The 6 Types Of Actor Who Could Be The Next Doctor

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We’re still reeling from the news that Peter Capaldi will be leaving the role of the Doctor at the end of this year. As fans, we now begin the process of grieving the loss of a Doctor whilst also looking forward to seeing who will step into Capaldi’s shoes and take the show in an exciting new direction. Chris Chibnall, and the powers that be at the BBC, face the daunting task of deciding who the Thirteenth Doctor will be.

Because we’re fans, we’ve made a list. A list of what sort of actor could fill the role – but rather than focus on speculation over individual actors, we are pondering the pools of talent that the production team may want to pick from. We’ve ordered our list from the most likely to be the next Doctor, to the least, based on nothing but fan intuition

1. THE RISING STAR

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Given the immense popularity of the programme, taking on the role of the Doctor can be seen as a great career move for an actor. At the same time, the Doctor Who production team may well be looking to snag a young, talented performer before they grow too big for a long-running TV series.

The Rising Star is the sort of actor who has been popping up in the odd TV guest part and minor film role for a few years and has ‘potential’ written all over them. They light up the screen in any scene they are in, and are probably destined for stardom: they’re just waiting for their big break.

There’s past precedent for this sort of thing to happen, with David Tennant being cast as the Doctor fresh off the back of RTD’s Casanova just as his career was starting to build a real momentum. There’s a whole universe of rising stars to choose from, with Andrew Gower, Wunmi Mosaku and Lydia Rose Bewley to name just a few, so the size of the pool and the amount of talent in it makes this our most likely pick.

 

2. THE SEASONED PROFESSIONAL

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There are plenty of actors who have long, respectable careers but who haven’t quite reached international stardom. Chibnall and co may be looking for a proven talent with a large body of work, who seems to crop up in almost everything but has never really shone in the limelight. The kind of person that makes you go ‘oh, it’s them’ whenever you see them on screen.

There are plenty of examples of this from the show’s history: past Seasoned Professionals to take on the role include Christopher Eccleston, the outgoing Peter Capaldi, and the man who kicked the whole thing off, William Hartnell. Some of the early favourites for the Thirteenth Doctor firmly fall under this umbrella, including David Harewood and Olivia Colman, so the chances of a well-versed actor assuming the role seem quite likely. We can easily imagine someone like Tim Roth, Tracey Childs or Lennie James taking on the role.

 

3. THE HOUSEHOLD NAME

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It’s now an uncommon occurrence to see actors with major film careers diverge into television. While it is unlikely that we will ever see an actor at the height of their popularity take on the small screen commitment of Doctor Who (those who are desperate for Benedict Cumberbatch to play the Doctor may want to moderate their expectations), there could be some iconic talent who could be coaxed into the TARDIS if they are looking for a new phase in their career. The production team could benefit in casting someone with star power, who is immediately recognisable and brings a sizeable audience with them. Someone with a kind of credibility that would ground the show as it makes the transition between the old and new showrunners.

Movement between the big and small screen has rarely been as free as it is now, but there is a near enough example from Doctor Who’s past (if you squint hard enough): at the time of the Fifth Doctor’s casting, Peter Davison was something of a major TV star, at least in the UK, having played a lead role in the veterinary comedy-drama series All Creatures Great and Small.

We can think a little bigger now, and the prospect of someone like Tilda Swinton (Eighth Doctor actor Paul McGann’s personal pick), Chiwitel Ejiofor or Hugh Laurie taking over in 2018 seems tantalisingly plausible.

 

4. THE UNKNOWN

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It’s almost as plausible that the powers that be could select someone who has virtually no profile whatsoever, who brings no baggage with them (remember how the spectre of Malcolm Tucker hung over the early part of Peter Capaldi’s tenure?). It would make a powerful statement of intent from an incoming showrunner – this is someone fresh who is going to be unpredictable in the role. It really could be anyone’s game.

Past Doctor Matt Smith was barely heard of at the time of his casting, but perhaps an even better example comes in the form of the newest lead to join the series, Pearl Mackie, whose past CV is mostly theatre credits. It could be a risky path to take, but the possibility of the new Doctor being played by someone completely unfamiliar to audiences is incredibly exciting.

