Doctor Who? BBC Reveals New Time Lord On Sunday

Catherine Lawson
Catherine Lawson

“The decision is made and the time has come to reveal who’s taking over the TARDIS. For the last of the Time Lords, the clock is striking twelve.”

Thus did Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat announce that the new Doctor will be unveiled to the world live on-air, Sunday 4 August.

It will be simulcast on BBC One in the UK, BBC America in the US and ABC in Australia.

According to a BBC press release, “The half-hour show will include live special guests, Doctors old and new, as well as companions and celebrity fans.”

By the end of the half hour white smoke will be billowing from the chimney of New Broadcasting House and Moffat will step out onto the balcony to declare, “HABEMUS MEDICUS!”

So, the all-important question is, who will play the Twelfth Doctor? Peter Capaldi may be the bookies’ favourite, but I’m not buying it.

Right now, in the absence of any hard evidence whatsoever, I’m going to speculate wildly and say: Tom Ellis.

No, the Miranda star didn’t make it onto the TVClaw Casting Wishlist, but his spooky drama pilot Gothica was passed over by ABC at the May upfronts and he seems to have cleared his other television commitments lately (something ex-EastEnders moppet Sean Maguire is rather grateful for).

Why Tom Ellis? He’s known (but not too well-known) to US audiences from his guest spots on Once Upon A Time, and his stint in short-lived BBC supernatural drama The Fades showed that he’s adept at playing roles other than eye candy. Diving into US pilot territory showed that he’s ambitious and keen to move out of Miranda‘s shadow. Plus, he’s Welsh so will obviously love filming back in Cardiff!

If not Ellis, then I’ll hedge my bets, go with the bookies’ picks and predict it will be one of: Daniel Rigby, Ben Daniels or Andrew Scott.

Am I right? Add your picks in Comments.

Stay tuned for updates!

Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor will air on BBC One, BBC America, ABC (Australia) on Sunday 4 August, 7pm BST

Check out the teaser trailer here.



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?


‘It’s Ghost Time!’ Doctor Who: ‘Hide’ Preview Clip


It’s Hammer Horror Time in Doctor Who this week.

The upcoming series/season 7 episode, ‘Hide,’ finds The Doctor and Clara in a posh house.

Cue thunderclaps, candelabras and a nervous-looking Dougray Scott. They’re on the trail of a ghost. Lady Grantham, if you’re there, rap three times on the table…

Come on Who fans, time to pull up (or jump behind) a sofa and watch the new preview clip, courtesy of the official Doctor Who website.

And as if that wasn’t enough, click over to RadioTimes and check out the latest sneak peek photos from the set of the Doctor Who 50th anniversary episode: Matt Smith, David Tennant, old-school TARDIS and a Zygon!

In the UK: Doctor Who airs Saturdays at 6.45pm on BBC One

In the US: Doctor Who airs Saturdays at 8pm ET on BBC America

Doctor Who Returns: Bells of St John Premiere Date, Steven Moffat Talks Spoonheads


Hey, Whovians, have you heard? Just when you’ll be at the end of your giving-stuff-up-for-Lent tether, a tasty treat: Doctor Who is back on Saturday 30 March.

As if that wasn’t enough excitement, showrunner Steven Moffat promises that in the Series/Season Finale, “the Doctor’s greatest secret will at last be revealed! If this wasn’t already our most exciting year it would be anyway!”

Series/Season 7 picks up again with “The Bells of St John,” a modern-day thriller set in London. Penned by Moffat it features such landmarks as The Eye of Sauron Shard, The Gherkin and Westminster Bridge.

And intriguing new villains, The Spoonheads,  will make their debut battling the Doctor (Matt Smith) as he discovers that something sinister is lurking in the Wi-Fi.

The episode also officially marks the debut of the Doctor’s newest companion, Clara Oswald (Jenna-Louise Coleman). Yes, yes, she’s already popped up twice now, but this time Moffat’s promised that this time she’s here to stay. (Or, at least, here for the next eight episodes.)

The rest of Doctor Who Series/Season 7 will bring some familiar (evil) faces with a new twist, and boasts an impressive line-up of guest stars including Richard E. Grant, Warwick Davies, Celia Imrie and Dougray Scott. Plus, the first-ever on-screen pairing of Diana Rigg and her daughter Rachael Stirling.

Here’s the gossip straight from The Moff himself: “It’s the 50th year of Doctor Who and look what’s going on! We’re up in the sky and under the sea! We’re running round the rings of an alien world and then a haunted house. There’s new Cybermen, new Ice Warriors and a never before attempted journey to the centre of the TARDIS. And in the finale, the Doctor’s greatest secret will at last be revealed! If this wasn’t already our most exciting year it would be anyway!”

