An entryist coup for your subconscious

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Elizabeth Sandifer

Elizabeth Sandifer created Eruditorum Press. She’s not really sure why she did that, and she apologizes for the inconvenience. She currently writes Last War in Albion, a history of the magical war between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. She used to write TARDIS Eruditorum, a history of Britain told through the lens of a ropey sci-fi series. She also wrote Neoreaction a Basilisk, writes comics these days, and has ADHD so will probably just randomly write some other shit sooner or later. Support Elizabeth on Patreon.


  1. doublethreatmagee
    June 1, 2013 @ 10:12 pm

    I've been saying this for years, but please please let it be Miranda Richardson.


  2. ahouse
    June 1, 2013 @ 10:20 pm

    Idris Elba
    Chiwetel Ejiofor
    Emma Thompson


  3. Froborr
    June 1, 2013 @ 10:22 pm

    Moffat's not leaving, is he? Because for all that he earned points back with "Name of the Doctor," he's still demonstrably not competent to write a woman as the Doctor. So my first pick, Emma Watson, is out.

    So, going with my second pick, Idris Elba.


  4. Richard Oliver
    June 1, 2013 @ 10:25 pm

    Lara Pulver or the actress who played Captain Jack's daughter in Torchwood: Children of Earth (can't remember her name).
    Or Lenny Henry.


  5. Adeodatus
    June 1, 2013 @ 10:27 pm

    Do people with ginger hair count as a minority? He's still never been ginger …


  6. Rhe Talon
    June 1, 2013 @ 10:31 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.


  7. Carey
    June 1, 2013 @ 10:43 pm

    Well, I'm basing this on going through the people Andy Prior (Doctor Who casting director) follows on Facebook:

    Niles Rogers (we'll have some stunning riffs if he's cast)
    Dolly Parton (bring in the dads!)

    As regards anyone else? No idea, and I really haven't been following tv enough in the last couple of years to make a guess out of the talent pool any actor would likely come from (essentially the same as Tennant and Smith at this point in their careers, where they were up and coming actors who had received critical success in supporting roles and had starred in a BBC2/3 drama).

    And while there's a request for no white male choices, if the current rumour of Ben Daniels is correct, he'll be the first out gay actor in the role.


  8. Pôl Jackson
    June 1, 2013 @ 10:47 pm

    I'd love to see Gina Bellman in the role.


  9. ahouse
    June 1, 2013 @ 10:48 pm

    I would also be up for seeing Naveen Andrews or Rachel Hurd-Wood.

    And Amanda Tapping, since she should be in all the things.


  10. Ewa Woowa
    June 1, 2013 @ 10:50 pm

    Stupid f****** Patrick Troughton!


  11. eternaly relyneat
    June 1, 2013 @ 10:52 pm

    Noel Fielding and Eddie Izzard being ineligible here, I'm going with Tilda Swinton or Emily Watson. Ayoade is an interesting notion. Too much to hope for an unknown non-white actress? One of the Avellan twins? My head esplode.


  12. Jack Graham
    June 1, 2013 @ 11:00 pm

    Nabil Shaban.


  13. doublethreatmagee
    June 1, 2013 @ 11:11 pm


  14. Alex Antonijevic
    June 1, 2013 @ 11:14 pm

    Never gonna happen, but I'd like to see Catherine Tate have a go. Plus, we'd also finally get a ginger Doctor. Her brief turn as the DoctorDonna was quite good, I felt.


  15. Froborr
    June 1, 2013 @ 11:14 pm

    I find it interesting that we're mostly picking actors and actresses in their 40s, when the role is virtually certain to go to someone in their 20s…


  16. Froborr
    June 1, 2013 @ 11:16 pm

    I'd love Catherine Tate, too, but Moffat could never write a good DoctorDonna. She's neither a Sassy Hot Young Thing nor a Steadfast Mother. His brain would explode.


  17. anothermrlizard
    June 1, 2013 @ 11:18 pm

    The more I think of Ruth Wilson as the Doctor, the more difficult it becomes not to think of Ruth Wilson as the Doctor.


  18. Nick Smale
    June 1, 2013 @ 11:26 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.


  19. Nick Smale
    June 1, 2013 @ 11:29 pm

    In retrospect, we should have seen this coming. Actors signed to long-running, high-paying roles in major TV drama series are usually contractually obligated to preserve their appearances; so as soon as photos started appearing of a shaven-headed Smith on the set of his new film, we should have guessed that he was no longer tied to Doctor Who.

    So, who's going to be Smith's successor, who's going to be the new Doctor? I find myself wondering if perhaps we've already seen them. Moffat's storytelling is notoriously time-wimey, and what could be more timey-wimey, more Moffat-y, than a storyline for the 50th anniversary special that featured a team-up between Doctors past, present and future? Could the 12th Doctor be someone who's already been spotted on set, maybe even someone who's appeared, un-signposted, in officially released publicity photos?

