As all the Whovian world knows by now, it has been announced the Matt Smith has stepped away from the TARDIS controls. He’s hung up his sonic screwdriver. Untied his bowtie. Hatboxed his fez. Shaved his poofy keratin-crest. During this year’s Christmas Special he’ll be regenerating into the 12th incarnation of The Doctor. Admittedly, this news set us all here at Agents of GUARD astir.
Stephen Moffat and the Cardiff Crew haven’t given a clear answer as to the progress of casting the new Doctor, and the fandom has been quick to jump on every article, tweet, or interview gaff in order to find answers. While it’s all still up in the air we figured we’d like to weigh in on our hopes for Twelve. From general hopes for the Doctor’s demeanor to possible casting choices… we’ll cover it. And away we go!
As Doctor Who has passed through the years, his portrayal has changed with the times. However, much like with Japan’s ongoing Kamen Rider Series, the actors are being chosen to be younger and sexier to appeal to the ‘better half’ of the viewership. With this in mind I see the Twelfth Doctor as the perfect opportunity to go from quirky cute boy to outright dreamboat. Since the show is in the UK, I naturally think Bennedict Cumberbach. Fresh off the success of “Sherlock” and his iconic roll of *SPOILER* in “Star Trek: Into the Darkness” this man is a proven draw, and proven eye candy for the ladies. However, he’s going to be pretty busy when Series 3 of “Sherlock” starts up, so they’ll need someone with a little more free-time: someone like Tom Hiddelston.
Halfway through the “Thor 2” trailer I found myself blushing at his devil may care attitude. His long hair was flowing about, his shirt was a little open, and his entire posture said “come closer… there are things I want to do to you…” The Avengers Fandom is very clear about how they feel about sexy sexy Loki and what better way to appeal to the heartbroken angsty Whovian girls, then with a morose and damaged Tom Hiddelston as The Doctor.
Whenever a new Doctor emerges, it usually births an exciting reboot of the show and character. The anticipation of wondering how both the Doctor and the show will evolve was always part of the fun of Doctor Who. So for me, with it being the 50th anniversary, I’m going to suggest a bold change. I think it’s time for a British Indian Doctor. Why? First off, changing ethnicity isn’t something he’s done yet. He can change everything else ; hair, height, eye color, age…why hasn’t he been anything else beside a Caucasian? Second, it would be a very nice (and subtle) homage to the shows production history. The very first director of Doctor Who, was an Indian director by the name of Waris Hussein. He directed the first Doctor Who story, “An Unearthly Child.” And finally I think it will just be cool to give Indian kids an amazing role model to look up to. British Indians are the single largest ethnic group in England, what a way to show a growth to this Icon then to make the next Doctor a representative of that population. It will be refreshing and daring, which are things that Doctor Who was never afraid to do.
So as a Cornetto Trilogy fan boy, my first choices for The Doctor would always be Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Pegg is unfortunately not viable at all because he’s already involved in one sci-fi reboot, hoping to be in another (crossing my fingers for Star Wars) and he himself said on Twitter that he hasn’t watched since his episode and he’s not interested in the role. Frost has remained mum on the subject—mostly because he’s not actually that geeky. And really anyone from “Spaced” would be an absolutely amazing choice—just imagine a Bill Bailey Doctor. I figure since the BBC producers are trying to always skew towards a younger audience it would not be unfeasible to choose another young doctor. That’s why I think Antonia Thomas would be a spectacular direction for The Doctor. Her role on “Misfits” had the comedic timing but also the dramatic resonance we have come to expect from The Doctor. Plus she is pretty, so pretty.
When I first sat down to write this article I had a very clear idea. I wanted to go in one of two directions: 1. Wacky and comical because one of the things I really liked about Tennant was his surprising sense of humor and whimsy or 2. A delicious, young actor that could emote the hell out of this role. So basically, either Stephen Merchant or Rupert Grint (the Doctor could finally be ginger!!) Instead what I landed on was something I wanted so much more. I want a Doctor who can make me laugh, someone who can make me forget about all the risks of adventure and charm me into chasing danger, someone who will never make me question their brilliance. Who could play such a role? Answer: Jamie Bell. He fits all the criteria I could ask for: he’s exceptionally talented, he’s been known to play a variety of characters, and he has the charisma to carry a show. Also, what a babe.
