Matt Smith Quits Doctor Who: Who Should Replace Him?

As expected, Matt Smith has called time on his stint as The Eleventh Doctor. He’s now free to explore other career opportunities like  playing Chet Baker or Ted Hughes.

As the rumour mill goes into overdrive and Doctor Who casting director Andy Pryor digs in for a deluge of unwanted advice on Twitter, who does the TVClaw crowd think would be a good replacement?


In an unexpected twist, John Hurt popped up as ‘The Doctor’ at the end of the Series/Season 7 Finale. Will it be his face morphing into Matt Smith’s?

Up until now, the Doctor Who powers that be have shied away from hiring big names to play The Doctor, and the role will more than likely go to a thirty-something British character actor.

However, with a new executive producer on-board and the show’s continuing success stateside, it’s possible that BBC America and BBC Worldwide will pile on the pressure to cast a big name. And/or an American actor? (Calm down, Ben Browder fans, it won’t be him. Or will it? He does have his own sonic screwdriver after all.)

Back in March 2012, Pryor said that while he’d never hire someone purely because he or she was American, he did admit that he’d “love to get Philip Seymour Hoffman” for Doctor Who. While it’s doubtful that the Oscar-winner would be willing to undertake the gruelling Who workload, he may now be looking for something to occupy himself post-rehab.

Helen Mirren previously said that she’d love to have a stab at the role, but we still think she was joking.

Russell Tovey and Rupert Grint are current bookies’ favourites to take on the role, but Tovey’s already played a pivotal Doctor Who role: remember Alonso? (This double jeopardy scenario should also apply to Homeland star David Harewood who played Joshua Naismith in “The End of Time“.)

All grown-up now from the Harry Potter moppet he used to be, Grint would be a popular choice on both sides of the Atlantic, but has he got the charisma to carry off the role? (Plus, it’s not like he needs the money.) A better fit from the Potter franchise would be Neville Longbottom, a.k.a. Matthew Lewis.

In the absence of hard news let’s speculate wildly, try not to cry when remembering how awesome David Tennant was, and compile our own wishlist (in order of preference) for who we’d like to see as The Twelfth Doctor. Add your picks in Comments.

The TVClaw Doctor Who Casting Wishlist

Eddie Izzard: The Doctor in nail varnish! What’s not to love? This is the perfect role for the future Mayor of London.

Idris Elba: okay, so Elba is still the TVClaw first choice to be the new Roj Blake. However, after chatting about this on Twitter with ace novelist and former Doctor Who writer Ben Aaronovitch, we agree that playing The Doctor would allow Elba to display the whimsy that often underpins his performances.

James Callis: the natural successor to the irascible, frightening, comical, utterly bonkers Doctors of the 1960s and 1970s. Callis effortlessly combines humour and eccentricity with an undertone of menace.

Jack Davenport: Elba’s erstwhile Ultraviolet co-star has time on his hands now that Smash has finally been put out of its misery cancelled. He’s a big name on both sides of the Atlantic and is not averse to committing to a heavy TV workload. Plus, he’s worked with Steven Moffat before, on Coupling.

Minnie Driver: in the unlikely event that the Twelfth Doctor was to be a woman, then this is the woman we want to see playing her. She’d be a funny, kick-ass kind of Doctor.

Tom Hiddleston: it’s unlikely that he’d give up his burgeoning movie career to revisit TV, but he’d be a good fit for the role in a  Hartnell-esque way.

John Hurt: if Moffat et al. are moving towards The Doctor ending his life cycle, then it makes sense to have an older actor play him. Hurt’s certainly got the acting chops, and would be a great contrast to Smith’s youth, but would an old Doctor put off newly acquired viewers?

Harrison Ford: he wouldn’t do it of course, but wouldn’t he be totes amazeballs as The Doctor?



4 thoughts on “Matt Smith Quits Doctor Who: Who Should Replace Him?

    1. Hugh Laurie would be fantastic as The Doctor but I can’t see him agreeing to it. Plus, I can’t see him and Jenna-Louise Coleman working together. Lenny Henry would just be too smug and annoying unless he gets Bob Carolgees and Spit the Dog in as the new companions.

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