    Step up, young Welsh actor and star of "Gavin and Stacey" Joanna Page. I remember thinking how odd it was when this photo was released from the anniversary special read-through: Matt Smith, David Tennant, Jenna-Louise Coleman and… no, not as you'd expect Billie Piper, but someone else. What's the significance of Joanna Page, I asked myself, that she gets to appear in the place of one of the anniversary special's four stars? But if she's the 12th Doctor… then that could be the cleverest hiding-in-plain-sight surprise in the whole history of Doctor Who.


  20. dm
    June 1, 2013 @ 11:45 pm

    Vicky McClure


  21. Nick Smale
    June 1, 2013 @ 11:50 pm

    I'm also intrigued by the BBC's Press Release about Matt Smith's departure, which strikes me as being, um, carefully worded…

    Specifically this bit: Matt "will leave the role at the end of this year after starring in the unmissable 50th Anniversary in November and regenerating in the Christmas Special". Note how it doesn't say "after starring in the 50th Anniversary and the Christmas Special" but "regenerating in the Christmas Special", which suggests to me that his role at Christmas might be rather smaller than everyone is imagining. Maybe, Time-and-the-Rani like, all we'll see of Matt on December 25 will be him rolling around on the TARDIS floor (in a wig) before regenerating into his successor? Oh, and if the Christmas special really is the introduction of the new Doctor, then of course it has to be called "Twelfth Night"…


  22. Rhe Talon
    June 1, 2013 @ 11:57 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.


  23. Scurra
    June 2, 2013 @ 12:00 am

    Jenna-Louise Coleman?


  24. Anton B
    June 2, 2013 @ 12:11 am

    Great theory, just bonkers enough to be true.


  25. Anton B
    June 2, 2013 @ 12:14 am

    Oh you're on a roll! Yes I thought the same. I suspect the regeneration, in a break with tradition, will occur as a mid-episode zinger. And while they're breaking tradition the new Doctor will indeed be female and/or minority casting.


  26. Alex Wilcock
    June 2, 2013 @ 12:19 am

    I have to confess to feeling rather like I did in early 1987 – loving the Doctor and thinking he deserved much better, so rather wishing others had gone instead.

    On the other hand, as always with Doctor Who, exciting times were just around the corner, so there's always hope (just don't mention the C-word!).


  27. Anton B
    June 2, 2013 @ 12:23 am

    I have to say I'm slightly more aggrieved that the Tardis Eruditorum is coming to an end than the inevitable departure of Matt Smith.

    Although a redemptive recasting of the timey wimey amnesia victim Katherine Tate as some version of the DoctorDonna would be cool fanservice I don't think Moffat would go there.

    I'm willing to bet the new actor, whoever s/he may be, will not veer far from the interfering eccentric middle class colonial model even if cast from a minority. One doesn't have to be a white male to propagate that stereotype. In fact this may well make for some intriguing story developments if the writers are brave enough.


  28. John Callaghan
    June 2, 2013 @ 12:44 am

    Katherine Parkinson?


  29. peeeeeeet
    June 2, 2013 @ 1:26 am

    But Moff also says "Somewhere out there right now – all unknowing, just going about their business – is someone who's about to become the Doctor", which suggests to me the next Doctor may not have even been cast yet. The Chrimbly spesh may end War Games like without a new face – which would make some sense. Why rush to cast the next person when it's another eight months or so until the next episode is due? To be honest I wouldn't be surprised if an announcement that Moff is leaving too isn't far away. The Name of the Doctor had a real sense of starting to wrap up not just a Doctor's era, but a showrunner's too. The J J Abrams era begins!

    …oh, and another vote for Emily Watson for me. Tennant can put in a good word.

    only joking. OR AM I


  30. Andrew Hickey
    June 2, 2013 @ 1:43 am

    I absolutely agree here. Still, maybe there'll be a 2026 equivalent of Big Finish…
    I liked Jennie's suggestion of Miriam Margolyes. I'd also like to see Don Warrington in the role. Sadly, though, I don't think either would fit Moffat's 'vision'.

    My guesses are that the regeneration process will start on Xmas, but that we won't see who the new Doctor is until the next series, which will be postponed quite some time; or that Moffat will have the Doctor regenerate into Clara and/or River Song.


  31. Richard Oliver
    June 2, 2013 @ 1:53 am

    Dolly Parton would bring in the dads?!? Don't you mean great-grandads?


  32. Richard Oliver
    June 2, 2013 @ 1:55 am

    What? Why? Confused…


  33. Nick Smale
    June 2, 2013 @ 2:05 am

    I suspect the regeneration, in a break with tradition, will occur as a mid-episode zinger.

    Yes, I'd expect something structurally innovative from Moffat; a story with a regeneration mid-way through, where the new Doctor has to solve the problem which killed their predecessor, might be just his sort-of-thing.

    the new Doctor will indeed be female and/or minority casting.

    It's time. More than time.


  34. Bennett
    June 2, 2013 @ 2:11 am

    He could write her as a Sassy Hot Steadfast Mother.


