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

Published 2 years 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-tennantEver 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-whoHighlighting 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-whoThis 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-wingGreen 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-whoAfter 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 whoAn 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-whoProbably 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-whoAn 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-eleventhThose 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. Ewan McGregor, Benedict Cumberbatch, Rhys Ifans, Willem Dafoe, James McAvoy

    • Simon Pegg. Would be awesome.

  2. why cant the doctor be one of old doctor,s because he never died again to come back this last doctor! it sound dum but could be smart twist on the show.

    • Apparently, according to this site…the choice has already been made.


      • Sadly, that’s a parody article. ;-) A pretty good one, though. I imagine quite a few people probably fell for it.

    • Though I love both the choices listed above, Benedict Cumberbatch and Robert Sheehan are my favorite choices for the leading role of DR. WHO. It is nice to know that they are looking in the right directions. By the way, what IS the handsome Daniel Radcliffe doing right now?

      • Benedict Cumberbatch!

    • Why hot start a new series with Tennant’s wife called. “The Doctor’s Daughter”? There were only 11 Doctors. Remember that Tennant’s WHO went to another dimension with Rose Tyler. Somehow, he disappeared long enough to let her meet Donna. Just as Matt’s WHO found River Song, the next Who could find his daughter. This will allow him to be old and young at the same time. Of course, Torchwood should not disappear, either. When is it coming back?

    • Because there are a lot of great actors out there who can put their own spin on the Doctor, why would they go back to someone whose already had a run at it. Not only that but what makes you think any of the old actors would actually WANT to come back as the new Doctor. They’ve all put in their best efforts into their particular version of the Doctor and now they’ve moved on as they see fit. Now its time for a new actor to get a shot at making their own mark on the role and that’s the way its always going to be.

  3. Roger Daltrey! I know, he’s too old now. It was always a pipe dream of mine to see him play the Doctor.

  4. Damien Molony seems the best choice out of these, followed by Richard Coyle.

  5. Wow that was a list of people I hope do NOT become the next Doctor.

  6. I would love a new Doctor, but instead, can we have a new showrunner? Whoever replaces Matt will still have to read Moffet’s terrible scripts. Let’s regenerate him, then we can start fresh and have the show be good again.

    • I agree. When it comes to Sherlock Moffet’s great but when it comes to Doctor Who… Ever since he’s taken over I’ve found myself bored more often then entertained…

      • I disagree, Moffets always got a bad time and so has Matt, all of a sudden Matt is leaving and everyone loves him. Whenever Moffet leaves everyone will realize what a great writer he is. No writer is perfect, Moffet has a different writing style than Davies but it doesnt mean he’s better or worse. RTD had his fair share of writing mistakes, and Moffets brought some great elements to Doctor Who, i think he’s brought it to a darker place, which is just what we need no that we’re getting close to the Valeyard.

        • Matt’s Dr. Who was more like your pervert Uncle until “FLATMATES” humanized him. Moffat takes on too much by himself. He makes Dr. Who into a children’s bedtime story Character. One can only write from his/her own level of experience. Moffat, it appears, did not watch Dr. Who as a child or as a young adult. This limits what he can write about. (This leaves me baffled as I observe how brilliantly he does Sherlock.) If he can write with the same level of excitement and drama as he does with Sherlock and stop trying to send Dr. Who, a warrior and Extreme intellectual, into Neverland, we will have something to anticipate.

          • OK, you should just stop typing now.

          • you do realize moffatt grew up with doctor who? there even are pictures from his childhood that show little steven with doctor who books and such. this man knows what he’s doing. and he has done a great job on doctor who, in my opinion the show improved a lot since he took over, it even got scarier, while the davies episodes are rather painful to watch in comparison. and I’m saying this even though I quite definitely do not agree with all of mr moffatt’s writing choices. still a genius, this man. I would love to live in his head for just one day.

    • I totally agree. I feel the same. every season under Moffat has gotten worse. I like Matt Smith and think he as done the best job he could with the material he is given. I think the problem is that Moffat has no idea how to write a sci-fi series. Too many episodes based on Earth.

      Moffat is great when it comes to comedies (like Coupling) or drama (like Sherlock, although I’d like to know exactly how much he is involved with the scripts). But when it comes to a complex show like Doctor Who, which is essentially a children’s show that adults can enjoy, that is supposed to be fun, dramatic, scary, spacey-wacey, sci-fi tastic and time travel spectacle he struggles. He would be better as he was during the RTD days, just contributing the odd script here and there per season.

      I really hope they stop splitting seasons in half too. Sooo annoying.

      • Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss each write one episode of Sherlock per season. Moffat wrote the very first episode, A Study in Pink, and the first episode of the second series, A Scandal in Belgravia. Those are two of the best episodes of Sherlock.

        For Doctor Who, Moffat has only been writing the specials and first and last episodes of each half season since the beginning of season 6. He wrote 5 of 13 episodes in season 5. So most of episodes have been written by other writers. I think a lot of the better episodes are written by Moffat (and Gaiman).