 

5. THE COMEDY CROSSOVER

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Catherine Tate was a revelation as Donna Noble way back in 2008, proving that a comedic actor’s decision making and sense of timing can be just as valuable when playing drama. It’s now pretty commonplace to see British comedy actors do good work in dramatic roles, so much so that Miranda Hart can play a midwife and Joanna Scanlan can play a gritty detective and without anyone batting an eyelid. In looking to capture the Doctor’s distinctive sense of wit, the new production team could do worse than look amongst the scores of talented actors who have their roots in comedy.

The role of the new Doctor could represent a great opportunity for a gifted funny person to transition to the world of drama – it certainly was for Jon Pertwee back in 1970, when Pertwee was best known for his appearances in multiple Carry On films and his role in the long-running radio series The Navy Lark.

Suggestions of The IT Crowd’s Richard Ayoade, along with the aforementioned Hart, have already been doing the rounds. We think some well-loved comedy actors who have already had a stab at playing it straight, such as Tamsin Greig, or Sanjeev Bhaskar, could give highly memorable takes on the part. However, it may be even more exciting to see the dramatic potential unlocked in someone who so far has not strayed far from the world of comedy – perhaps someone like Matt Berry?

 

6. THE WILD CARD

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The worst possible choice that the production team could make would be to pick someone boring. The Wild Card definitely isn’t boring. There’s something about them that breaks the mould. Perhaps they are best known for something other than acting. Perhaps they aren’t British. Perhaps they’re Australian. Perhaps they’re, wait for it, American. Chibnall could do something hugely unexpected and go with a completely gonzo decision. It would certainly get people sitting up and paying attention.

Remarkably, this sort of thing has happened before. Sylvester McCoy’s formative career was in experimental theatre, and he also had a string of children’s television credits prior to accepting the role of the Doctor. That’s before we even get to past companions, which have included the likes of pop singers (Billie Piper), former child stars (Bonnie Langford) and talent competition winners (Wendy Padbury).

The idea of a completely off-the-wall choice, like singer-songwriter Morrissey, Australian actor Elizabeth Debicki or American rapper and sometime actor Mos Def, has us tickled.

 

Of course, Capaldi’s eventual successor might not neatly fit in one of the above categories – they might be a highly experienced comedy actor, or a non-British up-and-comer, or, well, anybody. Whatever decision Chibnall and his colleagues end up making, we’re sure it will be a fine one. Casting the Doctor may be a difficult process, but no-one’s made a bad choice so far.

Tooz Company: A DWCA Tavern Special Event

The DWCA is delighted to announce a special guest for our Inner Sydney Tavern night on Friday 3 March – British actor Richard Unwin.

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Richard is a huge Doctor Who fan and has been lucky enough to lend his voice to four audio dramas with Big Finish Productions – Doctor Who: Three’s Company (as Vidler), Bernice Summerfield: The Kingdom of the Blind (as the Monoids), and Gallifrey: Appropriation and Fractures (as Tooz). He’s coming to Australia with the play ‘The Chemsex Monologues’, which is playing in Adelaide and Sydney during March.

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Richard will be taking part in a Q&A session covering his work in the Whoniverse and will also be joining in the group discussion for the evening, including our analysis of the current DWCA Book Club text ‘Engines of War’ – an original novel featuring the War Doctor.

So come along with your friends and enjoy a pleasant evening with good food, great beverages and excellent company!

Date: Friday 3 March

Time: 6:30-10pm

Venue: Level 2, City of Sydney RSL, 565 George Street, Sydney (just a short distance from Town Hall Train Station).

Cost: Entry is free, however tickets must be claimed from the DWCA website prior to the event. This event is open to both DWCA members and non-members.   Click here to claim tickets

Please note: Whilst entry is free, it is requested that food or drink be purchased from the Bistro during the event.

DWCA Book Club #6 – Engines of War

The sixth book the DWCA Book Club are reading is the War Doctor’s Novel – Engines of War by George Mann.

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The Great Time War has raged for centuries, ravaging the universe. Scores of human colony planets are now overrun by Dalek occupation forces. A weary, angry Doctor leads a flotilla of Battle TARDISes against the Dalek stronghold but in the midst of the carnage, the Doctor’s TARDIS crashes to a planet below: Moldox.

As the Doctor is trapped in an apocalyptic landscape, Dalek patrols roam amongst the wreckage, rounding up the remaining civilians. But why haven’t the Daleks simply killed the humans?

