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June 03 2013

Who's the new Who? Now that Matt Smith has officially confirmed he's leaving the TARDIS at the end of his year, our favourite Operative is back in the running as the new Doctor.

I'm not sure why this needed a spoiler tag but I've removed it anyhow.
When it's all over the internet I suppose it's no longer a spoiler, but Matt Smith no longer being the Doctor would register as a spoiler in my book if it hadn't been already, especially considering the tenuous connection to the Whedonverse to begin with.
there were silly rumours that uk comedian tim vine was up for a role, which i will be the first one here to say,
"sonic screwdriver behind the ear"
lol
WHUT!

I don't really like how part of their Doctor Who marketing is to spoil major events like departing characters or big reunions. It's actually a big plus for discovering shows AFTER they've aired and going into them completely blind. I watched all of the rebooted Doctor Who only early last year and knew basically NOTHING about it. Everything was a surprise and better for it. Now watching "along with the rest of the world" soured me on knowing when characters come and go beforehand ... :/
Plus, at the Radio Times website, a poll is being done to ask people to vote for their top choice for Matt Smith's successor. Both Chiwetel Ejiofor and Tom Hiddleston are fairly popular choices, so the tenuous Whedon connection has doubled!

http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2013-06-03/who-do-you-want-to-play-the-next-doctor
, especially considering the tenuous connection to the Whedonverse to begin with.


Every few years, we've had "which Whedonverse actor will be the new Who" entries. We've had Tony , Alexis , Chiwetel and so on. It's not really that tenuous. Especially if you throw in that Fury rumour from yonks ago and the impact that Buffy had on new Who.

I don't really like how part of their Doctor Who marketing is to spoil major events like departing characters or big reunions.


They've been doing it since the mid 60s. I don't think the general public's viewing experience has suffered as a result.
It's something Who have done for a while, reveal casting changes up front. (Although I seem to recall Matt Smith's casting was a surprise at the time).
The method of delivery was a surprise but it was announced well in advance.
Matt Smith's casting was a surprise due to his age, IIRC. Plus Tennant was a wildly popular Doctor and it marked the first big departure in Who, since Christopher Eccleston was only on for one season. Chiwetel would be great in the role. If I was cynical, I'd say that a male, minority actor will rankle fewer chains than a female Doctor. Still, chains would be rankled. It's unfortunate.

[ edited by the ninja report on 2013-06-03 14:03 ]
My favorite point of reference for any time Doctor Who-related casting news comes up.
I've been perusing a lot of fan and critic suggestions. Most of them are feasible and some of them are longshots. I think Tom Hiddleston would be phenomenal, but he's also very busy and very high profile.
Um, I thought they already gave us a glimpse of John Hurt in the Doctor Who season finale? Confused now.
Indeed they did, embers.
embers, without spoiling, he is not the next doctor after Matt Smith. All will be revealed in the special.
At this stage of the game you can almost guarantee that anyone the media reports as possibly being the next Doctor, will most certain not be the next Doctor.
Ahhh, that's what embers meant. I was confused at the confusion. "Why yes, they did...but what does that have to do with the topic at hand?" Now I realize what you were getting at!
I think the Who production staff take the viewpoint that things like major castings are almost impossible to cover up and so will be spoiled by the press anyway, therefore it's better that they just release the information up front rather than having a weeks or months long whispering campaign.

Certainly something as major as recasting the Doctor is impossible to keep quiet. Questions would be asked as soon as Matt was spotted filming something not Who-related while Who was supposed to be shooting.

As for John Hurt, he's certainly the Doctor, but he's not necessarily the next Doctor. I get the distinct impression that he is a former incarnation of the Doctor, given that the Eleventh Doctor recognises him and knows what he did.
Yes, I was REALLY wanting John Hurt to be the next doctor (just the thought made me okay with Matt Smith leaving). Disappointed now.
Just bring back Tom Baker.
I think given the last few choices for the role, it's more likely that The Doctor be somewhere between 25 to 45, give or take a few years. That's still a large pool of actors.

