Given that my inner geek hasn’t had much of a chance to get out in the sun, stretch his legs, and then scurry back inside to play WoW, it’s time for me to mentally vomit on all of you my choices for who should succeed Matt Smith in the role as Doctor Who’s good Doctor.
Bear in mind, this is in no way a slap in Matt Smith’s very odd face. I have thoroughly loved his portrayal of the Doctor and hope that he continues the role for many years. In fact, I would go so far as to say that I have enjoyed Matt Smith better than Tennant or Eccleston. Still, the fact remains that Mr. Smith will one day hang up that cool bow tie and regenerate into the sunset.
That in mind, this is where my very geeky list comes in.
So, sit back and enjoy a wibbly wobby timey whimey list. I do expect the BBC to take my suggestions seriously and, if you have any, be sure to comment below.
Recommendation #1: Alan Tudyk
I imagine that everyone over in England just dropped their tea and scones on the floor with their monocles following shortly with the shrill staccato shrieks of, “By Jove! That boy is an American!”
Yes, you’ve got me there. Alan Tudyk is an American… one of the most ass-kickingly funny American actors you will ever see. Tudyk spent some time in the pilot seat of Serenity in the tragically short Firefly series and has appeared in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, A Knight’s Tale, and Death at a Funeral. In every single one of those presentations, he didn’t play an American. The dude can pull of accents like it’s no one’s business.
And it isn’t, so keep your filthy noses out of it!
Why recommend an American for a part that is, at its soul, so uniquely British? Well, I for one believe that the Doctor is transcendent of all cultures. The Doctor could be African, Indian, Japanese, or Polynesian – none of it matters. What matters is that you have a charismatic person playing him.
Secondly, it is the person playing him that matters and not where that person comes from. I know America isn’t exactly the most respected name in the world right now, but a person’s point of origin shouldn’t automatically disqualify them for a part. Besides, if Superman can be British, Doctor Who can goddamn well be American.
Signature Look: The Tukyk Doctor would wear normal street clothes with the odd addition of a tool belt where he would store a wide variety of useful items such as his sonic screwdriver, assorted wibbly-wobbles, and a seemingly never-ending supply of small plastic dinosaurs.
Personality: I picture the Tukyk Doctor as a very joyous and gentle being. One who sees joy in the very simplest and most complex of systems. He simply can’t abide anyone causing anyone else bother and it doesn’t matter who it is. Tukyk Doctor is not ruled by regret or hatred, simply the urge to fix things — he’s the universe’s handyman (hence the belt).
Companion Possibilities: Since the Tukyk Doctor is obsessed with fixing things, I would see him taking in an individual who he sees as broken. Perhaps a homeless battered woman, a drug addict, or someone he saves from suicide. As he travels with this person, the person gets a new lease on life until they realize that they don’t need the a doctor anymore and leaves so that he can take on his next patient.
Recommendation #2: Russell Tovey
Russell Tovey is the star of the British fantasy series, Being Human, and appeared in the Doctor Who special, “Voyage of the Damned” as the faithful ship’s pilot. Unfortunately, in my opinion, Being Human is going downhill faster than a wagon full of fat kids, and I think it’s time we found Russell a new line of work before he finds himself jobless.
He’s also very much English so you English can put your monocles back in and resume sipping your tea.
Russell Tovey is someone who strikes me as an actor who easily connects with his own humanity and that is something that I believe would greatly benefit the Doctor as it is a trait shared by most of the actors who have played him. He also has the benefit of an almost inhuman facial feature that, like Matt Smith’s gigantic chin and forehead, would allow him to be human but have an odd alien look to him.
Russell’s also openly gay and I could only see him using such a high-profile position to bring about awareness for gay issues such as equal rights and protection against bigotry.
Signature Look: The ears. Jesus Christ, the ears! Anyone familiar with Tovey knows that his ears are goddamn legendary. They stick out like car doors and, with a strong gust of wind, would probably carry him off to a land of singing midgets. The Tovey Doctor’s signature look would be his complete insecurity over said ears and his many ill-thought out methods of trying to call attention away from them outside the Tardis from earmuffs to hats.
Personality: Tovey would be the panicky doctor, lacking the serene and self-assured calm that the last few incarnations possessed. As a result, his plans and machinations would be manically checked and rechecked and, even though they work, it would do nothing to ease his uneased nature.
