THIS Doctor is mine. You can't have him.
It's official. Last night, the news Whovians have all been waiting for got that little bit closer. On Sunday, at 7pm, BBC1 are to show a live programme, during which, the actor or actress playing the Doctor once Matt Smith hangs up his bow tie, is to be revealed. Ever since Smith made public his intention to step down from the role, the Internet has been awash with speculation as to whom the TARDIS key will be passed to next. I have resisted posting my Potential Doctor Wishlist, seeing as I know with almost 100% certainty that nobody on it will actually end up getting the job, but you know what? There are just two days to go until we find out who has ended up with what has to be one of the coolest jobs in television. In the massively unlikely event that I've stumbled upon the person to be revealed on Sunday, I don't have much longer to get this out and rehearse my "I told you so" speech. So... Here's my top ten (not necessarily in order of preference):
1. Joseph Gilgun
Okay. I said these weren't necessarily in order of preference, but in this case, Joe is 100% my number 1 choice. He may be best known to some as Eli Dingle from Emmerdale, but don't let that put you off. Misfits fans know Joe as Rudy Wade, whose "superpower" in the series is that he has something of a conscience in the form of a whole other version of himself, who breaks free at will. Therefore Joe technically plays two characters in the same show: A cheery, loudmouthed, borderline sociopath, who speaks without thinking and acts without consideration for the consequences and a shy, caring, moralistic type, who broods deeply on life. The second of these personalities is often berating the first for his behaviour. As a result, Joe shows in almost every episode that he's capable of switching between characters and would be perfect to portray the light and shade in the Doctor's character. In one episode of Misfits, a third version of Rudy was introduced; a psychotic, manipulative murderer, whom both other versions of the character were terrified of. Any actor who can carry off a scene in which he is playing three separate, wildly different characters has got to be worth a punt. After all, the Doctor is nothing if not mysterious and multi-layered.
2. Iwan Rheon
No, not all my choices are from Misfits...
I'll be honest. When I first started to consider potential Doctors, I was comparing each one not to Matt Smith, but to David Tennant. And I'll be even more honest. I wasn't entirely thinking of their acting skills. So when Iwan popped into my head, it was more a case of "Oof, I'd watch him as the Doctor... I wonder if they could do a few episodes where he gets wet and takes his top off?" But then I actually thought about it...
Yes, I'm going to mention Misfits again, but Iwan plays Simon Bellamy, who, out of the whole gang, is the one who most embodies the term "misfit." His superpower is the ability to become invisible; a "gift" borne out of his feeling of never being noticed by anyone. Simon is a shy, geeky character, unsure of himself, but with a deep sense of right and wrong. But thanks to an unshakeable determination to save his friends and the woman he loves, by the time he leaves the series, he's brave and strong. He's a freaking super hero for crying out loud! Enough said.
3. Philip Glenister
I am a feminist. I hate anyone who is inherently sexist. I also have no time for those who are racist or homophobic. And yet when I watched Life On Mars/Ashes To Ashes, I was pretty much desperately in love with Gene Hunt (and let's not lie, he did embody quite a few of those traits). That was, in part, thanks to the fantastic writing, but it was in no small way down to Philip Glenister's utterly wonderful acting. He gave a character that might have seemed shallow and unappealing, a level of depth and humanity that I cannot imagine anyone else could have pulled off. He can swing between furiously angry and heart-warmingly vulnerable. He has impressive comic timing. He's older, so there'd be no cries of "not another baby-faced Doctor!" either. He'd be a wonderful Doctor.
4. Olivia Colman
Oops, how did David Tennant get into this blog?! *cough*
Yes, I know that Olivia has officially ruled herself out of the running and so, in this most unlikely list, she's possibly the very least likely of all. But I'm still going to talk about her, because she's still on my list, even if she bumped herself off the real one quite some time ago.
Olivia Colman has become one of the UK's most beloved actresses in recent times and it's not hard to see why. She's warm, she has excellent comic timing and she is utterly believable. Everything she does, she does with heart and that's important for the Doctor. I would've absolutely loved to have seen her go toe-to-toe with a cyberman, because beneath that sweet smile and lovable nature, I strongly suspect she'd have kicked his ass.
5. Robert Webb
If anyone but Robert played the role of Jez in Peep Show, I reckon we'd like the character a lot less. We're back to the question of giving a character heart and if Robert can give a junkie layabout the vulnerability of a big-eyed puppy, then I'd love to see what he'd do for the Doctor.
We all know that Robert is capable of making us laugh, which I think is a personality trait the Doctor should embody (he travels through space, saving the world; if he didn't have a sense of humour, he'd be screwed), but I'd love to see him really get into the Doctor's moody psyche, too. Robert's also the only person on my list who has ever bought me a cake.
6. Whoopi Goldberg
I NEVER SAID THESE CHOICES HAD TO BE REALISTIC.
Whoopi has been one of my favourite actresses since I was a child. Which is my nerdy way of saying that Sister Act is one of my favourite films (and, as it happens, one of my favourite stage musicals) and I don't care who knows it. Whoopi has warmth and she can certainly act, but most importantly, she's feisty as Hell. Would you mess with her if you were a Dalek?! Didn't think so.
7. Adrian Lester
The Doctor can be many things. One of the key aspects to his personality is you can never entirely tell what he's going to do next, or what side of himself he's likely to show. Much like Joe Gilgun in Misfits, Adrian showed in Hustle that he's able to play different characters within a single show, thus proving an ability to swing between personality traits and keep Clara on her toes, were he given the role of the Doctor. He's also incredibly good at being suave and charming, which I think is pretty vital for this role. After all, the Doctor has to convince perfectly sane people that they should give up their lives to travel time and space in a blue box that's bigger on the inside, with a total stranger. And a bit of charm can always get you out of a sticky situation!
8. Patrick Stewart
The man is a legend. And he has experience of flying through space...
I realise that there's almost definitely no chance of this whatsoever, but Patrick Stewart would be a bloody incredible Doctor. He's commanding, he's strong and passionate, he's brave... If I were Clara, I'd feel pretty safe with P-Stew at the helm of the TARDIS.
9. Hugh Laurie
Hugh falls into the "actors I fancy and therefore would like to see more often on my telly box" category. But he's also brilliant. So brilliant, that in spite of having been a fan of him for most of my life (I grew up on Jeeves & Wooster, Blackadder and A Little Bit of Fry & Laurie), when I saw him interviewed on TV shortly after I started watching House, I was genuinely stunned that he spoke with an English accent. I just accepted that he was House MD. As with all of these choices, I'm not asking anyone to agree. But man, I would watch the heck out of him as the Doctor.
10. David Tennant
SHUT UP. I KNOW HE CAN'T BE AND I DON'T CARE.
So there we go. Nine - deeply unlikely - potential Doctors and someone for me to lust over. Bring on Sunday and good luck to whichever actor or actress inherits the role. No pressure...