This won't happen, but I'm hoping for Idris Elba and then in a few years, he can leave Doctor Who and be James Bond.
Um, I would totally watch Dr. Who if Chiwetel Ejiofor was in it. Is that a likely thing?
KnitWit, it's a toss-up at this point. There are so many actors available and regardless of the speculation, no one but the folks at Doctor Who and BBC know what their criteria is. It was rumored that Moffatt considered Chiwetel before ultimately choosing Matt Smith, so certainly it's possible. I believe Matt Smith auditioned for a role on Sherlock, and that's how Moffatt came to know him, so it seems previous connections are helpful.
I agree with Espenson's suggestion of Amy Acker. I know it's not likely at all, but it would be fantastic :D
If I could pick any Whedonverse actor to be the next Doctor it would be Olivia Williams. After all, she is very... British. She doesn't say hahhhd ahhhrs.
I think a woman doctor is long overdue. I think Olivia Coleman would be fantastic. Obviously so would Helen Mirren, but I think that would be a bit of a long-shot!
Why not Fran Kranz as the Doctor?

/stirsthepuddingwithAmericanDoctoridea
I like the Doctor to be a bit older, so I'm still rooting for Anthony Head.
Romola Garai. No Whedon connection, but she'd be marvellous.
There are so many things that are overdue. The new version has been on the air for seven years and there have still only been two minority companions and two male companions (if you ignore Wilf). I mean, kudos for putting Rose and Mickey in an interracial relationship, adding Jack, and letting The Doctor kiss a bunch of people (male and female). But there's still a long way to go.
I would love Chiwetel Ejiofor to be the Doctor, but I'm guessing they'll go young again.
So far all of the New Who Doctors have been good, though, so I'm optimistic.
To get where?

I like Chiwetel, but I'm having trouble picturing the... whimsy of the role. But that's because everything I've seen him in he is very very serious. I guess except "Inside Man", but that's pretty thin.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2013-06-03 18:12 ]
(Possibly slightly spoilery for the Xmas special so don't read if you want to know nothing more.)
Try not to pay attention to the bookmaker lists and associated odds if that might raise or lower your hopes. They are just out to profit off the frenzy. You get higher odds (and lower payout) on the more popular and somewhat realistic choices, though I don't really know what "realistic" means to the bookmakers. Not likely there are really any "probable" choices from our point of view. All you can say with some certainty is it won't be Matt Smith or John Hurt. John Hurt is very unlikely for the obvious reasons like his age given the grueling shooting schedule, and the fact that we know Matt Smith regenerates in the Christmas special.

If the Doctor chooses the form he regenerates into (like Romana didľand I think the Master too a time or two?) then I suppose David T. is back on the list. But he's not likely to want to do it again given the intensity of it all. Your safest bet is to look at trends (like towards younger actors) and what Moffat has said in the past. I think Moffat has the most influence on the decision and will likely want a fresh face. That doesn't rule out Chiwetel though unless he's more of a household name in the UK than I realize. Beyond the basics it's chemistry with the producers and Jenna Coleman that's got to be the most important factor. Fan wishful thinking is not part of the equation, though I'm secretly hoping for Benedict Cumberbatch anyway. :)
I will watch Chiwetel Ejiofor reading the phone book and, as for his ability to do humor (and sing), please at once go see the film "Kinky Boots." Not that this has any bearing whatsoever on the likelihood of him being Who.
I liked Ejifor in Kinky Boots and he was definitely funny in it. But it was a different kind of funny. The Doctor has to be a little insane. I just don't see that in Ejifor. He always seems very calm and respectable, even when he's a cross dresser or a menacing assassin.
Of the suggestions I've heard so far today I like Paterson Joseph best. He must be just outside the ninja report's age range by now, but the ninja report also suggests that previous connections might be helpful and he was (great) in Moffat's Jekyll, so who knows, there might be an outside change.

I thought Matt Smith was a brilliant Doctor (it's a shame that he'll be leaving) and I fully trust Moffat and co. to come up with someone amazing again.
Someone posted a comment that the show runners were trying to keep Matt Smith's departure a secret until the Christmas special, but the word got out. After that, they made the press announcement. No sense in trying to close the barn door after the horse escapes.
>> Who's the new Who?

Little Cindy Lou Who,
who was no more than two?
Groosalugg - I hadn't heard his name mentioned before. Interesting choice. He's 48, which isn't really old but a lot of critics mention David Harewood, who is 47, so I don't think that's too old at all.

My suggested age range was based on a few things like the age range that would appeal to the fanbase and how able the actor would take on a physical role.
Paterson Joseph was a great Marquis of Carabas in "Neverwhere," so he's a good choice, too.
I love Chiwetel Ejiofor - I've absolutely loved him ever since Kinky Boots - and if there's an ounce of truth to this I'll be one of the happiest people alive.