Companion Possibilities: As someone who lacks self confidence, Tovey Doctor needs someone with self confidence in spades. A Donna Noble or Ace type character. I almost see him paired with a 1970’s blacksploitation queen and giggle at the controversy and possibilities.
Recommendation #3: Sasha Baron Cohen
Sasha Baron Cohen has become legendary for his ability to not only disappear into a character, but to maintain that illusion even in real world situations as his creations, Borat and Bruno, have testified to.
Sure, Cohen is a gigantic movie star now, but this is the part of Doctor Who we’re talking about. If someone offered it to me, I would chop off my right testicle and eat it for that opportunity… without even being asked!
I think that Mr. Cohen could bow out of big time movies for a few years to drive the Tardis through time and space.
Signature Look: I know you’re waiting for me to say a mankini, but fuck you. I’m not going to. The Cohen Doctor would introduce the logical step up from psychic paper: the psychic wardrobe that would morph into whatever the Doctor needed for any particular situation. The doctor would literally be a walking costume closet which would play nicely off of Cohen’s ability to transform into his role.
Personality: The words that come to mind are suave and sneaky. The Cohen Doctor is someone who isn’t afraid to completely fuck anyone over to get what he wants and it gives him an abrasive personality that many find off-putting unless, of course, he needs you and then the irresistible charm would come pouring in and no one would be able to say no.
Companion Possibilities: As a Time Lord con man, the doctor needs some patsies to accompany him and they have to be completely clueless. Perhaps he could take in a nice young naive married couple that he would regularly use and humiliate to achieve his goals which are noble, so his methods are often overlooked and forgiven? The would continue until the patsy companions literally get sick of his shit and demand to leave.
Recommendation #4: Dominique Monaghan
Dominique Monaghan is no stranger to the world of science fiction and fantasy. Already, he’s well known to fanboys for his role in The Lord of the Rings movies and the American TV show, Lost.
It’s not hard to imagine Dom walking out of the Tardis to do battle with a garrison of Cybermen because, physically, he’s odd enough looking to pull off the alien part of the doctor while, at the same time, he’s handsome enough to charm the ladies and John Barrowman, of course.
Signature Look: Well, he would be short, that’s for sure. The Dom Doctor would be defined by his facial hair as the only doctor to sport a beard. (Hey, the look works for Monaghan, so why mess with it?) The Dom Doctor would also be the most casual of the lot, spending his time in T-Shirts and shorts.
Personality: The Dom Doctor is the doctor that just doesn’t give a fuck. Not to say that he doesn’t care enough to right injustice or kick a Sontaran in the balls when needed, but he does it with a very reserved personality. From an outsider’s point of view, it may seem like the 12th Doctor isn’t overtly concerned with anything, but those close to him know that there is careful calculations going on in his head. He is the most devilishly clever of all his incarnations.
Companion Possibilities: The Dom Doctor should be paired with someone beautiful and Amazonian. The height difference would be a running gag through the Dom Doctors run on the series. This companion could be completely over her head in almost every situation, contrasting with the new doctor’s comfort in quietly figuring everything out.
Recommendation #5: John Cleese
I’m just going to out and say it: We should not be afraid of making the Doctor old again! There are plenty of reasons why the Doctor should regenerate older every now and then and, to tell you the truth, I’m getting a little weary of Doctor sex appeal being pushed on the audience.
So, yeah… let’s return to the early years when the Doctor was a cranky old bastard and let’s give the role to British legend, John Cleese. The man has already appeared in the classic Doctor Who episode, “City of the Dead,” so let’s give him the sonic screwdriver and allow him to do what John Cleese does – be fucking awesome.
Signature Look: Go back to the Edwardian look they tried out with the 8th Doctor and give it a touch of the 21st century. Perhaps this could be the first doctor with an iPad or an iPhone? This doctor also needs a cane and, after seeing “Let’s Kill Hitler,” it needs to be a sonic cane.
I’m also going to throw this out there, but it’s time for old Bessie to make a comeback. That’s right, let’s see the return of the Whomobile! Remember, Cleese is old and can’t very well walk around everywhere by himself!
Personality: The Cleese Doctor is wise and reserved with a sarcastic and dry British wit.
Basically… John Cleese.
