‘Doctor Who’: 7 Realistic Casting Choices for the 12th Doctor

Published 1 year ago by , Updated June 5th, 2013 at 6:44 pm, This is a list post.

7 Realistic Casting Choices for the Twelfth Doctor

doctor-who-matt-smith-david-tennant Ever since Matt Smith announced that he would be leaving Doctor Who after three seasons and a 50th anniversary special, there has been fevered speculation as to who might be his replacement. UK bookies are currently offering favorable odds on Harry Potter actor Rupert Grint and - amongst many others - Sherlock star Martin Freeman, who is currently adventuring in Middle-earth as he films The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. The eleventh incarnation of the Doctor, however, was neither a bookies' favorite nor a popular demand, but was instead someone that almost no one had ever heard of before, let alone nominated for the lead role. With that in mind, here's a list of a few potential candidates who could handle the role and who could realistically dedicate the next stage of their careers to playing the Doctor, but whose names haven't cropped up on many lists so far. In the spirit of regeneration, this list is both gender and color blind. We have, however, only selected actors and actresses who have not already guest-starred on the show (an ever-dwindling number). Read on to find out which possible actors for the 12th Doctor Who might have been missed in the speculation so far.

Riz Ahmed

riz-ahmed-doctor-who Highlighting an actor best known for playing roles in gritty urban dramas, who also releases hip-hop records under the name Riz MC, as a good candidate for a PHD in time travel is unlikely to win an instantaneous round of assent. After all, the popular public image of the Doctor - particularly in his most recent incarnation - consists of the eccentricity, stuffiness and old-fashioned thinking that is expected of a man who is hundreds of years old and still thinks bow ties are cool. However, since the Doctor isn't canonically fixed to any particular physical age, skin color or gender, what matters in casting is not who the actor is, but what they can do. In his still-young career, Ahmed has displayed some impressive range, whether playing a sympathetic suicide bomber in Chris Morris' dark but hilarious comedy Four Lions, or fighting off zombies in Charlie Brooker's Dead Set. It would be interesting to see what he might do when handed a sonic screwdriver and the keys to a TARDIS. Watch a clip of Riz Ahmed tackling a drone in Four Lions: <iframe width="410" height="231" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/nxJlqapu3zE?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Damien Molony

damien-molony-doctor-who This casting choice has actually been mentioned in a few other places, but might not be obvious to those who haven't seen the UK version of Being Human, which Molony starred in for the last two seasons. Molony isn't yet a big-name actor, but there's a lot about him that just screams 'Doctor'. For starters, his best-known role to date is as a slightly out of touch, centuries-old creature with a tortured past and a rather quaint dress sense. Molony has more than typecasting going for him, though. While his performance in Being Human is occasionally a little overly theatrical, his ability to switch from stammering, obsessive-compulsive neuroticism to haughty outrage and then to cold-hearted psychopathy, all within the same character and in the space of a single episode, is incredibly impressive, as is the unreserved way in which he throws himself into the role. Now that Being Human has come to an end, Molony is sure to move on to bigger things: could Doctor Who be one of them? Watch Damien Molony play a poor game of dominoes in Being Human: <iframe width="410" height="231" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/BCqyxdOtTOY?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Michelle Gomez

michelle-gomez-green-wing Green Wing star Stephen Mangan has said in the past that he'd love to play the role of the Doctor and recently even tweeted a picture of himself in a long scarf in front of London Bridge, prompting a flurry of rumors that he'd secretly been cast (rumors that he has since denied). Since the rest of the Internet more or less has this rumor covered, let's take some time out to argue in favor of another Green Wing cast member who would be a great choice for the role. For those not familiar with the show, Green Wing is a rough British analogue of Scrubs: a sitcom set in a hospital with humor that often borders on the dark and surreal. Glaswegian-born actress Michelle Gomez plays the hospital's staff liaison officer, Sue White, whose job in theory is, "to soothe, to bathe, to listen to the worker's woes." The character is something of a fan-favorite, and Gomez has an uncanny talent for comedic timing and deadpan humor. Besides, the ability to baffle enemies into submission would probably come in handy for the Doctor. Watch Michelle Gomez give some interesting views on religion in Green Wing: <iframe width="410" height="308" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/grEggB5ghqk?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Ken Stott

ken-stott-doctor-who After spending the bulk of the rebooted Doctor Who series with a pair of fairly young (in visage, anyway) and excitable Doctors, it's possible that the show's producers might decide to change things up after Smith's departure and hire a slightly older actor, with perhaps a gruffer edge to the characterization. With that in mind, 58 year-old veteran crime procedural actor Ken Stott, who made a name for himself with shows like Messiah and Rebus, would be a fairly dramatic change that could end up paying off very well. Stott is currently filming Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy in New Zealand, playing the role of Thorin Oakenshield's grizzled old advisor, Balin, and wearing a very impressive beard and set of facial prosthetics. He has an enviable amount of screen presence, a very distinctive voice, and could probably quell any alien attack with the sheer power of his stern glare. Watch Ken Stott unravelling a grisly mystery in Messiah: <iframe width="410" height="231" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/_RYf-tDeXaA?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Joseph Gilgun

