Doctor Who Blog

The 12th Doctor

This was a post I was hoping not to have to write for a good many years… just seems like yesterday since Matt Smith was cast as the 11th Doctor. But as he has announced his departure in the role and it is likely that the 12th Doctor has either already been cast or will be cast very soon, we haven’t got much time to make our picks for the new 12th Doctor. Here are mine.

1. Stephen Mangan

Many feel the star of the BBC’s tv adaptation of the Dirk Gently novels by Douglas Adams probably took himself out of the running by having taken a Doctor-like role in the past couple of years. They say he’s too obvious a choice. But barely anyone (comparative to Doctor Who) has even seen the Dirk Gently series (broadcast on BBC4 and ran for just 4 episodes), particularly in North America, a market very much in mind for the people making Doctor Who these days. What his performance as Dirk Gently proved is that he is suited to the role. He’s gotten a lot of press recently having tweeted a pic himself with a Tom Baker scarf the day before Smith’s departure was announced with a cryptic Doctor Who comment in the tweet. But I should point out that I’m not jumping on any bandwagon - when we did our picks for the 11th Doctor five years ago, he was one of my top choices then as well - in fact, if you search back to November 4th 2008, he was actually the first person I suggested in our “Who I’d Like to Be Who”  series of posts. I haven’t changed my mind since then.

2. Peter Serafinowicz

Why? Because if he became the Doctor, we could get rid of the psychic paper and cut down on the sonic screwdriver usage as the 12th Doctor would be the first incarnation to defeat the enemy or gain entry to some place by doing Paul McCartney impressions. Or Ringo Starr impressions. Or Michael Caine impressions. Or just about any kind of impression.

3. Ben Wishaw

Probably a better choice for Doctor #13. The new Q from James Bond looks younger than Matt Smith but is a year or so older. However, I think they should go about 10 years older at least. If not, Ben could be the man

4. John Bradley-West

There’s been much talk that the next Doctor should be black, or that the next Doctor should be a woman, or that the next Doctor should be a blind, crippled, Guatemalan Lesbian, all because we have never had one in the role before therefore we delilberately need to have one now. In the spirit of affirmative action in fiction, I think the next Doctor should be a short, bearded, pudgy guy with a high pitched voice, because we’ve never had one of those in the role before either. And what better actor than John Bradley-West, who plays Sam in HBO’s Game of Thrones?

For what it is worth, it is the opinion of this blog writer that the next Doctor “should” not be anything other than the best actor for the role.

More choices to come - while there’s still time.


As much as I loved Tennant, I thought he came to a natural end of his tenure. With Smith, I don’t think that, and I’m sad to see him leave when I feel there’s more to explore. Plus, although series 5 was a brilliant full story, each successive season has been less successful. It would have been nice for him to stay on for one more for a chance to go out at the top of his game. Though maybe the last two specials will manage that all on their own?

Posted by Andrew  on  06/04  at  09:18 AM

Andrew, my thoughts exactly.  I also feel it is premature for Smith to leave because series 7, part 2 saw a slightly different 11th Doctor from how Smith played him in series 5 through 7 part 1.  I liked the new suit and his persona, which was even more eccentric and seemed older than in the earlier part of the series. I was looking forward seeing more of that version of the Doctor in the upcoming series. Now I will have to settle for the two specials and hope that they do him justice.

Posted by Louise  on  06/04  at  11:59 AM

A Doctor getting a new costume and an older, wearier persona in his final season before leaving? That seems familiar somehow.

Posted by Curt  on  06/04  at  06:42 PM

I’ve watched ths show back to when I was kid (WNED PBS Buffalo). I was always upset about each doctor leaving. For the first time with Matt Smith I don’t feel that way. I’ve never cared for his take on the role and I’m hardly enthused with anything Moffat has done. Also can’t warm up to Clara. This new version of Doctor Who jumped the shark when it brought Rory back. I’ve just lost interest I guess.

Posted by The Observer  on  06/05  at  02:24 PM

> This new version of Doctor Who jumped the shark
> when it brought Rory back

Interesting. In spite of the RTD style reset of The Big Bang I didn’t consider any of that two-parter jumping the shark, including Rory. Personally I’d put the TARDIS creating RoseGod higher on the shark scale. Resurrecting Grace higher still.

