‘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. Misha collins for the win! ( just cause hes awesome) :P

  2. Really want Molony as the new Doctor after watching that clip and some others of him. Molony for 12th doctor!

  3. I think Michelle Gomez would be great, first off it is time for a woman and two I think she fits the bill perfectly.

    • While I wouldn’t mind a doctor that was neccessarily a white male I don’t think they should choose someone just because of their race or gender, but because they would make an awesome Doctor! If the best actor for it is a woman I’m totally fine with that but they shouldn’t just pick a woman because it’s “time for a woman doctor”

    • I’m not trying be sexist at all here, but a woman can’t play the doctor. He’s a man, and unless he get’s a sex change, he’s staying that way. Timelords don’t change gender when they regenerate.

      • Actually, yes, they can change sex. Watch “Doctor’s Wife” where Doctor states his friend had the same tattoo in all regenerations, not matter being he or she (which he finishes with: “oh, she was a bad girl”).

        That being said, I wish they would just pick the good Doctor, no matter which sex. There’s some perfect actresses and perfect actors for the role there and I don’t mind either, as long as they make it work.

        Sadly, my personal feeling is that it won’t work and the next Doctor will be a fail. Fingers crossed that I’m wrong, “Doctor Who” is one of my favorite pastimes in the world, so I would rather be wrong and enjoy it than right and miserable about it :/

        • He also stated in the TV movie that he was Half-Human. Pinch of salt my friend, pinch of salt. The Doctor lies, as River would say…

      • Thank you! Couldn’t have said it better myself

      • 3 words: Andrew Lee Potts !
        He isn’t very well known
        He’s gorgeous
        And he’s good at acting giddy and weird but smart at the same time
        I think he’d be perfect

        • I don’t really know anything about him, but I just looked up Andrew Lee Potts and he sounds/ looks like he could ll it off. (Not to menton that some of his family’s names ar the same as past Doctor Who characters (his mother’s name is Susan and his sister’s Sarah-Jane). Coincidence? Almost certainly, but still…

        • Maybe in 10 years but right now, he still looks too young IMHO.

  4. Ben Whishaw!

  5. Would love love love LOVE Colin Morgan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This would mean merlin fans would love doctor who as well, boosting doctor who’s popularity ^_^
    although still upset matt smith is leaving :(

    • I totally agree with you because i absolutely love Colin Morgan and his acting plus im a major fan girl of his XD

    • Would be nice, but perhaps a cause of concern as Colin appeared in one episode of Season Four. Has the Doctor ever come back as the image of someone else?

      • Yes, Colin Baker played Maxil in Arc of Infinity, a mere year before he was cast as the Doctor. However, as they were both Time-Lords perhaps there is a limit to how many different appearances they can change into! Imaging be quite embarrassing at Gallifreyan parties, turning up in the same body as another guest..

        Mind you, I am of the opinion that if you have appeared in it already, you shouldn’t get the role of the Doctor, which sadly rules out some good actors.

        • Several of the companions have played minor roles before they got their big parts. I know it’s a bit different but there’s definitely a precedent.

  6. I would love to be the doctor! I am not only an unknown, having not acted since high school, but am so far out of left field as to be in another dimension! BTW I am currently unemployed, have no problem with travel, and my iPhone has the Tardis cover! So I’m a natural…

    Beyond that I trust your judgment. Thank you for allowing me to express my opinion.
    K Hall

  7. I want the regeneration to reverse and he regenerates back into David Tennant

    • That is NEVER going to happen.

    • Tennant is done and he wasn’t the best Doctor, get over it. There were nine before him that were amazing, but of course you’ve probably never seen them before and you just live in your DT bubble drooling all over him and honestly Matt Smith’s performance is much better, at least he fits in with Tom Baker, Throughton, and the others. Tennant was a cheesy, mugging, pretty boy, he’s done. Quit crying about it and except the nature of the show is change.

      • Woah there, calm down. Just because somebody loves tennant doesn’t mean anything. Ten will always be my favorite but nine was my first and I love him too just like I love 11. Nobody really thinks tenant will come back and there is no reason to attack anyone for voicing their opinion

      • hmmm, actuallly been watching Doctor Who since early Tom Baker, and since watched all existing episodes.
        In my opinion (and I know we all differ, ce la vie), but Tennant was the best Doctor by far, followed by Baker (T).
        Smith I’m afraid is way down the list.

    • I TOTALLY agree with u!!!!!! It would be a dream come true if David Tennant was the doctor. Did u know that he’s actually scottish? Although it would be pretty cool if Rupert Grint was the 12th doctor.

      • Rupert Grint? Are you serious?

        Too young and too well known as Ron Weasley. Plus, he’s not a good enough actor yet. Maybe in 10 years he’d make a good Doctor Who but no way at the moment.

    • That would be degeneration. No good. The only way Tennant could come back would be if Smith or another Doctor travelled to a time and place where Tennant was.

    • I TOTALLY Agree with you … They SHOULD bring him back as David Tennant! He was one of the BEST Doctor Who EVER!

    • Yes!