joseph gilgun doctor who An irrepressibly charismatic actor, Joseph Gilgun's first feature-film role earned him a Best Supporting Actor nomination in the British Independent Film Awards. The role in question was Woody, the friendly skinhead in Shane Meadows' critically-acclaimed, semi-autobiographical drama This is England, and Gilgun went on to reprise the role in the subsequent TV series This is England '86. Sci-fi fans, however, will probably recognize Gilgun from offbeat "superhero" show Misfits, in which he played a young offender carrying out his community service, whilst also dealing with the problem of having a very literal split personality. He's certainly got the energy required to play the Doctor, and already has a place in many people's hearts thanks to his appearances on British soaps and his much-praised performance in Meadows' work. Watch Joseph Gilgun demonstrating how to handle the police in Misfits: <iframe width="410" height="231" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Q-1QxBO-xCU?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Richard Coyle

richard-coyle-doctor-who Probably only a dozen people on the planet actually remember Strange, a short-lived supernatural drama in which Richard Coyle played an ex-priest who dedicates his life to hunting down demons. It's been ten years since Strange was unceremoniously cancelled after only six episodes - and a season that ended on a cliffhanger - but the sting of disappointment hasn't quite faded yet. For those dozen people, I mean. Coyle has kept busy in the interim years, starring alongside Johnny Depp in The Libertine and more recently playing the lead in Luis Prieto's recent remake of early Nicholas Winding Refn crime thriller Pusher. He has just the right mix of comedic and straight roles on his resumé to make him a good fit for Doctor Who, capable of tackling both the light-hearted aspects of the show and the more serious, emotional aspects. Watch Richard Coyle getting into deep trouble in the trailer for Pusher: <iframe width="410" height="231" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/tfRt3Y6zSvQ?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Paddy Considine

paddy-considine-doctor-who An honorable mention for Mr. Considine, who heard that people were rooting for him to become the next Doctor, and took to Twitter to politely decline the role. Odds are 50:1 that he's already been cast and this is a clever bluff.

matt-smith-doctor-who-eleventh Those are just seven of the many actors who might have already been cast in the role of the Twelfth Doctor - each of whom would be sure to create their own personal interpretation of the character. But will the Doctor Who producers announce a name completely out of left field, or will Smith's successor be one of the many popular choices already named on multiple lists and being betted on at bookies across Britain? If you think you know who the next Doctor should - or will - be, then don't keep your thoughts to yourself. Share your nominee(s) in the comments. _____ Doctor Who returns in November with the 50th Anniversary Special.
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  1. I completely agree with #5 and #6 :)

  2. Even though he played a small role as an art curator in the episode “Vincent and the Doctor”, I think Bill Nighy would be an interesting choice for The Doctor!

  3. #5 !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. im still not a fan of the ‘female doctor’ thing, but i dont think its possible anyway, isnt twelve the beginning of ‘The Valeyard’?

  5. I think changing it up with #5 would be a great turn for doctor who. I was getting rather disappointed by the added love interest moments and think this would bring back the dynamic that Donna did with the 10th.

  6. Still putting my full support for Michael Obiora into the hat.

  7. Jamie Bamber.

  8. The Doctor ought to be over 40 and Don Warrington gets my vote.

    As an aside, Damien Molony didn’t star in the UK version of Being Human. He starred in Being Human, of which a North American version was made.

    • no he starred in UK Being Human series 4+5

  9. I still wish he would re-regenerated as David Tennant

    • At least we get to see Tennant again in the 50th anniversary special! :)

      • rose and tennant were on the tv saying there back for 50th and mayby more then rose winked!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • LINK we need evidence of this! WHERE IS THE PROOF! OMG excited if its true.

          • I think it’s a pretty safe bet that David Tennant is NOT going to be the Twelfth Doctor. He’s moved on from the role and returning for an anniversary special (something that nearly all of the previous Doctors have done mind you) doesn’t mean that he’s suddenly going to decide to come back and devote another 4-5 years of his life to the show, much less that Moffat and the executives is actually going to want him back permanently.

            I’m sorry guys but Tennant’s time as the Doctor is over and done, and a new actor will most definitely be taking over from Smith.

    • I would so love that! A lot of people would.

      I’m happy we get to have him back for the 50th anniversary and all but at the same time I’m sad because we get him back just to lose him again T.T

  10. Two Words…… John Noble

    • Gary Oldman

    • YES. SO MUCH YES.