Excited, much?

In the UK: Doctor Who premieres Saturday, March 30, on BBC One

In the US: Doctor Who  premieres Saturday, March 30, 8pm ET on BBC America

Doctor Who, The Angels Take Manhattan: Trailers

So that’s why they call New York the city that never sleeps …

As Doctor Who viewers brace themselves for Amy and Rory’s swansong, the BBC have released a number of trailers ahead of Saturday’s episode, which was shot on location in New York City.

The Weeping Angels at WhoCon

Say hello sweetie to River Song (Alex Kingston) as the Doctor and his companions face off against the Weeping Angels.

Steven Moffat wrote “The Angels take Manhattan” and, judging from the trailers, it promises to live up to what he told me about Series/Season 7 back in March 2012: “There’ll be utter heartbreaking tragedy to knock about, silly fun … But if you’re laughing one minute, expect to be crying in five minutes.”

The cast had their first read-through of “The Angels Take Manhattan” the night before I interviewed Matt Smith and Karen Gillan at WhoCon, and Gillan especially was very moved by the manner of the Ponds’ departure.

She wouldn’t tell me exactly what happens to Amy (natch), but said “I want her to go out in all her sort of glory.”

The trailers have echoes of the classic David Tennant–Carey Mulligan episode “Blink,” which saw the first outing of the Weeping Angels. Check out the way Amy seems to be reading or writing a letter a la Kathy Nightingale.

One fanmade trailer caught my eye. Made by angelsblink2, it is a superb piece of editing and scoring. Watch it and remember all the best bits of the Matt Smith–Karen GillanArthur Darvill triumvirate. (And yes, don’t they look young?)

So here’s the BBC1 trailer:

And here’s the BBC America trailer:

Doctor Who Series 7 airs in the UK on Saturdays on BBC1 (transmission times keep changing so check local listings).

Doctor Who Season 7 airs in the US on Saturdays, 9pm ET on BBC America.

Follow me on Twitter: @TVClaw

Doctor Who, The Power of Three Trailer: Rory’s Dad In The TARDIS

Welcome back, Brian Williams (not that one, US readers)! Your 15 minutes of Doctor Who fame is not yet up.

Yes, the sublime Mark Williams is back as Rory’s dad Brian for this week’s episode of Doctor Who, “The Power of Three.” (Could he be the new Wilf Mott?)

Brian is examining the curious black cubes that have been appearing, and he has a number of theories as to what they might be. “Very thorough, Brian.”

Calling Comic Relief: can we get a Donna Noble–Brian Williams spin-off? Please?

Here’s an earlier trailer, in which Rory and Amy ponder their disjointed lives. Rory says they must choose between their real life and their Doctor life. But can they?

Tune in Saturday for the latest episode written by Chris Chibnall. It looks good.

Doctor Who Series 7 airs in the UK on Saturdays on BBC1 (transmission times keep changing so check local listings).

Doctor Who Season 7 airs in the US on Saturdays, 9pm ET on BBC America.

Follow me on Twitter: @TVClaw

Doctor Who, A Town Called Mercy Trailers: BBC1 and BBC America

Doctor Who, “A Town Called Mercy” Trailers: BBC1 and BBC America.

This third episode of Doctor Who Series/Season 7 promises to be a-may-zing.

Shot on location in Almeria, Spain it used the same sets as Sergio Leone’s classic spaghetti westerns, and the promotional images pay clear homage to grumpy old man iconic poncho-wearer Clint Eastwood.

Snippets of the episode were featured in a trailer reel that showrunners Steven Moffat and Caro Skinner debuted at WhoCon back in March 2012, and there was more than a frisson of excitement when the crowd recognised guest star — and all-around sci fi god — Ben Browder (Farscape, Stargate SG-1).

The episode also features Adrian Scarborough, who was most recently seen playing Pritchard the butler in the rebooted Upstairs Downstairs.

The two trailers below are very similar, but there is a noticeable difference in tone. The one from BBC America is darker, and has more of an emphasis on action and heavy weaponry, whereas  the BBC1 trailer feels lighter and more comedic.

In a recent interview with SFX, Browder revealed that he’s long had a soft spot for Doctor Who: “Look, in my house, I have a TARDIS. It’s a small one, but I have a TARDIS. There’s a sonic screwdriver, too.”

Check out what writer Toby Whithouse told SFX about the inspiration behind “A Town Called Mercy”.

Doctor Who Series 7 airs in the UK on Saturdays, 7:35pm on BBC1.

Doctor Who Season 7 airs in the US on Saturdays, 9pm ET on BBC America.

Follow me on Twitter: @TVClaw