  35. Nick Smale
    June 2, 2013 @ 2:15 am

    But Moff also says "Somewhere out there right now – all unknowing, just going about their business – is someone who's about to become the Doctor"

    If I understand the etiquette of these things correctly, the "Matt will leave the role at the end of this year" bit is an official statement from the BBC, and so has to be at least arguably true; whereas the Moffat quote is reported speech, and so it merely needs to be true that he said it. And frankly I don't believe a word of it; Smith must have told them he was leaving ages ago, they've probably had someone cast for months.


  36. goatie
    June 2, 2013 @ 2:17 am

    Troughton's the one who voiced the "leave after three years" advice that seems to have been followed by most Doctors.


  37. goatie
    June 2, 2013 @ 2:25 am

    I've often fantasized about a multi-Doctor adventure that we don't know about until later – meaning we don't know the single-episode companion is in fact a future Doctor. The story is that he has to help his past self in some way without revealing who he is. And then a season later we see the regeneration and "whoa, it was the Doctor all along!" Kind of how some people retrofit Colin Baker's appearance in the Davison era, or the strange tease of "The Next Doctor" but subtle and real.


  38. Toby Brown
    June 2, 2013 @ 2:30 am

    One of my friends is absolutely convinced that the reason Matt leaving has been announced so soon after the Daily Mail "Doctor Who is racist?!" thing is that a non-white actor has already been cast, and the production team was so annoyed that they had the perfect trump card to "no minority actors" but couldn't bring it up that they decided to announce him in the next few weeks. It's not the most perfecting reasoning, but I can see the logic behind it.
    In terms actors, my vote would go for Chiwetel Ejiofor or Richard Ayoade or Jennifer Saunders or Tamsin Greig if it's a woman.


  39. peeeeeeet
    June 2, 2013 @ 2:48 am

    You're probably right. It's not as if the exec producers don't have a track record for being economical with the actualite.

    While I'm here, I just saw someone suggest Thandie Newton, and I'm warming to that idea very rapidly.


  40. EarBucket
    June 2, 2013 @ 2:49 am

    I have my fingers crossed for Olivia Coleman.


  41. Russell
    June 2, 2013 @ 3:07 am

    I've been suggesting Sanjeev Bhaskar for years now. Fiona Allen would be interesting, as would Doon Mackichan. If we're counting non-Brits as a minority (and for "People playing the Doctor", they sort of are), then Bradley Whitford.

    Let's go with non-Brit, non-white, non-male choices, and have Angela Bassett or Gina Torres.


  42. George Potter
    June 2, 2013 @ 3:07 am

    "Smith must have told them he was leaving ages ago, they've probably had someone cast for months."

    On Twitter, Tom Spilsbury said he'd known for four months.


  43. Neo Tuxedo
    June 2, 2013 @ 3:10 am

    Evanna "Luna Lovegood" Lynch.


  44. Iain Coleman
    June 2, 2013 @ 3:26 am

    Virtually certain? Moffat was determined to get a fortysomething actor last time round, till Matt Smith blew everyone away in the audition.


  45. Iain Coleman
    June 2, 2013 @ 3:30 am

    She would be splendid. Great acting range, from serious drama to broad comedy, likeable, quirky presence. Also the Doctor would get to be both a woman and ginger all at once.


  46. Iain Coleman
    June 2, 2013 @ 3:50 am

    Apparently, Chiwetel Ejiofor indicated in some interview recently that he would be interested in playing the role. That being the case, if I were producing Doctor Who I'd have been on the phone to his agent the second Matt Smith decided to go.

    Failing that, Katherine Parkinson would be great. Sanjeev Bhaskar would be interesting: he played Arthur Dent in a couple of scenes for the BBC "Book of the Century" thing a while back, and frankly they should have cast him in the Hitchhiker movie instead of Martin Freeman.

    Try as I might, I can't see Idris Elba in the role. A fine actor, but there's a kind of cool, high-status quality to all his acting that I've seen, and that doesn't fit the Doctor. The Master, on the other hand…

    I'm tempted to suggest Julia Davis, but really I'd rather see her writing for the show.

    So let's think about a female actor who is currently delivering an outstanding performance in a British TV drama, who has decades of experience in film and TV but is still only in her mid-forties and so able to cope with the phhysical demands of the production, who has more geek credibility than you can shake a sonic screwdriver at, famous enough in the mainstream that her casting would be a publicity coup yet respected enough as an actor that it wouldn't seem like a publicity stunt. Someone whose most prominent TV roles have been in sci-fi and Dickens, the ideal combination for a starring role as the Doctor.

    I refer of course to the sublime Gillian Anderson.


  47. Cdog Zilla
    June 2, 2013 @ 4:16 am

    Olivia Williams would be my first choice. I'm basing that mostly off her Adele DeWitt in Dollhouse.


  48. elvwood
    June 2, 2013 @ 4:18 am

    I had exactly the same thought – she's part of the Doctor's timeline now, after all. It would fit the "walking around unknowing" quote, too, if they are sure she can do it and just haven't discussed it with her yet.