  11. disappointed that Tom Hiddleston isn’t on this list. I am convinced that no one else could be a better 12th doctor than he. He is both charming and extremely intimidating when angry, something Smith didn’t necessarily have, but excellent qualities that Smith, Eccleston and Tennant all had. I’m very opposed to the doctor being a woman. I’m not sexist, but I think that a woman Doctor would contradict the tradition and spirit of the show.

    • As I’ve stated before and has been mentioned by the writer of this article, the purpose of this list is to suggest actors that are both relatively unknown and would realistically be able to devote the next few years to Doctor Who. Like Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston doesn’t meet either criteria at this point and time. While there’s a better chance of Hiddleston playing the Doctor some day than there is for Cumberbatch, its still pretty unlikely.

  12. Brian Cox. He brings a touch of class to everything he appears in, not to mention gravitas.

  13. Reece Shearsmith or Alan Cumming.

  14. I say Sean Pertwee or David Troughton or Toby Stephens!!!

  15. I don’t think #3 is very realistic. A female Doctor would be terrible and end up destroying the show.

    • i agree, also the doctors experiences with river would make things awkward.

      • You do realize that Moffat confirmed that both the Doctor and River are bisexual right?

        • i know theres been references in the show that rivers bisexual but when has Moffet said the doctor is? Considering he never had an interest in Jack i say your wrong

          • He announced it on his twitter feed. Saying that Doctor doesn’t understand concepts like “gay” and “straight” since he comes from a culture where these labels don’t exist.

  16. Me thinks Benedict Cumberbatch.

  17. I second Jamie Bamber. He’s a great actor and already known on both sides of the pond…and he’s a ginger!

  18. i feel like johnny depp could be cool, but i feel like he’s too mainstream and people would see him as johnny depp instead of the doctor as well.

    • They couldn’t afford Depp!

      • He’s also not British.

        • Dave Tennant isn’t British either, he’s from Scotland.

          • Scotland is in Britain.

            • Scotland is in the UK, not Britain.

              • “UK” is an abbreviation of “The United Kingdom of Great Britain.” ;-)

                So yes, David Tennant is British.

                • OOOOOOOOOOOOOOh! owned Anna.

  19. I’m not too familiar on british actors, but I would like to throw Richard Armitage in as a choice. I’ve mainly seen him in small roles, but his role as Thorin in The Hobbit is really good in my opinion.

    • John Noble would be the perfect choice..

  20. My vote is Rhys Ifans. Brilliant, intelligent, capable of both gravitas and lunacy, a perfect fit.

    • He was brilliant as James Hook in the Peter Pan prequel.

  21. I’d bet against any older actor. I’ve seen quotes from Matt S. and David T. that say filming Doctor Who is exhausting.

  22. I was thinking someone like RIchard Ayoade (from the IT Crowd) or Eddie Marsan. I definitely think this time round we should have less of the wacky and touch of the darkness that will be leading into The Valeyard.

    As much as it’s possible for The Doctor to become a woman, I don’t think it will happen this time round. I think they should leave that for the 13th incarnation and cast a ginger woman; all these years the Doctor has wanted to be ginger and in order for it happen he had to become a woman – how funny would that be?

  23. Statham.

  24. I kept seeing Jamie Bamber on people’s lists but didn’t recognize the name. I just Googled it, and hell yes! I’d love to see Apollo playing The Doctor! I also think Damien would be awesome. I mostly just hope that they move away from the buffoonery and get a little more serious with his character again.

  25. I don’t think Richard Coyle is very likely unless things have changed between him and Steven Moffat. Coyle was great in Coupling, which was written and created by Steven Moffat, but he left before the fourth series. Steven Moffat was asked about Coyle leaving in an interview (http://www.readjunk.com/interviews/steven-moffat-writer-creator-of-coupling/)

    I know this is probably a frequently asked question, but why did Richard Coyle (Jeff) leave the show? I had heard he gave no reason – can you give us any insight? Is there any possibility he may return for future episodes?
    “Richard didn’t want to return. Or do a goodbye episode. Or in fact talk to me. Hurtful behaviour, but it’s showbiz, these things happen. Can’t give you any insight, except these wise words, spoken by – er – a wise person: an actor will forgive you for anything but their first success.”

  26. Hugh Laurie

    • I’d love to see Hugh Laurie or Stephen Fry as The Doctor.

  27. Ben Whishaw

  28. Seeing this list and getting an idea of who might actually be the next Doctor makes me so happy! I think my favorite from this list would be Molony, but I’m intrigued by the idea of Ahmed. Favorites not on this list and two of the least likely? Rupert Grint (I want a ginger!) and Idris Elba (Would be epic!)

  29. I’m curious as to how John Hurt figures into things. Of SR’s picks I’ll go with Cole.

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