It's very sad to see Matt Smith go because he's been truly mesmerizing, but this would really make up for it. I wouldn't want another young Doctor - Matt Smith did the whole "old man in a young man's body" thing and did it beautifully. I don't want to see someone else try to match that.

Chiwetel Ejiofor is lovely - very charismatic, funny, mysterious and impressive all at once. It never even occured to me to think of him as the Doctor until now but I do think it'd be a great choice.

*edited to add* I would at some point love to see the Doctor as a woman, but I just don't think Moffat shares that interest. He really seems to prefer the "feisty girl flirts with Time Lord" angle, for reasons known only to him. Someday, though...

[ edited by prettymaryk on 2013-06-03 21:57 ]
Athough the chance is slim to none, I think Chiwetel Ejiofor would be brilliant. The only thing that would make me happier is Enver Gjokaj as Twelve, but he's got that whole Not British thing going against him.
Enver could do an accent. Simples. It's like saying Spike shouldn't be played by James Marsters.
To be honest I really don't understand this whole 'make the Doctor inexplicably turn into a woman for no apparent reason' thing that seems to be making the rounds these days. I mean, has there been some sort of development in the contemporary phase of the show's continuity that would support such an occurrence? (I'm genuinely curious - the last full episode of the show that I've seen was contemporaneous with the Berlin Wall.)

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2013-06-03 22:20 ]
Patton Oswalt.
Doctor Who has a sonic screwdriver which fixes any plot development and two hearts. Absolutely regenerate as a lady. The show is all about change and renewal; it's why it survives.
brinderwalt, I think people just see that the Doctor has been a white guy. Eleven times. Maybe it's time for some color or a gender change. Eleven is enough. Actually Eight is Enough but you know what I mean.
@brinderwalt Neil Gaiman's first episode (The Doctor's Wife) contained a reference to a Timelord-friend of the Doctor who swapped genders after regenerating ... it was a quip but it did softly hint at the possibility that the same might happen to the Doctor one day in the future.

@the ninja report I came across the Paterson Joseph suggestion in a tweet by fantasy author Scott Lynch earlier today. The idea really appealed to me, although I do think he might be a little too old to get the role - as your age range feels very plausible to me.

[ edited by the Groosalugg on 2013-06-03 22:32 ]
Brinderwalt and IrrationaliTV, that's pretty much it. It's like James Bond, too. He's been a white guy so many times. It's about time we get with the 21st century. There are many other actors available who could play this role. Of course, in Bond's case it obviously has to be a man. Not so much a rule with The Doctor.

I'll throw it out there: Jaime Murray. She'd make a great Doctor.
brinderwalt, I think people just see that the Doctor has been a white guy. Eleven times.

But why should that be at all surprising when they are, in fact, still supposed to be the same person? I mean, the word regeneration itself suggests a re-construction of what's already there - not the kind of swapping out of biological parts and systems for ones not currently in existence that a literal gender change would seem to entail.

@brinderwalt Neil Gaiman's first episode (The Doctor's Wife) contained a reference to a Timelord-friend of the Doctor who swapped genders after regenerating ... it was a quip but it did softly hint at the possibility that the same might happen to the Doctor one day in the future.

Now that would seem to make it make sense - although that might also sadly explain why it is I have so far been unsuccessful in my attempts to acclimate to the new Who in general (in essence - too much Star Wars, not enough Star Trek.)

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2013-06-03 23:06 ]
Biological determinism can be fun, but the doctor is also an alien, we don't actually know what the terms sex and gender mean for Gallifreyans (though I'm not super familiar with Doctor Who mythology). Us humans have a very slippery notion of sex (culturally specific, it is important to always remember) which is already a gendered term before we makes our way to the murkier still ideas of gender identity and expression, none of which should be necessarily imposed upon others (human or nonhuman).

What I do know is that Doctor Who is nothing if not inconsistent, with many paradoxes, otherwise unexplainable temporal resets, many-times dead alien species being inexplicably brought back to life and so on. These things are really unimportant; continuity is only significant in Doctor Who up to a point, but the emotional resonance of the characters, general silliness and fun are always the most important things for the show. None of these elements are gender specific.

Plus I want to see the moment that River sees that the Doctor has regenerated as a woman (if it were to happen it would probably be a regeneration that she would already know about if she was still guest starring) and be totally fine with it. I think that would be a great message for children watching.

[ edited by insistondoubt on 2013-06-04 00:28 ]
Biological determinism can be fun, but the doctor is also an alien, we don't actually know what the terms sex and gender mean for Gallifreyans (though I'm not super familiar with Doctor Who mythology).