  49. Cdog Zilla
    June 2, 2013 @ 4:19 am

    Oh my, yes, I like that Gillian Anderson suggestion.


  50. Cdog Zilla
    June 2, 2013 @ 4:25 am

    Gina Torres certainly has Whedonverse credibility, but she's never been a particular favorite of mine. Angela Bassett on the other hand, that strikes me as an inspired choice.


  51. Steven Graham
    June 2, 2013 @ 4:31 am

    Kate Winslet (based on her performances in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Extras and Kenneth Brannagh's Hamlet)… not that she'd be likely to accept, but she'd be awesome.


  52. Scott
    June 2, 2013 @ 4:44 am

    Hmmm. I like the idea of the Christmas episode ending on a "War Games"-style cliffhanger where we don't even know the identity of the new Doctor, but eight months until the series proper or no, the BBC isn't going to have the main role of their multi-million pound flagship franchise go unfilled until what (in TV production terms at least) is pretty much the last minute just for the sake of a dramatic moment. To be honest, regardless of Moffat's speech (and if the Doctor lies, then I think we've discovered by now that showrunners lie even more), like Nick I wouldn't be entirely surprised if the role was all but cast.

    And to be honest, as good as the War Games idea is, I much prefer the idea of the Doctor having to regenerate mid-adventure and the new Doctor having to immediately pick up where the old Doctor left off.

    I do agree that I wouldn't be entirely surprised if the Moff announces he's going to be upping anchors after Season 8, though. There's definitely an end-of-an-era vibe in the air.


  53. Scott
    June 2, 2013 @ 4:46 am

    Now you've said it, I can't unsee it.

    Scully for the Doctor for the win.


  54. Russell
    June 2, 2013 @ 4:47 am

    Other female Doctor ideas: Sue Perkins, Sally Rogers, Julia Deakin, Pauline McLynn, Haydn Gwynn


  55. Russell
    June 2, 2013 @ 4:49 am

    Angela Bassett was suggested by a friend of a friend, but I had to agree.


  56. Russell
    June 2, 2013 @ 4:50 am

    It was Sanjeev Bhaskar as Arthur Dent that started me off on that train of thought.


  57. Bennett
    June 2, 2013 @ 4:54 am

    The major issue I have with a lot of the suggestions above is that I've heard of them, which immediately puts them out of the running in my mind.

    Of course this makes naming a potential candidate rather difficult…


  58. jane
    June 2, 2013 @ 5:17 am

    Is there a word for total screaming genius that sounds modest and a tiny bit sexy?


  59. EclecticDave
    June 2, 2013 @ 5:18 am

    So, maybe we should expand the thread and talk about who should replace Moffat?

    Neil Gaiman, maybe? Though I'm not sure if his wife would like the idea of moving to Wales…


  60. Kit
    June 2, 2013 @ 5:47 am

    Gaiman has repeatedly said he would not take the job. He has also carefully said he would write another script as long as Moffat asks him; ie not saying if "the BBC" asks him.


  61. Elizabeth Sandifer
    June 2, 2013 @ 5:57 am

    Moffat is staying on for S8 at least, so it's still a future discussion. But the list of possible candidates is terribly thin – they're not going to give it to someone without both Doctor Who and showrunning experience. So basically, at the moment, you've got Gatiss, Chibnall, Whithouse, Cross, and Graham as the only five candidates. Graham's probably too peripheral and Cross is too in New Zealand, so it's one of Gatiss, Chibnall, and Whithouse. Given that set I hope for Whithouse. Gatiss and Chibnall would underwhelm, but either could be decent. At this point my "Mark Gatiss stories I can't bring myself to redeem" list is down to one.


  62. Nick Smale
    June 2, 2013 @ 6:00 am

    Neil Gaiman, maybe?

    A fantastic writer, but not a TV producer; I doubt the BBC would hand their multi-million pound flagship drama series to someone with no TV production experience.

    I think we know who it'll be; an established British TV showrunner who's already written for Doctor Who: Toby Whithouse, Neil Cross, Chris Chibnall, Mark Gatiss or Matthew Graham.


  63. Richard Oliver
    June 2, 2013 @ 6:05 am

    That doesn't make him stupid or responsible for what others do. Smith, like Tennant, made his own decision. Anyway Troughton was right and so is Smith in his decision. Staying too long would be detrimental to the series and the actor's career.


  64. Pen Name Pending
    June 2, 2013 @ 6:17 am

    Gaiman isn't interested in show running because he has his own work. I would like Whithouse or Cross (do we get Idris Elba as the Doctor then, too?) but I think it would be great if we had a sort of collaboration, with everyone working together. As long as they are all on the same page.

    Also, isn't the new exec a show runner himself? For Dirk Gently?


  65. Pen Name Pending
    June 2, 2013 @ 6:22 am



  66. Adam B
    June 2, 2013 @ 6:30 am

    Tilda Swinton would be perfect, as would be Janelle Monae. They are highly unlikely, however.