Searching for answers the Doctor meets ‘Cinder’, a young Dalek hunter. Their struggles to discover the Dalek plan take them from the ruins of Moldox to the halls of Gallifrey, and set in motion a chain of events that will change everything. And everyone.

The book can will be discussed at Level 2, City of Sydney RSL, 565 George Street, Sydney (just a short distance from Town Hall Train Station), on the 7th of April but if you can’t make it, we will also be discussing the book online as well.

Series 10 UK Release date and confirmation of an old foe

With the sad departure news of Peter Capaldi leaving the role of the Doctor, it may have over shaddowed the good news that we have a UK release date for series 10. No official word from the ABC as to when it will air in Australia, but we are hoping it won’t be too far behind!

Series 10 is due to start in the UK on the 15th of April

In addition, the BBC has released a YouTube video with Mark Gatiss confirming the return of an old foe for this season. Click on the YouTube video to know more!

 

Capaldi to leave Doctor Who in 2017

Overnight, Peter Capaldi has announced that he is leaving Doctor Who at the end of the 2017 Christmas special.

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Appearing on Jo Whiley’s show on Radio 2, Capaldi said:

“From our brilliant crew and creative team working for the best broadcaster on the planet, to the viewers and fans whose endless creativity, generosity and inclusiveness points to a brighter future ahead. I can’t thank everyone enough. It’s been cosmic.”

Steven Moffat has also released a statement saying:
For years before I ever imagined being involved in Doctor Who, or had ever met the man, I wanted to work with Peter Capaldi. I could not have imagined that one day we’d be standing on the TARDIS together. Like Peter, I’m facing up to leaving the best job I’ll ever have, but knowing I do so in the company of the best, and kindest and cleverest of men, makes the saddest of endings a little sweeter. But hey, it’s a long way from over. Peters’ amazing, fiery, turbulent Doctor is still fighting the good fight, and his greatest adventures are yet to come. Monsters of the universe, be on your guard – Capaldi’s not done with you yet!

Peter’s final season of 12 episodes and the Christmas special begins on Easter Saturday (April 15th).

There’s no announcement yet on when the next Doctor will be announced, or which actor will be taking on the role as the thirteenth Doctor.

RIP Sir John Hurt 1940-2017

It is with deep regret that we report on the passing of Sir John Hurt.

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Hurt was best known within Doctor Who circles playing the War Doctor in the 50th Anniversary special – The Day of the Doctor. He returned to the role in the Big Finish audio adventures in 2015.

He also has a number of iconic roles within pop culture, such as Kane in Alien, the voice’s of Hazel in Watership Down and, the horned king in The Black Cauldron and Mr. Ollivander in the Harry Potter Film Series.

Hurt, was 77. He is survived by wife of 12 years Anwen Rees-Myers.

Data Extract Art Competition

CALLING ALL ARTISTS – SUBMIT ARTWORK TO WIN GREAT PRIZES!

Do you have a passion for drawing, painting or any other sort of visual art? Do you love Doctor Who? Then the Doctor Who Club of Australia wants to hear from you! Data Extract is holding an art competition, so that the Australian fan community gets a chance to show their artistic talent to the world. No experience required – if you love art, we want to see your work!

First prize is The War Doctor’s very own Sonic Screwdriver toy, the After Life graphic novel featuring the Eleventh Doctor, The Invasion on DVD, as well as the chance to have your work published in Data Extract. Three runners-up will also get their work published alongside the winner.

The theme for the competition is ‘Doctor Who in 2016’. We want you to create something based around something Doctor-Who-related from this year. Some examples could be about our new companions for Series 10, Bill and Nardole, or the brand new spin-off series, Class, or the new animation of The Power of the Daleks. It could even be about something that you personally have done in 2016 that’s related to Doctor Who! Get creative, and get going, because entries are due on the 15th of February 2017! Send all submissions to publications@doctorwhoaustralia.org, with the subject line “Data Extract Art Competition”.

We can’t wait to hear from you!

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Image Credit: Katie Yu

Data Extract 233 released

The last Data Extract of 2016, #233 is on it’s way to members.

This issue is jam packed with all the latest news, discussions on Doctor Who spin offs, displays at the Powerhouse Museum, a little perspective, and much much more.

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If you’re after a subscription to the magazine and all the benefits that come with being a DWCA member, why not join the club! For more information on this, please visit:
http://dwca.org.au/membership/