I was born to and raised by a couple of American baby-boomer Doctor Who geeks - I'm pretty sure we do, or at least did, know what they mean (essentially the same things as they do for humans.)

These things are really unimportant; continuity is only significant in Doctor Who up to a point, but the emotional resonance of the characters, general silliness and fun are always the most important things for the show.

So basically what you're saying is that the show, in its present form, is no longer about science fiction (which, if true, just makes me sad.) That would definitely explain why I've had such a difficult time getting into it.

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2013-06-04 01:06 ]
Science fiction is never about science fiction, brinderwalt. It is always commentary on our current world and current circumstances.
Disagreed.

Science Fiction is a genre that frequently critiques current society but that's not the whole point of it. If it were, it would be called a lecture. And emotional resonance is great, but if you drop the science and continuity what you have is a drama. Yes I oversimplified.

The reason science fiction endures is that it is a cross section that includes so many unique elements. But like Star Trek Into Darkness when you stop paying attention to your own world mechanics, you start picking away at the plausibility that allows that commentary to exist. In some cases, you get so into emotional resonance that no commentary can exist at all. But the stories that people really remember have everything. Those that don't have generally been bettered in other genres.

That said, all science fiction shows tend to have continuity issues. Still, as a viewer it disturbs me to hear from some that it doesn't matter. If writers can't keep their own material straight, I come out of the world and start seeing actors and sets.
I have no problem with the Doctor as a woman - I just don't think I'd trust Moffat to handle a female Doctor properly. For instance, I thought Amy Pond was great when she was first introduced, but the character did not develop. And River Song's character was all over the place. (To be fair though, the male characters didn't receive much better treatment).

I would have trusted RTD with a female Doctor. In my opinion, he realized that the important thing about Doctor Who wasn't the intricacy of the plotting or the standard of the special effects. It was about watching the characters experience amazing and often tragic things during their journeys and how they grew and were changed by these experiences. The last few years of DW have left me completely empty and uncaring about the characters or the events. Which is a shame, because Matt Smith is excellent.
Patterson Joeseph was being heavily tipped last time around, and whilst I'd love to see it (I thought his Marquis de Carabas in Neverwhere was the finest Dr Who we've never had) I unfortunately don't think it'll happen as a) I think he's too high profile now to want to commit to a 9 months per year, multi year schedule, and b) because of the former he'd likely be too expensive. BBC budgets have always been tight and although Dr Who is one of their flagship programs the budget has been cut since RTD was in charge and unknown/little known actors have the advantage of being cheeeeap and are more likely to commit to a multiyear gruelling shooting schedule. So for that reason I think they're likely to pick someone like David Tenant and Matt Smith were at the start of their tenure, talented little knowns, which also has the advantage that one can focus on the performance, rather than the actor themselves. I don't really care whether the actor's black/white/male/female as long as they're good, which I am sure they will be, in Moffat I trust.

[ edited by Jack Diamond on 2013-06-04 10:00 ]
Heh, I didn't expect to find a Who thread over here! Have spent much of the weekend discussing this on various forums. Any kind of Whedonverse connection would be lovely, but since they tend to go for lesser-known actors, I'm not even going to hazard a guess. I'd be happy to see what Chiwetel Ejiofor brought to the role, if that happened. (Although my dream female Doctor would be Tilda Swinton!)
Science fiction is never about science fiction, brinderwalt. It is always commentary on our current world and current circumstances.

A. What azzers said.

B. All stories are a form of commentary on their author's experience of the world around them - it is impossible for them not to be. What does make a story science fiction is that it approaches its fictional elements in a systematic (ie. scientific) way, and if a story doesn't do that then either it isn't science fiction or it's really badly written.
JossIzBoss - I agree that RTD has, overall, done a better job with female characters (see Gwen Cooper) but I disagree that Amy Pond didn't go anywhere in her characterization. She never gave into the notion that she was actually crazy, and it was clear early on that she was the one who wore the pants in the TARDIS. Her relationship with Rory grew tremendously, to where she understood what others (except for Martha) had not; that life with The Doctor is life-changing, but ultimately fleeting. He cannot make up for the relationships and love you cultivate on your own with the people you love.

Overall, though, I prefer Moffatt. My favorite episodes during the RTD era were Moffatt's and I was very happy when he was announced as the new showrunner. I still really like where Moffatt has taken the characters.

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