool Doctor. Roth’s work on Lie To Me showed that he could pull off the likable and caring mentor yet his turn as Emil Blonsky proves that he still has an air of barely tamed rage about him that this generation of Doctor seem to carry about in spades.
While I personally never, ever want to lose Agent Carter, the always game Hayley Atwell was Slewo’s other choice and a damn good one. A perfect combination of 9 and 10 she’d be the Indiana Jones of Doctors and a whole hell of a lot of fun.
The most extreme take by far was Robbie Kay of Once Upon a Time and Heroes Reborn. Kay, whose work on OUAT proved that he can play manipulative, adorable and downright terrifying while looking like an angel, would be the youngest Doctor in the history of the franchise but also bring something totally different to the show.
After expressing surprise that Daniel Dae Kim wasn’t tapped for Doctor Strange, Oz and I both felt he’d make a good Doctor: authoritarian, mysterious and just enough of a jerk to be intriguing yet frustrating.
While I maintain that the Doctor, much like James Bond, should always be from the UK, if I were to choose a non-British actor it would be the incredible Lucy Liu, who is great in everything even if the writing doesn’t always serve her well. Talented, beautiful and fully able to kick your arse she’d bring a bit of an action hero vibe to the Doctor.
My other non-British alternative would be Israeli Oded Fehr. Charming, utterly gorgeous, a veteran of sci-fi and action movies with shows like Sleeper Cell showing just how good of an actor he is, Fehr would make a fantastic Doctor.
However, my number one selection would be Alexander Siddig, another actor who would’ve been a far better fit for Doctor Strange. Siddig, a sci-fi and fantasy icon, who has several Oscar and Bafta nominated movies under his belt is also genuine film, theater and actual royalty. The nephew of Malcolm and Roddy McDowell on one side of the family and the former ruler of Sudan on the other he’d bring a truly unique and authentic feel to the Doctor’s heavy is the head schtick.
In the end there were three actors we all agreed would be amazing as the next Doctor, in no particular order here are our favorites:
Thandie Newton. Regal and sensual, Newton has an earth mother vibe that’s balanced equally with an air of danger that makes it explicit that she could and probably would rip out your throat if so inclined. She’s the perfect counterpoint to our last three Doctors, each of whom seem slightly unhinged from jump, whereas a Thandie Newton Doctor’s crazy would creep up on you over time until you honestly couldn’t be sure if she were there to save you or destroy you.
Helen Mirren. It’s Helen Mirren. Do you need anything more? Okay fine, a multiple award winner and nominee, Mirren is tough as nails, quirky and hilarious. Her Doctor would give us more insight into The War Doctor and why he was so very broken even before he returned to Gallifrey.
Chiwetel Ejiofor, like Newton and Siddig, Ejiofor carries an air of regality and authority that commands deference. Like Liu and Mirren he comes across like he could whip your arse up one end of the galaxy and down the other. He’s got a calming and endearing presence that can easily hide a well of sorrow or violence. He can play every incarnation of the Doctor while still bringing something new and unsettling to the part. Basically? He’s perfect.
In the end there’s absolutely no reason that the Doctor shouldn’t be as diverse as the galaxy he travels and the planet he frequents.
Get on it BBC.
Now with more poll: Who would make the best new Doctor?