    • He said he didn’t want to go…he could regenerate and use all tardis power to do so then to find the energy find Donna dying in a hospital bed of some unknown disease and turns out her remaining power is killing her and he tales her to the tardis and blasto! Would work perfect! !

  8. Benedict Cumberbatch definitely!

    • I wish! Unfortunately, the filming of Sherlock interferes with with filming of Doctor Who, so it could never happen.

      • Then cancel Sherlock.

  9. Yeah I was extremely disappointed when “Strange” got cancelled. Still miss it now.

  10. Molony or Coyle. The Doctor is too profoundly british to be played by an arab and giving the role to a woman would mean no more sexy companion – or male ones, which as a heterosexual I have no use for.

  11. If Joseph Gilgun was the next doctor, I would die of happiness.

    • Good choice, very versatile actor. I couldn’t belive it was the same actor in Misfits that played the Scottish convict in the movie ‘Lockout’.

  12. It would be interesting to see Colin Morgan or Benedict Cumberbatch as the 12th doctor…

  13. Hugh Laurie would make a good doctor 12

    • Oh, I would be all for that, but it won’t happen, sadly…too long of a story to retell now, but there’s more than few big hows and whys there’s no chance there *sigh*

    • No Way, Hugh Laurie is known too much has the doctor in “House Call” and I don’t think he’s good in that roll. We need an actor that don’t look bad on screen. Robert Downey Jr would be the perfect Doctor Who!

  14. if i were to cast an older gentleman i would say Ian Mclellan would make a great Doctor. Hes so different from the last 3. or i would love to see Domhnall Gleeson cast as the Doctor. He is incredible and not terribly well known.

    • Well the Doctor did once describe himself as a space Gandalf so Ian McKellen could work but that’s very unlikely.

      • Also, we’ve already glimpsed John Hurt as an elderly Doctor and I like him even more than the great McKellen.

  15. I think Benedict Cumberbatch would be pretty good.

  16. Benedict Cumberbatch FTW …

  17. Benedict Cumberbatch FTW ….

  18. I think he could be pretty good, I think they should keep the doctor along the lines of the old ones, not been racist or sexist here, just saying it would ruin the show for A LOT of people if they did that

  19. I think he could be pretty good, I think they should keep the doctor along the lines of the old ones, not been racist or sexist here, just saying it would ruin the show for ALOT of people if they did that

  20. I think he could be pretty good, I think they should keep the doctor along the lines of the old ones, not been racist or sexist here, just saying it would ruin the show for ALOT of people if they did that, you all know I’m right

    • Well I could say that if a female or non white Doctor ruins the show for you, you’re racist/sexist. If that’s the sole reason for your displeasure. If you didn’t like the actor because you don’t think they do a good job or portraying our good Doctor that’s another thing.

      It’s comments like that which lead to the same inane shows being made over and over, because TV networks assume we’re too stupid to accept anything but what we’ve seen before.

      • It has nothing to do with being racist or sexist. I know very damn well I am neither and yet, like I said before, I’m against the idea of an arabian or female doctor. The character, despite being an alien, is too deeply british to be realistically played by an actor of a different ethnicity. Regarding females, as a heterosexual who enjoys some eye candy, I prefer a succession of hot companions than just one girl doctor who would probably choose male companions.

        • Oh I’m sorry, you’re not racist, you just don’t belIeve someone that isn’t white can be truly British. And you’re not sexist because you like women to look sexy for you. I must have been confused. But I’m sure you understand, it’s hard for me to think with these breasts jiggling everywhere.

          • Do you have comprehension issues?

            • Nope :D

              • Well it seems so. My previous post has been edited. I originally wondered (in not-so-polite words) if you were misunderstanding things on purpose or because of some inability. If I am racist, please explain how I can have so many non-white friends. Oh, and if I’m sexist, it’d actually be more the other way around since I usually take women in higher esteem than men.

                I’m not british but I’ve visited the country quite a few times and non-white people are far less common there than in the USA or France. Those I’ve met or seen on-screen, without exception, didn’t have those typical british mannerisms which are so deeply rooted in the Doctor’s character (Rose’s boyfriend doesn’t, for instance). There goes your arab Doctor’s credibility. Also, I’m sorry if my heterosexuality bugs you but I don’t see how you can equate the fact of liking pretty girls to sexism.

                • You suggested, based on some lame anecdotal evidence, that one’s character is most effected by their race, at least in the case of the British. That a non white actor is simply incapable of playing a convincing Doctor. Then, regarding women, your first comment was one objectifying them, decrying a female Doctor because then you wouldn’t have as much “eye candy”. Anyway, as much I’ve enjoyed your comments and appreciate that you edited yourself so as not to be a jerk, I think we’ve run out of steam and should move on with our lives ;) Have a nice day!

                  • I don’t have to “edit myself so as not to be a jerk” since I ain’t one. You, on the other hand, don’t hesitate to twist people’s words to your convenience and point your hating finger at any comment that doesn’t suit your sad little self. You’re the one who’s prone to set yourself up as judge and jury against a total stranger for what you think he is. Now tell me again who the jerk is…

      • Without offending your racist/sexist sensors, I too believe the Doctor should remain as he is – a white male.
        The original Doctor always seemed to be some sort of Edwardian gentleman, I don’t see a need to change an intrinsic part of the programme when every thing else around it CAN change.
        If we want different sexes, races, etc of TIMELORDS running around, create a spinoff a la Torchwood or SJA.