    Chiewetel Ejiofor and Ruth Wilson, slightly more likely.

    If she hadn't already been in a somewhat high-profile role on the series, I'd like to see Nina Toussaint-White considered (not that it's without precedent, of course).

    Naveen Andrews would be interesting.


  67. Pen Name Pending
    June 2, 2013 @ 6:41 am

    I fear that a female Doctor is a bit too soon/will be written too much like River Song, so maybe they should wait a little on that. I always thought a black Doctor would be cool. And I'm not familiar enough with British actors to make suggestions, and it will probably be someone we least expect anyway.

    Has anyone mentioned this, though? If the Hurt Doctor is in fact the incarnation in between McGann and Eccleston who was responsible for the Time War (which I think seems the most likely, given that Eleven recognizes him), or any past incarnation for that matter, then Smith isn't the Eleventh, he's the Twelfth. Which means the next is the Thirteenth. Who has to deal with that regeneration limit.


  68. Pen Name Pending
    June 2, 2013 @ 7:06 am

    I don't know much about Joanna Page, but that's a neat idea.

    The thing about the haircut is that they've filmed the 50th Anniversary Special, but they haven't filmed the Christmas special yet. So Matt will be in a wig for that one, unless he's going to try out a new hairstyle.


  69. Theonlyspiral
    June 2, 2013 @ 7:09 am

    Idris Elba as theDoctor, with Ruth Wilson as the Master.

    Basically the Jon Simm Master shows up, after the Doctor's lives. Or something else. It really doesn't matter. They clash and it kills the Doctor, but the Master dies as well. The resulting bonanza in regeneration energy links them. If they go their separate ways they'll die. They have to find a way to split up as well as find a new source of regeneration energy. Here's the kicker: the mixing of energy has made the Doctor slightly more cold and calculating. He's constantly struggling not to loose himself. It's changed the Master as well: She's sane and can feel remorse for what she's done.


  70. elvwood
    June 2, 2013 @ 7:11 am

    If you were the sixth Doctor, that word would probably be "me"…


  71. Ununnilium
    June 2, 2013 @ 7:12 am

    Catherine Tate = best decision


  72. Ununnilium
    June 2, 2013 @ 7:15 am

    That is a neat idea!

    My theory was similar, but more blatant: Jenna-Louise Coleman herself.


  73. Ununnilium
    June 2, 2013 @ 7:20 am

    Darn, I missed this comment when I made the same prediction in a reply above.

    It'd be SUPER GREAT, anyway.


  74. Ununnilium
    June 2, 2013 @ 7:22 am

    Oh man

    We found an option I like better than Jenna-Louise Coleman


  75. matt bracher
    June 2, 2013 @ 7:24 am

    The Operative as the Doctor. That would be wonderful.


  76. HarlequiNQB
    June 2, 2013 @ 7:58 am

    Well, he's neither a different race or sex, but he is gay…

    It's going to be Graham Norton – all the clues are there – the advertisements for his show popping up in crucial cliff hangers; right back to the cutting in of his voice all the way back on Rose. They've been playing the long game, but they've know he would be the perfect Valeyard for the last 8 years.

    That said, my only limitation on the acceptance of the Doctor is that they be British, or at least be played by someone who can pull off British flawlessly (few and far between I fear).


  77. Pen Name Pending
    June 2, 2013 @ 8:21 am

    James Marsters!


  78. Froborr
    June 2, 2013 @ 8:33 am

    And one I like better than Emma Watson.

    This is win. It's win enough that it's conceivably possible that even Moffat could do it without screwing it up.


  79. Froborr
    June 2, 2013 @ 8:36 am



  80. encyclops
    June 2, 2013 @ 8:42 am

    This has been a tiny little guess at the back of my mind ever since they started saying she's confirmed for series 8 but keeping quiet about Matt. I don't know if the revelations from "The Name of the Doctor" make this much more likely or much less.

    I'm on the fence about whether I like the idea. As Clara she's been very uneven this season, and while she can do funny and capable (never more so than in "The Snowmen") I haven't really seen anything approaching gravitas from her. She's had plenty of opportunities ("Rings" and "Cold War," to name two) but if she's on Matt's level there, she hasn't shown it yet. She's an endlessly charming screen presence, but I'm not sure about her range.

    Fortunately for everyone, I'm not making casting decisions. πŸ™‚


  81. Arkadin
    June 2, 2013 @ 8:43 am

    And if that doesn't happen, she could be Iris Wildthyme.


  82. encyclops
    June 2, 2013 @ 8:45 am

    Oh man. Janelle Monae as the Doctor would blow my mind to smithereens. I mean, Tilda Swinton's probably the saner choice, but man oh man.


  83. BatmanAoD
    June 2, 2013 @ 8:48 am

    Janelle Monae was going to be my choice. Perhaps they could do a one-off Doctor Who musical. That would probably become my favorite movie musical in short order.