As the 12th regeneration grows near, I find myself hoping lightning can strike twice with an unknown actor taking over as the Doctor. Matt Smith was relatively new to acting, and he turned out excellent. Who ever they end up choosing, I hope they’ve been taking up running as a hobby, because that is a prerequisite for being the Doctor. Lots and lots of running.
I suppose I would like an older Doctor this time around (not FIRST Doctor old, cuz I don’t like the Vegas odds of them not dying from said running). Its strange, because I’m looking forward to the potential of more Strax, Madame Vastra, Jenny, and who ever else they come up with. I guess the main thing I’m hoping for in the new Doctor is that they like having a bigger ensemble cast with them. The Doctor and his Medical Staff, so to speak.
I’m going to admit it here: if the Agents of GUARD were the Planeteers, and Doctor Who was Captain Planet, I would be the Ma-Ti. The Heart. The useless kid with the crap-covered monkey. I’ve only seen a handful of episodes from the Ninth, Tennanth, and Eleventh Doctors. Luckily, my pop cultural osmosis-based super powers have allowed me to know more than I ought to know about the good Doctor. I am fully equipped to make jokes about Tom Baker, Bad Wolf, and the Weeping Angels without feeling like a total and complete tool.
With the Eleventh Doctor cleaning his tweed out of the Tardis, the Agents have turned our Burning Eye on the future. Who will take up the screwdriver? Who will make us cry about Van Gogh? Who, we ask you, will be the Twelfth Doctor?
What I want: a female Doctor. Why? Because “why not?” I’m a FemShepard kind of guy, mostly because I’ve seen a lot of dudes doing heroic shit, and the ladies deserve a shot too.
What I predict: an older male Doctor. The last four or so have been strapping young gentleman, handsome and all that, but there hasn’t been an Elder Statesman Doctor in awhile. We’ve been seeing younger actors working hard to portray the Doctor’s ancient wisdom – why not see an older actor working hard to be sprightly? My vote? Bill Nighy, best known for being Simon Pegg’s Dad, Harry Potter’s Minister, and the awesome rockstar from Love Actually.
He’s just famous enough to make the fanbase freak, he’s a bloody fantastic actor with a wide range, and he ISN’T so famous that he wouldn’t mind committing to a few years of adventures in spacetime. Make it happen, BBC.
You know, Matt Smith was my first Doctor. I’m one of those weirdos that started with Series 5 and then went back to Eccleston. I’m by no means an expert on the entirety of the franchise, especially the pre-2005 era. What I will say, is that at least it seems that the Doctor’s regenerations seem to be reflections of environment in which he regenerates. While the Doctor will always have a dark side, born of his millenium-long existence, his general outward mood changes. Eccleston was the the Doctor that had just lived through the Time War, he had just effectively wiped out two entire sentient races (or so he thought). Tennant was the Doctor that had found and arguably fallen for Rose. Matt, the Doctor that realized the folly of Time Lord Triumphant and might have been looking for a clean slate.
Who will this Doctor be? I suppose we’ll more of an idea in the 50th Anniversary Special. But, so far, 12 will be the Doctor that was forced into crossing his own time stream, the Doctor that was forced to visit his own grave at Trenzalore. Also, he’s the Doctor that had to say goodbye to River Song.
My conjecture will be that the next Doctor will be a bit more reserved. A bit broody. A bit more outwardly calculating. Because I absolutely loved the whimsy of the past few seasons, it’ll be a change I’ll have to get used to. I will love, though, getting to see a different spin on the Doctor.
Casting wise. I really think it could go anywhere at this point. With Doctor Who’s popularity arguably at an all-time high, it might be time for the Doctor to reflect more of the people that comprise his fandom. I would like to see the Doctor skew older. A female doctor isn’t out of the question. Perhaps Helena Ravenclaw/Merida actress Kelly Macdonald. An actor of color would be nice as well! I’m thinking Chiwetel Ejiofor from Serenity/Amistad fame. You know, when it comes down to it… Doctor Who is all about change, and it always seems to be change for the positive. I’m really just excited to see what happens!