Rumours abound about who will pick up the sonic screwdriver and take off in the TARDIS next. While I don’t have any way of knowing or predicting who will be given the coveted role I thought I’d try a fun thought experiment to see if anyone’s been overlooked.

The idea is this. For some of the people who’ve been touted as candidates I’ve picked a co-star from one of their other shows or films; someone who I think might have a chance of becoming a different and interesting Doctor.

They’re not all picked for their likelihood or even suitability for the role, just someone different who’s done or is doing good things and would be an interesting off-the-wall choice.

Roger Allam – co-star of Benedict Cumberbatch in Cabin Pressure (radio)


Roger Allam is a marvellous actor who flies somewhat under the radar in terms of super-stardom.  He’s been in so many great shows that it’s hard to list them all, but is often a senior figure, a police inspector or a politician, and speaks with great authority and humour.

It’d be a throwback to the early days of older, more cerebral Doctors and probably wouldn’t sit well with the modern audience, but I think he’d make an interesting Doctor Who.

Sara Martins – co-star of Kris Marshall in Death in Paradise

Sara Martins was one of the best parts of the first few series of Death in Paradise. If the BBC want an actress who can play a strong, intelligent character then she’d be perfect.

I’m not sure how good she is with accents though – not sure the Beeb would go for a Doctor with a French accent.

Noel Fielding – co-star of Richard Ayoade in The IT Crowd

Now this is a bit of an off-the-wall suggestion. The Doctors are all distinct and distinguishable by their choice of clothes and the Doctor Who that sprung forth from the mind of Noel Fielding could well trump them all. In fact he could probably just turn up in what he’s wearing and slot right into the role.

He would be seriously loopy and would solve mysteries and save Worlds with a bizarre wardrobe, strange humour and a rictus smile.

Even if this doesn’t happen in reality, someone should write a comic book of the Noel Fielding Doctor Who combo. Internet, do your thing…

Jamie Bell – co-star of Tilda Swinton in Snowpiercer

A more serious suggestion. Jamie Bell rose to fame as a child in Billy Elliot and continued to build a decent catalogue of appearances in the like of King Kong, Jumper, Snowpiercer, Tintin but Fantastic Four.

He’s a good actor and I can see him wrapping himself in the persona of the Doctor quite naturally.

The big question though, is he little short to be a Timelord?

Aidan Gillen – co-star of Natalie Dormer in Game of Thrones

Another outstanding actor from Game of Thrones, who has turned the art of the Machiavellian puppeteer into an art-form with his portrayal of Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish.

It might be difficult to see Gillen switching from a treacherous, double-crossing rogue into the beloved Doctor Who, but he would certainly give it an edginess that could be great.

If Peter Capaldi can shake off the spectre of Malcolm Tucker then Baelish is small fry.

Colin Morgan – co-star of Anthony Head in Merlin

Merlin himself. It’s maybe a step too far to give the same actor the lead role in Dr Who after being Merlin, but there’s no denying that Morgan has a lot of the characteristics that people love in some of the recent Doctors.

  • Tall and thin – check
  • Boyish good looks – check
  • Ability to appear to know what’s going on without being able to really explain it to anyone – check

I’m sure it would work.

Tuppence Middleton – co-star of James Norton in War and Peace

As Riley Blue in Sense8, Tuppence Middleton plays a character on a voyage of discovery about herself and the World.  She’s believable, vulnerable and emotional but can be strong and decisive when needed.

However, Sense8 is ongoing and (I think) one of the best shows on TV so she’s unlikely to be free for another leading part for quite some time.  Shame because she’d make a splendid Doctor.

“Which is your favourite Doctor?”

“Tuppence Middleton,” says every teenage boy on the planet.

Doona Bae – co-star of Ben Whishaw in Cloud Atlas

Doona Bae is another actress currently involved in Sense8, and is really the glue that holds that series together. If you want an example of a strong female character that’s willing to make difficult sacrifices for the greater good then look no further than Sun in Sense8.

It’s unlikely that the BBC would cast a South Korean actress with a strong accent as the Doctor, but I’d love to watch the show if they did.

I hope you liked this little thought experiment. Let me know what you think about these suggestions in the comments.