Posted by Andrew  on  06/05  at  04:23 PM

@ the observer: “Iíve watched ths show back to when I was kid (WNED PBS Buffalo). I was always upset about each doctor leaving. For the first time with Matt Smith I donít feel that way. Iíve never cared for his take on the role and Iím hardly enthused with anything Moffat has done. Also canít warm up to Clara…”

Omg: ditto ditto ditto all the way!

The only good episode under Moffat’s supervision (IMHO) is The Girl Who Waited.  And I couldn’t stand Amy, so that’s saying something about Gillan’s tour-de-force performance in that episode.

@ ANDREW: the reset button idea is a cop out of the highest order. The BBC needs to be courageous enough to kill off a companion every now and then. Like Ianto, like Adric. 

That would increase the drama component SO much.  Otherwise we fall back into a sense of complacency, thinking ‘oh they can’t possibly die because it’s the formula’

Posted by steve  on  06/06  at  01:28 PM

@ STEVE: Indeed you can definitely up the drama by killing characters. Though RTD felt that you can’t do that on a children’s show (or family show, if you prefer). Torchwood was meant to be the adult version, so that makes it okay. That said Earthshock and Daleks Masterplan did it, soÖ

Regardless, for me, it’s less about using the Reset Switch to reverse character deaths as it is about not writing yourself into a place *requiring* a big reset or a DoctorDonna/RoseGod. Lots of episodes have high drama without the god from the machine. It’s the one thing that bothers me in the show. More in the new series and the TVM, but the classic was not immune.

Posted by Andrew  on  06/06  at  03:17 PM

what if this is the return of Tenant…a human Hybrid time lord?  Think this through… River is introduced knowing the Doctor as Tenant, “I’ve never seen you so young”  meaning she’s obviously seen and interacted with Tenant as her Husband the Doctor in her past but Tenants future… she brings up events yet to come with Matt Smiths character foreshadowing the return of Tenant possibly as a future regeneration of The Doctor? Further, the Doctor still has “the Moment”... What if the Moment is when he decides to give up his own path to and future transfer his regenerative ability back over to a Human Time lord…Tenant?  Going back and looking at how they twist sentences and words and meaning of the words and perspective there are literally hundreds of little hints and subtitle clues pointing to this possibility… alternately they could really shake it up and have both continue on… BBC1 with Smith and BBC2 with Tenant… that would effectively “change everything” and it is one of the top shows for the BBC after all… and Matt announcing his departure is the real red herring to throw everyone off…  but hey, like others here I’ve only been watching things unfold for the last 35+ years and speculating at possibilities that may or may not come to pass.  A number of the shows initially seem far fetched but in Doctor Who history when have they ever not jumped in “feet first” to the “deep end” of “far fetched” pool

Posted by MrEd  on  06/06  at  03:22 PM

Andrew: some very good points, particularly about writing oneself into a corner. 

And: yes, EARTHSHOCK and MASTERPLAN did it so….why not now? 

Doctor Who needs (IMO) to shed the idea that it’s a family show.  You know the whole expression and experience of “hiding behind the sofa”?  Well, they’ve got to make it scary again so kids DO hide behind the sofa and maybe even the adults.  When I saw Dr.Constantine morph into a gasmask creature and the effects of the Flood and even the grotesque yawning mouths of the Silents, I thought that this is proper DW.

Bring back the Gothic horror of the Phillip Hincliffe years. 

DW must terrify as well as entertain.  There’s no more Mary Whitehous anymore and children are exposed to such terrors online and in bloody shoot-em-up video games that they can handle more adult-themed horror space.  rSo I say bring back the horrors of the Krynoid pods, the corpse-like Master from the Deadly Assassin.  And leave the Adipose and :singing aliens in a pocket universe, where we can forget they ever existed.

Posted by steve  on  06/08  at  01:06 AM

YES!!! Finally some like minded folks who are showing discernment and class in regards to only accepting QUALITY DOCTOR WHO episodes!!
Since R.T.D got his sell out or leave orders (and thankfully chose to leave)Moffat has been churning out what ever drivel he’s told to write.
Yes it’s great that Amy DIED!! (three cheers that she didn’t live happily ever And great that Clara is better than that.
BUT it’s very sad that unless a miracle happens it seems that were destined to lose Doctor Who to what my kids and I refer to as Doctor Spew. TWO WORDS that i’d never thought I’d use together.
CONGRATS TO R.T.D and all the TEAM for choosing to leave with their integrity intact rather than sell out!!

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