In the wake of Peter Capaldi’s announcement that he will leave Doctor Who at Christmas, and speculation that Tilda Swinton will be the one to replace him, I ponder who could take over the blue box.
Matt Smith may have made the Doctor seem like an alien in terms of mannerisms, but Paul Bettany also has the look of someone almost otherworldly, with his pale skin, faraway eyes and somewhat distracted air. I also feel he could probably nail the wistful, often grandiose monologues that everyone’s favourite Time Lord is partial to. However, his role as Vision in the Avengers films could prove problematic.
The stalwart of stage and small screen would bring the necessary gravitas to the role of keeper of the TARDIS, as well as (as evidenced during his long run in BBC drama Hustle) some lightness of touch when required. Supportive, comforting but sometimes angry as well, he could be quite a well-balanced version of the Doctor.
The young Brit had been off the radar for some time after a career as a child actor in films like Finding Neverland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but impressed recently with his portrayal of a disturbed young World War Two veteran in Stephen Poliakoff’s Close to the Enemy. It is this vulnerability mixed with energy and a slightly mad streak which I think would make him an interesting Doctor.
The up-and-coming British actor, most recently seen in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar (boasting a convincing American accent), has the gift of comic timing and gentle wit coupled with seriousness. He has a quiet authority about him which could serve him well as the next incarnation of the Time Lord, and has also previously starred in an episode of Who, opposite Matt Smith.
A rising star for some time now, Ronan has been winning plaudits ever since she first appeared on the scene in Atonement, moving on to the likes of How I Live Now and BAFTA-winning Brooklyn. Even if it’s hard to pinpoint exactly how she does it, Ronan has a commanding screen presence and can alternate swiftly between sincerity and viciousness, which could work well as the Doctor.
Another experienced actor, Williams can always be relied upon to do steadfast, headstrong and slightly spiky heroines, as she proved by playing Jane Austen in the drama Miss Austen Regrets. As the Time Lord she would exude a sense of knowledge whilst perhaps being a bit more emotionally distant – which, in all honesty, is what the show may well need.
Having once played Sally Sparrow in the much-admired ‘Blink’ during David Tennant’s spell as the Doctor, Mulligan is perhaps the least likely pick here due to her now-blossoming film career. But, with her penchant for challenging roles, I think she could step into the Doctor’s shoes no problem, and transfer from assistant to leading person with ease.
Who do you think should (or will) be the next Doctor? Please feel free to comment below.