        I don’t like that they split this season over two years, but I don’t mind the split if we still get a full season each year.

      • Too many episodes set on earth? You are joking right? When RTD was showrunner people complained that it was too earth-bound, since Moffat took over, there have been far less earth-bound stories. Please get your facts right before posting. And as for him not being able to right sci-fi, as a long-time sci-fi and Dr Who fan, i completely disagree.

  7. Jordan Rodrigues – Book it, he is an Aussie, young, not well known, half white/half asian

  8. Adrian Lester … he would be a great Dr. Who

  9. Tim Roth as the 12th Doctor.

    • That would be pretty cool! Tim Roth is a brilliant actor!

      • Tim Roth, hummm, interesting.

      • Danny Dyer, the new WHO? He’s not bad looking. He is an unknown. He does not have international appeal so he is no competition for the world market. He’s close enough to Jeanna’s age that we have a sick sense that he will be hitting on her. He looks pretty much like a thug. That’s good. Maybe he can meet up with Mickey and his wife, Martha. Still feeling Robert Sheehan, though.

    • That would be perfect.


    • The whole point of this article was to suggest actors that were both relatively unknown and could realistically commit the next few years to Doctor Who. Cumberbatch doesn’t fit either criteria. I’m sorry to tell you this but it very unlikely that Cumberbatch will ever play the Doctor.

  11. Hiddleston, please.

  12. Richard Armitage or Alexander Vlahos.

  13. i heard somebody say they wanted one of the Weasley Twins from Harry Potter play the Doctor and the other play the Master

    that could be cool

  14. Damien Molony has a doctor vibe in his picture to me. Honestly I kind of like the idea of the next doctor being a girl, Not because I want to stare at some girl but mainly because I think it will take doctor who in a whole new direction which lets face it is pretty rare after all these years of who.

    • I don’t see any reason why the Doctor couldn’t, or shouldn’t, be played by a woman. While I highly doubt she’d be a viable candidate at this point in their careers, I would love to see what Helena Bonham Carter or Lucy Lawless (the Spartacus/BSG version, not so much Xena) could do with the role. More reasonably, perhaps, might be someone like Dichen Lachmen.

      If the role simply must be played by a male, I think that Eddie Izzard or Tim Minchin would be brilliant.

  15. I feel like the only way I’d be 100% on board with a female Doctor is if they could get Cate Blanchett for the part.

  16. Dennis Rodman or Gary Busey

  17. I don’t think any of those are realistic options.. They have their minds on other actors I’m sure who are of a different flavour to Mstt Smith.

  18. Though I love both the choices listed above, Benedict Cumberbatch and Robert Sheehan are my favorite choices for the leading role of DR. WHO. It is nice to know that they are looking in the right directions. By the way, what IS the handsome Daniel Radcliffe doing right now?

  19. Stephen Fry!

  20. And Tim Minchin as The Master :)

  21. Benedict Cumberbatch or Richard Coyle would be a good choice.

  22. I think possibly Joseph Gilgun or Richard Coyle would make great doctors!

  23. Stupid question but if he can be any race, gender, age when he regenerates does he even have to be a british actor/actress? Have I british accent I mean as well?

  24. My money’s on Jenna-Louise Coleman. She’s already in the Doctor’s timeline, and was present in the weird dimension where all the Doctors (including whoever John Hurt ends up being) were. It’d be fitting that all 13 of the Doctor’s regenerations (before they have to pull some shenanigans like The Master did) were all there at the same time.

  25. Non of them look right.Can’t see any of them as the doctor

    • I see whre you’re coming from but here’s the thing, when Matt Smith took over from David Tennant, many people thought he wasn’t a good pick but look at how popular he is now. That’s the whole reason BBC goes for unknowns when choosing who to play the Doctor, it’s so their success doesn’t come from previous star power but from their actual ability in making the role their own while at the same time staying true to the Doctor. Trust me, whoever they do pick to play the Twelfth Doctor will be awesome at it and while it may take some time to get used to him pretty soon he’ll be as loved as David and Matt.

  26. A great list of people that should not, under any circumstances, play the Doctor.

  27. Much less likely, but still-would-be-amazing possibilities:

    Terrence Stamp
    Alan Rickman
    Emma Thompson
    Cary Elwes
    Robbie Coltrane
    Billy Boyd

  28. Do I need to read this? Isn’t the clear answer John Hurt?

    He may not be #12 per se but isn’t that the obvious answer?

    • Not necessarily. If Hurt is the Twelfth then how is Eleven aware of his existence yet? Considering the information that’s been given to us so far, my belief is that the Hurt Doctor is the incarnation that ended the Time war by destroying Gallifrey. Since we don’t actually know what incarnation actually pulled the trigger it would be one explanation for how the Hurt Doctor fit’s into all this.

      • If he’s the Valeyard then the doctor will remember him from the ‘Trial of a Timelord’ classic story, its also makes sense that eleven says ‘not in the name of the doctor’, because he used he name Valeyard.

        Just a theory though, it may not be that case at all :/

  29. Bradly james