Peter Capaldi confirmed what many have suspected for some time, that he is stepping down from the role of ‘Doctor Who’ after the upcoming tenth season.  Capaldi became the Twelfth Doctor in 2014 and the upcoming season, which is tentatively slated to begin on April 15, 2017, will be his third.  Plans are in place for Capaldi to relinquish his role in this year’s Christmas Special.

Now comes the question of who should take over and in the show’s native England, bookies are already taking bets.

Tinseltown / Shutterstock, Inc.
Tinseltown / Shutterstock, Inc.

The frontrunner is currently Ben Wishaw, an actor best known for portraying Q in the most recent 007 movies.  He also received acclaim for his depiction of ‘Hamlet’ onstage and has appeared in some pretty prestigious films, including playing Herman Melville in ‘In The Heart of the Sea’ and Henrik in ‘The Danish Girl’.  He also voiced ‘Paddington’ in the live action film based on the beloved children’s book and starred on numerous TV shows including ‘The Hour’ and ‘London Spy’.  He also has a role in the upcoming ‘Mary Poppins Returns’.

Tinseltown / Shutterstock, Inc.
Tinseltown / Shutterstock, Inc.

Coming in slightly behind Wishaw, is Richard Ayoade best known for starring in ‘The IT Crowd’.  He has since appeared on sketch comedy show ‘Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy’ and has provided voices for various animated projects including the film ‘The Box Trolls’ and an update of 80s series ‘Danger Mouse’.  In the U.S., he was seen in the comedy ‘The Watch’ alongside Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill.

Ayoade would of course be a landmark choice, making him the first Doctor of color.  But others are hoping the producers make another unexpected choice– a woman.  And among those voicing that opinion is Billie Piper, who starred on ‘Doctor Who’ for three series as Companion Rose Tyler, one of the most popular Companions in the show’s history.

“I’ve always supported the original format but I don’t know where they can go from here,” she revealed, noting that it would “feel like a snub” to not introduce a female Doctor.

“I think it would be great [to have a female Doctor] given the spirit of the world at the moment. I think it would be timely.”

However, Piper is busy starring in a stage play ‘Yerma’, which she will continue through the summer. When asked if she might consider taking on the role of The Doctor, she seemed hesitant saying:

“I don’t know.  It’s a lot of work. It would be a lot of time in Cardiff.”

Plus, it might be confusing since she was already Rose and therefore has already made her own imprint on the legacy of the show.

Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock, Inc.
Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock, Inc.

The woman that the bookies have given their best odds to is comedian Miranda Hart, former star of her own series ‘Miranda’.  She was also a regular cast member of ‘Call the Midwife’.  American audiences may recognize her from the Melissa McCarthy comedy ‘Spy’.


Departing showrunner, Steven Moffat himself has said, “I think the next time might be a female Doctor. I don’t see why not.”

Olivia-Colman-BroadchurchHowever, with Moffat’s departure, Chris Chibnall will be taking over as and that has inspired some fans.  See, Chibnall has been working for several season on ‘Broadchurch’ which stars the former Tenth Doctor David Tennant (who happens to be one of the Doctors Piper/Rose accompanied).  ‘Broadchurch”s female lead is Olivia Colman and many are eyeing her as a great choice to replace Capaldi.

In 2014, Michelle Gomez became the first female regeneration of The Doctor’s nemesis The Master, who goes by Missy.  If fans can accept a female Master, can they also take a shine to a female Doctor?

Other female actors that fans and bookies are looking to are Helena Bonham Carter, Alexandra Roach, Jennifer Saunders, Sheridan Smith, Sophie Okonedo, Tilda Swinton, Helen Mirren, Sarah Lancashire and Katherine Kelly.

Of course many of the options listed, male and female, are highly successful film stars, so fat chance there.  At least when it comes to the last four, The Doctor is typically NOT a face that is already highly recognizable.  And rightly so, as celebrities carry too much baggage.  I mean, has Hugh Grant (at 1/50 odds) ever played anyone other than HUGH GRANT in a movie?!

But anyway, here is the full bookie listing, courtesy of Ladbrokes:

  • Ben Whishaw 5/1
  • Richard Ayoade 6/1
  • Rory Kinnear 7/1
  • Miranda Hart 8/1
  • Jason Flemyng 9/1
  • David Harewood 10/1
  • Helena Bonham Carter 10/1
  • Alexander Vlahos 12/1
  • Daniel Rigby 12/1
  • Olivia Colman 14/1
  • Michael Sheen 14/1
  • Idris Elba 16/1
  • Chiwetel Ejifor 16/1
  • Russell Tovey 16/1
  • Ben Daniels 20/1
  • Alexandra Roach 20/1
  • Jennifer Saunders 20/1
  • Sheridan Smith 20/1
  • Sophie Okonedo 25/1
  • Tilda Swinton 25/1
  • Helen Mirren 25/1
  • Hugh Bonneville 25/1
  • Sarah Lancashire 25/1
  • Eddie Redmayne 25/1
  • Phillip Glenister 25/1
  • David Mitchell 33/1
  • Keeley Hawes 33/1
  • James Corden 50/1
  • Hugh Grant 50/1
  • Katherine Kelly 50/1
  • Damian Lewis 50/1

James Corden?  Will there be karaoke parties aboard The TARDIS?  Because I might tune in just for that!

Place your bets!  Who do you want to see take over after Peter Capaldi leaves?  Would you like to see a person of color or a female take on the iconic role?

Sources: BBC, Independent