        • Oh God no! Torchwood is awful. Totally ruined Harkness.

          • Says you, and considering our little discussion from last week, you don’t seem to have the fairest of judgements. Anyway, Torchwood’s quality wasn’t Dave’s point.

            • You’ll just look for any reason to talk to me, won’t you? ;)

              • Like I cared… Don’t flatter yourself, buddy, I just can’t let you talk nonsense. Now, do you have something to say that would actually be relevant to Dave’s comment?

                • You cared enough to comment.

                  As far as Dave’s comment is concerned, maybe the original Doctor did have an Edwardian sensibility, but there have been 10 Doctors since him and while I only have experience with the first three and then from 9 on, I can certainly point out that the Doctors have changed to parallel the current culture. Eccleston for instance is something much closer to a rogue. Rough around the edges and while charming, also very angry. The Doctor does change and just because it upsets you for whatever reason, the Doctor changing race or gender to reflect the changing times is perfectly within the realms of the shows canon.

                  • I care about the truth, not about petty individual struggles with total strangers through the wire. Now, see? When you actually try reasoning instead of clashing, the outcome is substantially more constructive. Ain’t that better?

                    Yes, each incarnation of the Doctor has a different temper, but they all share certain characteristics, except Eccleston who, though being just as deeply british, was darker, more serious and less old-fashioned than any other – I ascribe this shift in tone to a mistake on the part of Russell Davies who probably thought at first that it would be a good idea to modernize the series a bit. Since Tennant came onboard, the Doctor’s been back to his usual eccentric self.

                    Then again, the Doctor said that all Doctors are actually versions of himself. We don’t know exactly how the process works yet; regardless of ethnicity, I believe that slightly remodelling one’s features is one thing but switching gender or modifying one’s own body chemistry (melanin levels and hormones for instance) is a whole different matter and a much heavier process. Also, don’t forget that he’s an alien who just happens to look like a white human. Who’s to say that there were different ethnic groups among his race? And last but not least, the changing times have been reflected alright in the supporting cast: many roles have been given to non-white people, including one companion, so you can’t really blame the show over it.

                    • You keep trying to come across as if you’re above me, but your last several comments at least have clearly included language intended to demean me. I’m not petty, your comments came across as boorish and shallow minded. You try to rationalize your shortsightedness by arguing that it’s unrealistic, in a show that regularly puts any sense of realism by the wayside. For instance, if he can change his hair color (melanin)then he can certainly change his skin. Keep telling yourself whatever you want to. Just because you don’t like change doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea. Considering the 9th paved the way for the restoration of the show I’d hardly consider him a mistake.

                    • (This is still me bfg666, for some reason I just can’t reply with my usual identity)

                      Just when I thought we could finally have a reasoned discussion, you’re doing it again! Jeez, aren’t you tired of being aggressive on a personal level? I tend to say things bluntly, it’s not my fault if you have an inferiority complex that makes you think I’m condescending, and it certainly is no reason to be jumping at my throat. Now if you’re really unable to control your temper, I think it’s best we don’t communicate further.

  21. Andrew Scott would be pretty good I think

    • Ok, so far I agree with Andrew Scott – I liked him as Moriarty, He might be a fine doctor. Reading through these posts, I like him the best so far.

  22. I remember the TV show ‘Strange’ There were 7 episodes, not 6 (there was also a pilot which was aired a year before the series of 6 episodes)/ Richard Coyle would make an excellent Doctor (as would Damian Maloney, Daniel Rigby and Julian Rhind-Tutt)

    • Yeah, strange was ok actually. Pity not renewed.
      I think Coyle was in Coupling too – a Moffat vehicle, so known to producers.

  23. Apologies, I spelt Molony wrong!

  24. I think these are ALL terrible suggestions and frankly, I have no interest in seeing a female doctor. We don’t always have to be gender correct here. If you want a sassy woman who solves mysteries then watch Miss Marple.
    I have no issues with any of their acting skills, I just think they would all be horrible Doctors.

    This is a terrible article.

  25. I loved Strange! Richard Coyle would be awesome, but it would be interesting to see a female Doctor…

  26. I would like to see Alastiar James Murden as the 12th doctor because he is funny, a good actor and he looks like a doctor – which i find very important :)

  27. It should be Rupert Grint because the doctor always has said he wants to be a Ginger. Like when he turned into the 10th doctor he asked if he was a red head because he always wanted to be one.

    • Hair color should not be a criteria when choosing the next Doctor. Rupert Grint would be a horrible choice to play the twelfth.

  28. I think that Alexander Vlahos (Mordred of “Merlin”) should be the 12th doctor!

  29. I get to Richard Coyle…JEFFREY!! xD Haha never considered it but YES! Top of my list however is still Dominic Monaghan, I think he’d be great and I’m pretty certain he’d do it if he was asked!

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