STARBURST’s Top Ten Tips for the Next DOCTOR WHO

PrintE-mail Written by J. R. Southall

The Mirror earlier this week published a rather gossipy article, under the catchy headline Doctor Who due a major shake-up as bosses aim for 'brand new show' in 2018, suggesting that the powers that be at the BBC are so disturbed at the downward trend in merchandising sales they are unwilling to countenance incoming showrunner Chris Chibnall moving forward with the show, with Peter Capaldi and Pearl Mackie in place as the Doctor and his companion.

Instead, an “insider” insists a “source” has claimed, “BBC management wants a return to the format from the David Tennant era, when you had a dashing male lead and young female companion.”

In the spirit of lending a helpful hand, and not at all in a clickbaity sort of a way, STARBURST Magazine would like to help Chibnall and his bosses narrow down the search for a new leading man, by presenting our Top Ten Potential New Doctor Whos...


There’s nothing to say the hot and “dashing” younger actor the BBC cast in Doctor Who couldn’t be cast in the companion role, so why not switch genders and have Olivia Colman as the Doctor herself? She’s talented and funny and most importantly, she has previous experience with incoming showrunner Chris Chibnall, having played the female lead in his runaway success Broadchurch. That’s the kind of conspiracy of connectivity that money can’t buy, with the added bonus that Colman has previously appeared in the series too, allowing Chibnall to write a scene somewhere down the line in which it’s explained that the reason the Doctor chose this face was because his subconscious was telling him that getting somebody else to dub in all of Colman’s lines (thus avoiding having to use her East Anglian accent) was going to be a good thing.



Having already been cast as Doctor Who, albeit not being able to take up the role at the time and thus having to watch somebody else play the part you knew you were right for, didn’t stop Brian Blessed going on to have a highly successful and very noisy career back in 1966, but for Paterson Joseph the past five or so years haven’t yielded anything of the quality of I, Claudius or, um, Flash Gordon. So what better way to kick-start the Survivors remake actor’s career than by finally stepping into the TARDIS after all? It would certainly allow the Peep Show actor to get one up on his Peep Show co-star Olivia Colman, if the next Doctor was to be the first black Doctor rather than the first woman Doctor.




34-year-old Eddie Redmayne comes with a pre-existing fervent female fanbase – the “Get Reddy Eddies” or something they call themselves – so how better to return Doctor Who to the kind of screaming fangirl successes of the late noughties than by casting an actor who doesn’t just get the girls going, but has also been known to get going as a girl himself? In fact, you could appeal to all sorts of demographics (and mess with the old school fan hive mind no end) by getting Eddie to play the Doctor in drag – or even as a woman, which would satisfy those craving a cross-gender regeneration while appeasing those who’d be most likely to put their boots through their television sets if a woman was ever cast in the role.



If it’s young the BBC want, why not plump for the 17-year-old voice of Eggs in The Boxtrolls? Hempstead Wright’s genre credentials extend from horror flick The Awakening to the mighty Game of Thrones, and he’s even been in Family Guy. Plus, he looks great in brainy-specs (a pre-requisite for the younger Doctor) and his hair is easily floppy enough to feel at home in the TARDIS without having to go the way of Paul McGann and his expensive vinyl hairpiece.



If it’s hot the BBC want, they couldn’t possibly get much hotter than Battlestar Galactica’s Tricia Helfer, the extremely hot Cylon who Brit actor James Callis’ Gaius Baltar got the hots and nearly lost the plot for. Yup, if British Baltar can get the hots for hot Trish, there’s no reason the rest of the British public can’t follow suit. The possible downside is, of course, that being both a woman and American, 42-year-old Canadian Helfer would likely raise the ire of online fandom. But since when has the prospect of that not actively encouraged the Corporation to make a controversial casting decision?



Back in the 1970s, Tom Baker often attempted to persuade the producers of Doctor Who that he could play the Doctor with a talking cabbage for a companion. Casting Daniel Radcliffe, the principal star of perhaps the biggest fantasy film series of the last two decades, as the Doctor might achieve many things – including bringing the programme the kind of phenomenal success that the Harry Potter films enjoyed – and indeed Hammer Films even cast Radcliffe in The Woman in Black in an attempt to revive their own flagging franchise. But needing to cast a talking cabbage as the companion wouldn’t be one of them.



Grandpa Pig actor David Graham might be in his 90s, but perhaps the BBC might reconsider a younger, hotter Doctor in favour of an older, wiser one, potentially with a younger, hotter couple acting as a pair of companions rather than just the one? After all, Graham’s television experience takes in both Parker and Brains in Thunderbirds, and he was recently the voice of the Wise Old Elf in Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom, surely a dry run for becoming the Doctor if ever there was one. And if any more persuasion were needed, Graham was also one of the original Dalek voices back in 1963, which would certainly please the fans if not the BBC itself.



She’s already returned to the series once, in her co-star David Tennant’s last series as the Doctor in 2008, and she returned to the series once again as something called “The Moment” in the anniversary year of 2013 – so it’s not like she’s shy of coming back and it’s not like she hasn’t already come back in a role other than the one that made her really famous. In fact, her first return opposite Catherine Tate was entirely based around the character of Rose ignoring the rules and breaking through from an alternative universe, so Piper’s casting as the Doctor pretty much writes itself.



After a summer of sordid scandal-making, Johnny Depp’s currency among the film studios is likely to be in a sharp decline. However, his potency among female viewers of a certain tender age is probably still pretty high, so what better coup for the BBC than to persuade the Deppster into spending a couple of years in Wales making television on sixty-hour weeks instead of continuing with the movies? It’s an offer the 53-year-old star of Cry-Baby, Dead Man, and Corpse Bride and friend of notoriously anglophile and goth-devotee director Tim Burton would be unlikely to refuse.



Let’s face it, it’s what both the BBC and the fans really want, isn’t it?


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0 #3 J.R. Southall 2017-01-31 17:06
Quoting Peter:
Not even a serious contender - well maybe Paterson Joseph but Billie Piper & Johnny Depp... Really

You weren't taking the article and list too seriously, were you?
0 #2 Peter 2017-01-31 11:59
Not even a serious contender - well maybe Paterson Joseph but Billie Piper & Johnny Depp... Really
+3 #1 Andy 2016-11-18 18:44
If you're not going to take this seriously....

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