Now the Doctor is more of a grandfather type figure who is reluctant to take on “strays” (he doesn’t call them companions) but realizes that he wouldn’t have it any other way (not that he would admit it). Just don’t touch the bloody control panel!
Companion Possibilities: Go young with the Cleese Doctor’s companions. Perhaps a brother and sister ages 13 and 15 (and a hot babysitter who’s along for the ride). The dramatic age difference would play out as a great homage to the first doctor.
Recommendation #6: Alan Cumming
From his role as the superhero Nightcrawler in X2 to his role as a slimy music producer in Josie and the Pussycats, Alan Cumming has proven himself one of the most versatile and underappreciated actors of our age and, so, I propose we give this man the keys to the Tardis and let him give it a spin.
If nothing else, it will keep him away from projects like The Smurfs or Son of the Mask where he is completely wasted.
Also, like Tovey, very… very gay*.
*All right, he’s bi. Dammit, people, stop writing me!
Signature Look: The Cumming Doctor… Wait, that sounds totally wrong.
The Alan Doctor would be the Willy Wonka of the doctors, not wearing the patchwork nightmare of the 6th Doctor, but something tastefully colorful none the less. Perhaps a rotating assortment of bright primary colored suits with different colored shirts and ties to go with them? You know what? Let’s put a question mark tie tack on him and complete the look.
What the hell… He’s showy!
Personality: Like I said, he’s the Willy Wonka of the doctors, so he’s whimsical, more than a little creepy, and always thinking ten steps ahead of everyone else. More than anything, this is a doctor who cares very deeply for those he loves and, for that reason, he makes those he loves very uncomfortable.
Companion Possibilities: For some reason, I picture a mother and son duo to team up with the Cumming Doctor (dammit, I did it again). Perhaps to protect the son, the doctor kidnaps them both and the mother is continually trying to sneak away for help (You’ve got to help me, my son and I have been kidnapped by a Technicolor peedo!)
Recommendation #7: Chiwetel Ejiofor
Another recommendation from the universe of Firefly, Chiwetel Ejiofor first entered my notice as the Operative in Serenity and as Helmsley in the hilarious comedy, 2012.
In case you haven’t noticed, he’s also black.
For some reason, the very idea that the doctor can regenerate into a black guy has been a source of controversy for a while just like I’m sure that giving them equal rights and the Emancipation Proclamation is still apparently a source of contention for some people. Now, they say that their opinion has nothing to do with race… which I say, of course, bullshit.
Besides, Doctor Who was kind enough to answer the question of a race-switch recently as a black person regenerated into a white person, so it should be a non-issue. Just as I stated with Alan Tyduk, it’s not a question of nationality or color, it’s a question of the actor and, in this guy’s case, it’s a non-issue. He would be an awesome Doctor.
Signature Look: Despite what you may think, being black is simply not enough of a signature look.
He needs something that would really set him apart and I actually think that this Doctor could pull off the sophisticated Edwardian look of William Hartnell or Paul McGann. Throw him some spectacles and a pocket watch, and you would have a look decidedly non-black and more worldly just as the Doctor should be.
Personality: The Ejio… The Ej… The Ejo… (How the hell do you pronounce…?)
The Black Doctor is calm, collected, intelligent, and smooth. If Matt Smith is a frothy fizzy drink with umbrellas and sparklers in it, our new doctor is a glass of ice water. He has a pleasant personality and a hypnotizing charm about him.
Even though I’m getting sick of the theme, this is the doctor everyone wants to fuck.
Companion Possibilities: Rather than get into another Rose/Martha/Amy situation where the doctor is continually lusted after, why not have this doctor take in a male companion?
Not for that reason, perverts.
Someone young and street-smart in a way that augments the doctor’s vast but unpersonable knowledge. I would actually propose to pair the new Doctor with a stereotypical troubled black American male and play off the differences between the two making them The Odd Couple in space… drastically different personalities, but an amazing team when united.
This would also be a perfect opportunity for the show to address issues of race without clubbing people over the head with them as Doctor and Companion affect each other and take away the best of each other.
Not that way, perverts.
Recommendation #8: Adian Turner
Adian Turner is the second actor from Being Human I am recommending, but for completely different reasons than his co-star. Where Russell Tovey emanates humanity, Adian Turner emanates something else that fans have been asking for — darkness.
Signature Look: Dark. Very very dark.
