POLL: The Next New Doctor

by November 19th, 2008 - Polls » Entertainment » Culture » Film and TV »

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One of the tenants of the ever enduring cosmos of Doctor Who that make it just so enduring is the titular character’s ability to regenerate.

In the reality of the TV show, this means that should the Doctor be mortally injured, all of his cells die and are instantaneously regenerated causing the character to take on a whole new physical look and scrambling his brain just so as to change his personality. In this, you have a character who is immortal, but for whom danger still deposits a lump of coal in the heart of the audience should they lose the current Doctor to whom they have become so sentimentally attached.

In the reality of the entertainment business, this means you have an incredible franchise where you need not worry should the actor that plays the title character grow tiresome in the minds of the audience, grow restless of the commitment, or otherwise become unavailable. The show…necessarily…goes on.


Also brilliant…is the 10th Doctor played by David Tennant. His endless energy and quirky enthusiasm are what first introduced me to the show and were largely responsible for reestablishing the franchise as a real force in the world of Science Fiction.

Although tabloids and the like have been rumoring his departure since he arrived, they never truly held any weight until recently. With the departure of Russell T. Davies as series producer and a 2 years break between seasons, one began to wonder…and so to did David Tennant as he announced he will indeed be leaving the show after completing a handful of specials in the coming year.

The first of these specials, an installment of the annual Christmas variety, is to be titled The Next Doctor and co-stars David Morrissey as a character who purports to be the Doctor from a future regeneration. While this would be an interesting way to introduce the new Doctor, I tend to believe this to be a herring of the redder variety. There’s a history of this sort of trickery, most notably in last season’s The Doctor’s Daughter, the title of which was only accurate after a fashion, but not of a shocking variety.

Nonetheless…the day will soon come. While it is indeed sad to see David Tennant leaving the series, it is exciting as all hell to imagineer his replacement. In the mode of our age, there is a tendency to believe they will stick with a relatively young Doctor. However, incoming series producer Steven Moffat had been quoted years ago as saying the ideal doctor “…should be 40-plus and weird-looking — the kind of wacky grandfather kids know on sight to be secretly one of them.

To me, this would be a very welcome change, especially in light of the incomparable job that Tennant has done as a young Doctor. But there are other interesting angles to take, including the tempting theory that the Doctor, who has always been male, may regenerate into a female. Minds would explode. The backwards elderly of England may riot in the streets. Of course, after the dust settles we best have a fine actress in place to carry on for a few seasons.

Here, then, are my top choices of actors/actresses to play the 11th Doctor. All of them would be fully capable and amazing…except perhaps for me…but I’ll do it anyway.

Bill Nighy
If I could choose now, he would be my choice. An incredible actor with great versatility and a unique sense of humor and life. If an older Doctor is the order, he would produce something incredibly other than simply being someone crusty. I personally picture him very much as he is in his role as Slartibartfast in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy movie…a brilliant absent-mindedness…a quiet insanity. To put it another, more obscure way…he would be not unlike the 1st Doctor, William Hartnell, except for a bit…at least a dash more humor. However, given the fine actor he is, I should very much instead expect something more unexpected…yet still spectacular.

Sam Troughton
Sam Troughton is the grandson of my favorite Doctor, the 2nd, Patrick Troughton. I have not seen him in much, but he at least carries on his grandfather’s sunken eyes and a bit of his comedy as can be seen in the character of Much that he portray on BBC‘s current Robin Hood series. Of course, that commitment might rule him out…but I wish nonetheless for such a geekgasm to be produced from deep within me.

Sean Pertwee
This is along the same line as Sam Troughton. Sean is the son of Jon Pertwee who played the 3rd Doctor quite so masterfully. I know very little of him, but he shares not only his father’s line of work, but also his nose which is even rarer. A smaller geekgasm that seems increasingly inappropriate should the actor look so much like a previous incarnation.

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