Who will be Who?

Donna Scott takes a punt…

2013 marks the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, and  since Matt Smith announced his departure from the show earlier this year, speculation as to who will replace him has been rife.

The new incumbent will take over in the role in the Christmas special episode, but we don’t need to wait until then to find out who will be taking over as the 12th incarnation of the Timelord. A 20 minute programme will air this Sunday at 7pm on BBC One, and will be Simulcast live on BBC America – and they’ll tell us Who, then.

As the programme announcement was made, bookies have seen a flurry of bets pushing erstwhile favourite for the role, Rory Kinnear, down a few places, and Peter Capaldi take over as the man most likely Who – in the opinion of those willing to bet money on it.

I know several BSFA members who are intrigued – excited, even – about the upcoming announcement, and even people who are sensibly going about their day-to-day activities are still up for a bit of speculation. But Who will be Who?

A still from the BBC Doctor Who site - http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006q2x0 Picture rights all theirs.

A still from the BBC Doctor Who site – http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006q2x0
Picture rights all theirs.

Stephen Moffat and the Who Crew have been referring to Whoever it is as “Houdini” – Could that be a clue? No one that I’ve noticed seems to have suggested Guy Pearce, or Harvey Keitel for that matter… but then it’s very unlikely for actors who have umpteen Hollywood successes in their portfolio to be lured to a British TV franchise with between 6 and 12 episodes per season

But what do you think of the names that have been put out there? What about The Radio Times’ favourite, Cutting It star, Ben Daniels? Does brilliant all-round actor Rory Kinnear’s commitment to Lucan put him out of the running? And Colin Baker got to play the Doctor after appearing in an earlier episode, so does that mean Peter Capaldi – who managed not to swear through the entire episode of “The Fires of Pompeii” as far as we know (something about a script???) – really does stand a chance of playing the Doctor? Or will working on The Three Musketeers, playing Cardinal Richelieu, not get in the way?  And what about Paterson Joseph, most known for his roles in Law and Order and Peep Show, and who appeared in two Who episodes, “The Parting of the Ways” and “Bad Wolf”?

I think the Hollywood factor will also deter choices such as the fantastic Idris Elba, Ben Whishaw or Benedict Cumberbatch. Common sense tells me David Tennant has surely moved on. And, call me a rebel, but I’d rather we brought female Timelords back into the show (or another spin-off?) some other way than give them a shot at the eponymous role. Bring back Jenny, I say. In any case, Moffat has been referring to a ‘he’ all along when discussing the new Doctor… but could that be a generic use of the pronoun? Mmm… I don’t know for sure. But probably not.

I think we could be looking at a low-ish ‘Bacon’ factor between the new choice of Doctor and the fairly large pool of actors who have already appeared in the show. Someone Moffatt has already worked with maybe? Well how about Jim Moriarty – Andrew Scott? Or maybe someone who has worked with favoured writer Toby Whithouse like Adrian Lester, Damien Moloney or Bryan Dick (a bit too Matt-Smith-like, perhaps?) who have been in Being Human? Or everyone’s been in Spooks, haven’t they? How about Daniel Rigby, who also recently impressed us in Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror?

Yes, I am going to stick out my neck and say, it will be someone with a Being Human/Sherlock/Spooks/Ashes/Mars/Hustle connection. But I might go and put a fiver on Moloney…

Now, Who do  you think it will be?

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About Donna Scott

Chair of the BSFA since June 2013. Prior to this I was Awards Administrator, taking over that role from Claire Briarley in 2008. I am officially Donna Bond since getting married in May 2013, but continue to write and perform under my previous name, Donna Scott. My short fiction stories have been published in various anthologies and magazines, and I was winner of the inaugural Short Cuts at the MAC in 2005. As a comedian, I have performed all over the UK. Comedy has also given me the opportunity to perform alongside big names like Sarah Millican and Jasper Carrott! As a poet, I've also performed all over the place, including lots of science fiction conventions, and sometimes my poetry and comedy get kind of mixed up. I was the first official Bard of Northampton, it's true. I've got a tankard that says so... I love being a part of the BSFA - I've always been a devourer of books and being part of this association has enabled me to explore some great science fiction classics - and classics of the future, that I might otherwise have not heard about. I've met some lovely people with an enthusiasm for the genre, made firm friends, and got to meet some of my favourite writers, too! As a writer, I also have to say that FOCUS is the best magazine for writers I've ever come across - and as a member I get that for free. Who wouldn't want to be a part of this?

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