The TV Gods give and they take away. On Saturday the Community fandom rejoiced at the news that Dan Harmon would be returning for season five. Hours later the Whovian nation was rocked by the news that Matt Smith would be regenerating in this year’s Christmas special.
Quote from Sage: HOW CAN THEY DO THIS TO US AT CHRISTMAS???
Because the British are cruel, that’s why. You all saw this year’s Downton Abbey Christmas special, right?
This is going to be our first real-time regeneration as Whovians and we are not at all ready for it. But rather than sit in a corner and sob, we are doing our best to redirect our feels towards thoughts on who should be cast as the 12th Doctor. While it is highly likely that a relatively unknown actor will land the part, we have compiled a list of dream choices for our next Mad Man in a Box and the pros and cons about them…
UPDATE: Our casting list contains massive spoilers for Game of Thrones, so if you are behind, I advise that you stop before you get to number 10.
1) Jack Davenport
Pros: Jack was one of the best parts of Smash (RIP #SmashBash) and now he is finally free to do something worthy of his talent. He has worked with Steven Moffat in the past (on Coupling). He has the crazy hair that clearly is a prerequisite for anyone playing The Doctor. While he IS older than Matt, I think it is high time we move back to an older Doctor. And can you imagine how deliciously snarky and cranky his Doctor would be? I would not be able to handle all the hot crankyness. Once this was suggested to me, I could not unsee it. I NEED Jack as The Doctor in my life.
Also, look at him.
Cons: From the looks of it, Jack already has a job lined up. So unless it is a limited run series, he may not be available.
2) Matthew Lewis
Pros: Having played Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter movies, Matt definitely knows what it is like to work on an iconic franchise. Neville was not such a MAJOR part that we would never be able to get past seeing him that way (a con for one of our other choices). If they want to keep The Doctor young, Matt is the right age. And talk about an ugly duckling turning into a swan. Congrats on becoming a FOX, Matt Lewis. Also his name IS Matt, so no one would have to learn a new name.
Cons: Does he have the acting chops? The modern Doctors leave some VERY big shoes to fill. Other than that, I don’t see any cons.
3) Tom Hiddleston
Pros: Tom is known to be a massive fanboy, so he would bring the same giddiness of playing a character as iconic as The Doctor that Matt Smith has. He’s classically trained, so we already know he would act the SHIT of it. He’s incredibly charismatic on screen…I may have cheered for Loki more than the good guys in The Avengers (#sorrynotsorry). Also, naturally a ginger.
Cons: He’s probably too heavily associated with Loki for audiences to accept him as The Doctor at this point. Also, I highly doubt that he would leave behind a thriving film career for a several year commitment to a TV Series.
4) Rupert Grint
Pros: Ginger. We know how desperately The Doctor wants to be ginger.
Cons: I don’t think people would be able to get past the fact that The Doctor is being played by Ronald Bilius Weasley. That is the problem with being the lead in a franchise as iconic as Harry Potter.
5) Richard Armitage
Pros: Another classically trained British hunk of a man, I think Armitage would bring a bit more refinement and elegance to the role of The Doctor (which would put him along the lines of Jon Pertwee’s Third Doctor). He clearly has the acting chops and has also done a good deal of television in the past. His work on Robin Hood and The Hobbit proves that he can handle Sci-Fi and Fantasy. Also, quite pretty. The ladies would love him.
Cons: Will commitments to The Hobbit and its bloated sequels monopolize his time too much for the next two years? And is he looking to use The Hobbit to springboard into a full time film career?
6) Iwan Rheon
Pros: Iwan is an up-and-comer with a huge range of work under his belt, both in music and acting. Beloved to Misfits fans as shy Simon and sex-on-a-stick Future Simon, he’s now being exposed to a wider American audience in a psychopathic turn on Game of Thrones. Would make for a Doctor who could go from cute imaginary friend to The Oncoming Storm in about 2 seconds flat. Won an Olivier for playing Moritz in the West End production of Spring Awakening. Welsh, so would be at home on the Cardiff set. (No, really, he went to a school called “Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glantaf.” He’s almost too Welsh to function.) Is an accomplished singer/songwriter, which would come in handy if we ever get a Doctor Who musical ep. If not, still effective for paralyzing fangirls and bringing in a younger audience.