  84. Daibhid C
    June 2, 2013 @ 9:11 am

    No-one's suggested Patterson Joseph yet? Patterson Joseph.


  85. Theonlyspiral
    June 2, 2013 @ 9:43 am

    Joseph has said he doesn't want the part.


  86. Ununnilium
    June 2, 2013 @ 9:46 am

    I dunno if I can see Iris being played by anyone under 40.


  87. Ununnilium
    June 2, 2013 @ 9:47 am

    I gotta say, that's tempting.


  88. Ununnilium
    June 2, 2013 @ 9:48 am

    …um, but there is? It's super easy to get around writing-wise, but it's never actually been "repealed", as it were?


  89. David Anderson
    June 2, 2013 @ 10:02 am

    After Broadchurch I wouldn't be as worried about Chibnall as I would have been before. But I still think he should do some more work in purportedly-detective-fiction-but-really-a-study-of-a-community so that he can apply that to his Doctor Who writing.
    (I decided after some thought that the words other than 'detective fiction' aren't redundant. There is detective fiction that is really about solving a crime.)

    Graham's Doctor Who writing hasn't been anything like as strong as Ashes for Ashes. I'd go for Whithouse, who has one clear classic story for Doctor Who under his belt.


  90. Nyq Only
    June 2, 2013 @ 10:21 am

    Shelley Conn – last seen in Terra Nova. Also appeared in Party Animals (with Matt Smith) and in Marchlands (sort of with Alex Kingston)


  91. Froborr
    June 2, 2013 @ 10:29 am

    Yes it has: The Doctor says he can regenerate 507 times in "The Death of the Doctor." The way it's framed makes it pretty clear he's pulling that number out of his ass, though, implying that there is no actual number.

    More importantly, there is no regeneration limit because Doctor Who does not have continuity. It is a show with multiple characters able and willing to change history in a variety of different ways, and therefore NOTHING that occurred in a past episode can be regarded as necessarily true in a current episode until stated or implied as such.


  92. Multiple Ducks
    June 2, 2013 @ 11:10 am

    What would Gatiss-Who even look like? Overly overt references to the Classic series? More 'Monsters in X nostalgic time period' stories? Reece Shearsmith playing a different comedy character in each story?


  93. BatmanAoD
    June 2, 2013 @ 11:16 am

    YES to Judi Dench.


  94. Matthew Blanchette
    June 2, 2013 @ 11:45 am

    Yes… that bit troubled me. A definite endpoint is something to cry over. πŸ™


  95. eternaly relyneat
    June 2, 2013 @ 12:08 pm

    Very Interesting, I like that.


  96. nimonus
    June 2, 2013 @ 12:14 pm

    "Apparently, Chiwetel Ejiofor indicated in some interview recently that he would be interested in playing the role. That being the case, if I were producing Doctor Who I'd have been on the phone to his agent the second Matt Smith decided to go."

    He'd be my choice, without a hesitation. Wasn't there a rumor that he was offered the role of the 11th Doctor without even auditioning, and turned it down?

    Idris Elba would be interesting, but bizarre to me, as I've only every seen him in The Wire, I think of him as American!


  97. Nick Smale
    June 2, 2013 @ 12:38 pm

    I do wonder why the news of Smith's departure has been released now, seemingly months before it needs to be.

    Cardiff usually only releases information when forced to do so by circumstances. So, for instance, news of Tennant's and the Zygons' involvement in the 50th special was released just before both were seen filming on location; if the news hadn't come out via official channels, we would have known from press photographs anyway.

    So, something is about to happen, something which is forcing the release of this news now. But what?


  98. BatmanAoD
    June 2, 2013 @ 12:44 pm

    "Pulling that number out of his ass" could just as easily imply that he doesn't really want to talk about it (or that he doesn't know, or that it depends on other factors, or…etc) as that there is no actual number.

    Also, while you are of course absolutely correct that there's no definite single canon of Who, there's certainly a strong sense of continuity, and it's unlikely that the current writers will simply ignore this part of the mythos.


  99. Doctor Memory
    June 2, 2013 @ 12:48 pm

    The idea of Chibnall being handed the show is too horrible to contemplate. Let's all agree never to speak of it again.


  100. Arkadin
    June 2, 2013 @ 12:48 pm

    Well I've always thought of hypothetical New Series-era Iris as being younger, as she's partially a reflection of the Doctor.


  101. Arkadin
    June 2, 2013 @ 12:53 pm

    Well I think obviously they're going to repeal the regeneration limit. Doctor Who can never die. The question is if they're just going to ignore it or if they're going to do a story specifically about that. The answer is "whichever makes a better story." I think there's a lot of mythic potential in the Doctor having to fight Death, so I'm in favor of the latter option.


  102. Pen Name Pending
    June 2, 2013 @ 1:07 pm

    Arkadin: That was what I was referring to. Having the Doctor have a darker personality, or going on a quest/making a deal to get more regenerations.


