Former Doctor Who showrunner Russell T. Davies has revealed brief descriptions of his possible future Doctors in a new novel. Davies was the man responsible for regenerating the iconic British science fiction series back in 2005, casting Christopher Eccleston in the titular role, Billie Piper as companion Rose Tyler, and transforming the franchise from a dormant property into an international success. Although Davies himself may have moved on to other projects, Doctor Who has continued on and recently announced that actress Jodie Whittaker would be the first woman to play the renegade Time Lord.
The first episode of 'New Who' (appropriately titled "Rose") was written by Davies himself and features a scene where Piper's soon-to-be companion conducts some research into the mysterious man known as The Doctor, shortly after their first meeting. Rose meets with a Doctor super-fan called Clive who shows her photos and drawings of Christopher Eccleston's character looking exactly the same age in a wide variety of historical periods, thus proving him to be a time-traveler.
Free from the constraints of television, Davies has now delivered an expanded version of that sequence in his new Doctor Who novel (via Radio Times) which re-imagines the original story of "Rose". In the television episode, Clive shows Rose evidence focused mostly around Eccleston's Ninth Doctor; however, Davies' new novel sees Clive unveil multiple versions of the Time Lord. As well as delving into the classic Doctors, the novel contains mentions of both newer regenerations and future incarnations beyond Whittaker. The relevant passage reads:
"Rose saw a photo of a man with a fantastic jaw, dressed in a tweed jacket and bow tie. Then Clive kept the sequence going; an older, angry man in a brown caretaker’s coat, holding a mop; a blonde woman in braces running away from a giant frog in front of Buckingham Palace; a tall, bald black woman wielding a flaming sword; a young girl or boy in a hi-tech wheelchair with what looked like a robot dog at their side"
Clearly the tweed and bow tie is referring to Matt Smith's Eleventh Doctor, the "angry man" is Peter Capaldi's Twelfth and the blonde woman with braces has to be Whittaker. Continuing the natural sequence, the Fourteenth Doctor in Davies' mind would be a bald black female who's handy with a sword (Danai Gurira, anyone?) and, intriguingly, the Fifteenth Doctor takes the form of a child unable to walk who has either reunited with or rebuilt K-9 to act as a companion.
It's important to stress that these new Doctor Who novels are not replacing the canon established by the TV versions of their respective episodes. Davies' descriptions are purely of his own imagining, rather than any sort of confirmation that the next person to play The Doctor will be a black woman.
That said, Davies' vision of these two future Doctors certainly opens up some interesting possibilities, should new showrunner Chris Chibnall or his future successor be looking for ideas. A Time Lord wielding a flaming sword sounds like a guaranteed hit and although hiring a child to play The Doctor would likely be a logistical nightmare, the idea of having the hero limited physically and relying on K-9 is an intriguing slant on the stereotypical version of the character.
Doctor Who season 11 premieres in October on BBC.
Source: Radio Times