Cons: As of now, Iwan is still on GoT and has also been cast in a Brit-com called Vicious, starring Ian McKellan and Derek Jacobi. Here’s the IMDB synopsis:
“Freddie and Stuart are an old gay couple who have been together for nearly 50 years. Their lives now revolve around entertaining their frequent guests and hurling insults at each other at every opportunity.”
Are you kidding me? I wouldn’t leave that gig. Even for Doctor Who.
7) Richard Ayoade
Pros: Most well-known for creating a timeless, comedic character in The IT Crowd‘s Maurice Moss, we KNOW actor-writer-director-comedian Richard would nail all of the Doctor’s wittiest moments. At 35, he’d grow the character back up a bit to a Ten-like age. Obviously, Richard would break ground as the first actor of color to be cast in this classic role, which would be clearly monumental. He’s friends with John Oliver from his years in the Cambridge Footlights; starred in the ill-fated pilot of the American reboot of The IT Crowd with Joel McHale; AND directed the episode “Critical Film Studies”, which adds up to some bonus Community love juju. Also, how much would Moss DIE if he knew his real-life counterpart was playing a geek hero like the Doctor? He’d have to call Emergency Services.
Cons: Did I mention that he’s an actor-writer-director-comedian? Richard wrote and directed the well-received indie Submarine and his next project The Double, starring Jesse Eisenberg and Mia Wa-sdkhf-adkfh-ka, is now in post. He may take on some acting work here and there, but a full series would interfere with his directing career. At least we have The IT Crowd Christmas special to look forward to.
8) Robert Sheehan
Pros: Robert is the second Misfits alum on our list, having played cheeky bastard Nathan Young to great acclaim. He would be THE sassiest Doctor to ever walk this or any other planet. Mark my words. He also has experience playing a character coming to terms with his immortality, which can’t hurt.
Cons: His work since Misfits has been pretty under the radar, so we don’t know if he’s got the range to play such a meaty role. He’s the same age as Iwan, but his baby face wouldn’t impart the gravitas the Doctor needs to have for his big, dramatic speeches. Plus, he’s cast in the first Mortal Instruments film, and I believe that’s another YA series that will go on forever and ever until we’re all dead.
9) Romola Garai
Pros: Is it likely that the Moffat era will be the first to introduce a female regeneration of the Doctor? We know it’s possible Time Lord-wise, but it’s doubtful. And considering what some fans (including us, occassionally) perceive as the slighting of the show’s female characters, maybe he shouldn’t be the one to take this on. At the very least, it’s fun to speculate, and Romola Garai is our pick. She’s gorgeous, obviously, but not without intelligence or authority. She’s done Shakespeare, George Eliot, Dickens, Austen, AND a Dirty Dancing sequel, so we know she’s adaptable. Looks fantastic in period clothing. Her schedule was freed up with the cancellation of The Hour. Think of how much she could intimidate a male companion. We didn’t know we needed this until we needed this.
Cons: Other than some surefire confusing sexual feelings for some of us viewers, none.
10) Richard Madden
Well. I, for one, have not read the Song of Ice and Fire books, other than the first one. So I was SCREAMING at my TV tonight when most of the Stark clan was wiped out in a bloody massacre. The good news is that the erstwhile King of the North, Richard Madden, is now in need of a job!
Pros: Ginger. Scottish. Already knows the demands of shooting a sprawling epic series. Has a wee bit of an in with the Doctor Who family considering he is dating The Impossible Girl herself, Jenna-Louise Coleman, which would be a FIELD DAY for Doctor/Clara shippers. Would he bring in the legions of GoT fans and squealing fangirls alike? I think so.
Cons: None. Cast him. Let’s FINALLY make The Doctor a ginger, shall we?
As difficult as it is to fathom right now, there WILL BE life after Matt Smith. Could ours be in the hands of one of these nine nominees? Readers, who is your pick for 12?