  103. Kit
    June 2, 2013 @ 1:26 pm

    Froborr's head-explosion has also been set up by:
    – in the old series, the limit being arbitrarily imposed by the Time Lords, and specifically shown to be circumventable
    – the Time Lords no longer existing to impose the limit in the entirety of the new series
    – River "giving" her remaining regenerations to 11 in LKH, if people need an on-screen handwave for a piece of continuity that lasted for exactly one story in 1976 before being overturned

    Not to mention:
    – another story from the same writer as the 12-regen limit showing that the Doctor is well past 13 by now
    – Troughton's Doctor saying onscreen so therefore we have to stick to it forever no-take-backsies that Time Lords are "basically immortal, barring accidents"
    – the story that created the limit also showing you could get by it with sheer force of will


  104. Anton B
    June 2, 2013 @ 1:27 pm

    Hasn't Moffat already handwaved this in LKH? River gave him her remaining regenerations (whatever that means). Personally I want to see a 'get out of jail free' episode about the regeneration limit about as much as I want to see Timothy Dalton's spittin' Rassilon again. (In case there's any doubt that's not at all).

    All repeat after me – there is no such thing as canon in Doctor Who.


  105. Anton B
    June 2, 2013 @ 1:29 pm

    Just yes. Make this happen. Who's her agent? Someone call them.


  106. BerserkRL
    June 2, 2013 @ 1:34 pm

    Can Amanda Plummer do a British accent?


  107. encyclops
    June 2, 2013 @ 1:59 pm

    If the Time Lords could offer the Master even one new regeneration in The Five Doctors, that's good enough for me.


  108. encyclops
    June 2, 2013 @ 2:01 pm

    Has anyone mined Game of Thrones yet? Emilia Clarke would be delicious but not especially Doctorish. Natalie Dormer might very well be able to pull it off. But Lena Headey would be my first choice from that bunch.


  109. Jesse
    June 2, 2013 @ 3:54 pm

    Ernie Hudson.


  110. Theonlyspiral
    June 2, 2013 @ 4:00 pm

    I rather like the Chibnall I've seen. Both his episodes this season were excellent.


  111. Bennett
    June 2, 2013 @ 5:23 pm

    Is having a British accent a more intrinsic part of The Doctor than his Y chromosome?


  112. BatmanAoD
    June 2, 2013 @ 6:04 pm

    I would have assumed so…


  113. ferret
    June 2, 2013 @ 6:05 pm

    Moffat seems to delight in mysteries whose solutions are obvious and in plain sight (who is going to kill the Doctor at Lake Silencio? The woman who was kidnapped as a child and brainwashed into being his perfect assassin 3 episodes earlier, and has been claiming to have killed "the best man I ever knew" for over a year).

    So – while it goes against the contraints – my vote goes for John Hurt, seeing as they splashed "introducing John Hurt as The Doctor" on screen.

    Otherwise, let's have Navin Chowdhry who had a small part in "Aliens of London" – he's rather excellent.


    June 2, 2013 @ 6:13 pm

    The Valeyard was brought up in the last episode, by association that almost means the regeneration limit issue has to be brought up at some point.

    My fan theory is that the reason that John Hurt is the Not-Doctor is because when he destroyed the Time Lords, he was mortally wounded and, in a moment of weakness, did some sci-fi pokery and managed to absorbed all the regeneration energy from every Time Lord ever, effectively giving him unlimited regenerations.

    That, or the Doctor dies, but before that manages to find and rehabilitate the Meddling Monk, who takes the title of the Doctor, prolonging the issue by twelve more actors. Eh, I like goofy fan-fictiony theories. :3


  115. ferret
    June 2, 2013 @ 7:05 pm

    and as there is no requirement for them to be British actors, I'd love to see either James Callis (Gaius Baltar, Battlestar Galactica) or Siddig El Fadil (Julian Bashir, Star Trek Deep Space Nine) in the role.


  116. HarlequiNQB
    June 2, 2013 @ 7:52 pm

    I could see that. Not a preference, but I could see it.


  117. John Callaghan
    June 2, 2013 @ 8:27 pm


  118. John Callaghan
    June 2, 2013 @ 8:29 pm

    In the above link he says that he would strongly consider it and it was a possibility at one point…


  119. 5tephe
    June 2, 2013 @ 9:38 pm


    Yes. Jellybabiesyes.


  120. Anton B
    June 2, 2013 @ 10:05 pm


  121. Kit Power
    June 3, 2013 @ 12:06 am

    If we're looking for BSG alum, surely Edward James Olmos is the one… πŸ˜‰


  122. drjon
    June 3, 2013 @ 2:48 am

    Interestingly enough, we were discussing this on my Facebook yesterday morning. I said "…i would not have put it passed The Moff for the next Doctor to be a fake projection, and Clara to have been the Chameleon-Arched 13th all along… ;}P> ". Won't happen, but it'd make for a mind-blowing end of Season 8…


  123. Pierce Inverarity
    June 3, 2013 @ 5:07 am

    I seem to recall some chatter a while back about a new format for series 8 (without any detail as to what a 'new format' might actually entail).