Some fans have been clamoring for a darker and somewhat more abrasive version of the Doctor and so, the Turner incarnation would be decked out in all black all the time. You would never see a shred of color on the man at all.
Personality: Dark. Very very dark.
The Turner Doctor is impatient, unfriendly, and wants to be alone. The signature traits of the doctor are there: his needs to right wrongs and the like, but much like the early days of the 9th doctor, he’s not exactly going to offer the bad guy a hand if they’re about to fall into a flaming pit of their own making. He’s perfectly fine letting the bad guys burn.
If it sounds harsh, I’m actually modeling him after the first doctor’s personality in the first version of “An Unearthly Child.”
Companion Possibilities: The companion this time around would exist for one reason only and that is to attempt to soften the dark doctor up. Unlike the 9th doctor, however, this one has chosen his path and continues to walk it even though he does maintain a reserved level of adoration for his passenger(s).
Just don’t touch my sodding console!
Recommendation #9: Juliet Aubrey
Just like all of the “Doctor turning black” questions were put to bed this season, so was the big question: could the Doctor regenerate into a woman? The answer was yes and so, the floodgates are open. The Doctor can become a chick and, if he does, I think she should be played by Juliet Aubrey, late of BBC’s Primeval where she played the vicious and evil Helen Cutter.
Again, it’s not about nationality, color, or gender — in the end, the Doctor transcends all of that. It’s all about the doctor’s romanticism and intellect overcoming cynicism and violence. Should it matter that the Doctor now has a nice pair of boobs?
Signature Look: She should be topless. All the time.
Barring that, this should be a regeneration that the doctor has a very hard time with. Even though she has always known that a female regeneration was possible, she should be completely unprepared for it to the point of denial. She could dress herself in men’s clothing, attempt a butch haircut, and even deny she’s female… all for comedy.
As the series continues and she becomes more comfortable in her new skin, she would branch out and become more feminine.
Personality: This would be the first time that the Doctor regenerated into a woman, so the key word would be awkward. The Aubrey Doctor would be completely clueless to her own sexuality or how to use it to her advantage. She would have to be a tomboy for a while, until she got used to having tits and stuff.
Companion Possibilities: The best way this could work is to have a companion hold over from the time the doctor was male. Could you imagine the uncomfortableness of Amy trying to teach the new doctor to be feminine while Rory suddenly found himself attracted to the person he thought was going to take his wife? All while the doctor has no clue?
Also, the Tardis would have to be crashed into something. You know, because she’s a woman.
Recommendation #10: Rupert Grint
There’s been one thing that the Doctor has been begging of whatever gods Time Lords happen to pray to and that is to become a ginger. Why the Doctor wants to become one without a soul is unclear to me, but he’s done so much good for the universe, what with helping it not end and everything, that I think it’s time to give him what he wants.
Not only should the 12th Doctor be a ginger, but he should become the God of Gingers. The recipient of the super secret Ginger salute… Rupert Grint.
We all know Rupert! He’s Ronald Weasley, the best friend of Harry Potter! Anything else he’s done has been eclipsed by a great big ginger sun thanks to this role…
…at least until now.
Signature Look: Aside from his overwhelming gingerness, the new Doctor needs to become as anti-Ron as possible. Having Rupert Grint on the show would no-doubt cause a tidal wave of Potterheads to jump on board which would be brilliant, but they would have be be shown as quickly as possible that this is not Harry Potter.
The Grint doctor strikes me as the youngest of the lot and, therefore, he would have to be the most spoiled rebellious punk of the bunch. Why not play off that look with torn jeans and t-shirts? Why not give him a pierced nose or a tattoo?
Personality: As with the look, we have to establish that this is not Ron’s personality either. I think that the Grint Doctor would be super duper confident to the point that people mistake it for arrogance which it kind of is, actually. No one expects this snot-nosed young shit to be as smart as he is and so he is constantly getting underestimated.
The problem is that Grint Doctor is so far up his own ass that he’s wearing spelunking gear. He is also condescending to everyone which, given his young appearance, puts even more people off. The Doctor has no clue he’s doing this and, even if he did, he probably wouldn’t care.
Companion Possibilities: You would need someone who is a genuine explorer to the point that she or he can actually stand to be around the arrogant and childish doctor. This person would also have to school the doc in manners and social grace as he appeared to regenerate out of them.