    I'd love to have a series (series 8 or otherwise) that is an anthology of one-off Doctors – future Doctors, alternate Doctors, maybe even a lost adventure from McGann, Eccleston, Tennant, or Smith. One year to indulge all the dream casting ideas or out-there story concepts, with no continuity or commitments necessary.

    In keeping with the casting theme, my first call would be to Tilda Swinton, my dream Doctor.


  124. Ununnilium
    June 3, 2013 @ 2:06 pm

    All repeat after me – there is no such thing as canon in Doctor Who.

    You know, it annoys me how hostile some people are to following up on previously-established story elements, and asking that things that we've been asked to put emotional investment in be resolved before being discarded.

    I mean, yes, excessive fealty to "this happened AND IT CAN NEVER BE CHANGED!!!" has caused problems in the past. But an equal-and-opposite backlash can be equally problematic.


  125. Ununnilium
    June 3, 2013 @ 2:08 pm

    I think so, yeah.


  126. AndyRobot800
    June 3, 2013 @ 8:13 pm

    Sophie Wu, from The Fades and Kick-Ass.

    Totally left-field choice, but I think she could pull it off.


  127. Sean Daugherty
    June 3, 2013 @ 8:45 pm

    There was that abortive animated series that was mentioned a few months back that would have done something similar, I think, albeit with past Doctors. It'd be interesting to see, but I think it would be difficult to pull off, since you wouldn't have much time to establish much characterization for the regulars. The logical alternative would be to have some sort of plot-based arc to tie it all together… but that seems guaranteed to irritate many modern fans, since one of the criticisms I keep hearing tossed at Moffat is that he's more interested in clever plot ideas than characterization.

    The idea of a female Doctor, at least, is getting more attention now than any time I can remember. Which is nice, but the expectations and resulting burden wrapped up in doing it well are going to be huge for any actress cast. I wish we didn't have this gap between the announcements of the incumbent's departure and the replacement's casting, though I suppose it does help keep the show in the headlines.

    Regardless, I've never been very good at fantasy casting, but I like the idea of Tilda Swinton. I've also been intrigued by Richard Ayoade. My only problem is that I can already visualize them in the role pretty well, and I'd rather be surprised.


  128. Anton B
    June 4, 2013 @ 4:32 am

    Well, you've answered your own point but I would like to clarify that there's a difference between taking a creative angle on a previously set-up trope or using enjoyable shout-outs and pleasing references to past plot points, such as we've had demonstrated this half season, and the creativity stifling convoluted fan-service of something like adhering to the regeneration limit just because it's mentioned in a classic episode or two. As an example the passing reference to the Valyard in my opinion was enough to give obsessives a treat without disabling the narrative with unnecesary explication or retcon.


  129. David Anderson
    June 4, 2013 @ 10:14 am

    James Callis is British, isn't he?


  130. othemts
    June 5, 2013 @ 9:05 am

    I'm in the same boat. A lot of these suggestions sound like performers who would be great in the role but likely to famous to take it on. While the can get John Hurt to appear for (presumably) one anniversary special, I think it's less likely for any actor with a long resume to be asked to commit to at least three years of a television program known for it's grueling filming schedule. I'm not familiar with any less well-known but talented actors to make an intelligent contribution.


  131. othemts
    June 5, 2013 @ 9:06 am

    It seems like Tilda Swinton already portrayed a Time Lord in Orlando.


  132. othemts
    June 5, 2013 @ 9:15 am

    While I have no idea who could be cast as The Doctor, I would be very pleased if it were a woman and/or person of color.

    One idea I'd like to see if there is a woman portraying The Doctor is to reunite her with Georgia Moffet as Jenny. The story possibilities of a mother-daughter relationship in the TARDIS intrigue me.


  133. Jef Hughes
    June 5, 2013 @ 9:17 am

    Adrian Lester, Cordelia Bujega.

    Over in the UK, SkyBet seem to have taken a sudden rush of wagers on Julian Rhind-Tutt, who I must say was surely born to play the Doctor!


  134. ferret
    June 8, 2013 @ 5:12 am

    Goodness me, he is – call that mans agent!


  135. Jef Hughes
    June 8, 2013 @ 11:45 pm

    Surely Ms Conn was "last seen" (on TV at least) in Sue Perkins' sitcom 'Heading Out' – about a mid-40s gay vet who can't quite seem to be able to emerge fully from the closet? Shelly played Perkins' love interest.

    You're right though – she'd be pretty good if the BBC DID go for a female Doctor. A fine actress.


  136. Jef Hughes
    June 8, 2013 @ 11:55 pm

    Towards the end of 'The Twin Dilemma', the aged Time Lord Azmael decides to destroy the evil Gastropod Mestor, who resides in his mind, by forcing himself to regenerate.

    "But you can't!", declares the Doctor, "You've used up your allotted regenerations!".

    "Do you think I don't know that?" replies Azmael.

    So there you have it. According to TWO prominent old Time Lords, regeneration is "allotted".


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