Who should play The Doctor? That is the question that has nerds across the world all in a tizzy. Article after article lists people’s guesses as to who will get the nod. What’s funny is that most of the articles list only super-famous people who I think would almost be too distracting. The great thing about Doctor Who is that the man playing the role has no baggage from previous jobs.
Rupert Grint as The Doctor? No way. The role should NOT go to a Weasley. And I say that as someone who loved Grint as Ron Weasley. But seriously, would YOU be able to get over the fact that The Doctor was being played by a Weasley?
Other names thrown around include Idris Elba, James Nesbitt, Helen Mirren, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Russell Tovey (which, for me, is another NO NO NO because he’s ALONZO, for heaven’s sake!).
No, I think The Doctor should be relatively unknown, or someone that, when you first hear his name you say, “Who is HE?” and the response you get is, “He’s the guy – the one in that thing. You know, the guy in the thing.” After all, who really knew who Matt Smith was before he was cast, other than his mother and a few co-workers he had back in the day?
So here are a few of my picks, in no particular order. And yes, all are from the UK:
See? You don’t know who he is, do you? His name is just generic enough that you don’t quite know. Well, let me remind you. He was Prince Caspian in the “The Chronicles of Narnia” movie. He’s not necessarily a household name, and he’s done a nice mix of action (“Narnia”) and drama (“Dorian Grey”). He’s done TV before (early in his career) and despite filming movies even now, I think he might be an interesting pick.
Another one of those “huh? names. But fans of “The Vampire Diaries” know exactly who Joseph Morgan is. As Klaus on “Diaries” he brings a proper amount of menace and vulnerability while others around him sometimes chew the scenery. The writing for Klaus isn’t always good, but Morgan never disappoints. His character has become one of my favorites because he’s one of the few that has depth bcause of the man playing the role.
Gruffudd is more well-known due to “Horatio Hornblower” and “Fantastic Four,” but people are unable to pronounce his name. Making him The Doctor will enable the entire world to finally know how to pronounce this Welshman’s name properly! Despite the slightly higher profile, I don’t think Gruffudd would bring baggage with him to the show and he’s just a really great actor.
I know the Doctors have been getting younger with each regeneration, but perhaps they can go older and grittier? Sure, he played Mad-Eye Moody in Harry Potter, but Gleeson is definitely a character actor. He’s done action (“28 Days Later”) and drama (“Cold Mountain”) and has proven himself to be a mix of tough and touching if the role calls for it. I think he’s the height of unconventional and could be really good.
If you don’t know this kid yet, you are in for some great movies. I recommend “Hugo,” “The Boy in Striped Pajamas” and “Son of Rambow.” Butterfield works as The Doctor if they are going to continue the trend of having each Doctor be younger than the next. Matt Smith was 29 when cast as The Doctor. Why not make the new Doctor aged 19? Imagine current companion Clara having to follow a Doctor who is closer in age to herself in appearance and yet nearly 1,000 years old. I think that could be an interesting dynamic to play with. Alas, Butterfield is no doubt going to become huge once the upcoming “Ender’s Game” is released, and I doubt they’d even consider him just because he is so young.
Another choice should they go older. Another character actor like Gleeson, Dance almost always plays roles who are villains, and does it quite well. Tennant and Smith both hinted at a much darker Doctor – imagine what Doctor Dance could do! It’s a shame he’s on “Game of Thrones” right now, because I think he’d make an outstanding Doctor.
Others I’d love to see (and whose names have been bandied about for the role), but I think they are too high profile, include Martin Freeman (who has had a great couple of years with “Sherlock” and “The Hobbit”), Richard Armitage (“The Hobbit, “MI-5”), Tom Hiddleston (“Thor”), Tom Hardy (“Inception”), and Paul Bettany (“The DaVinci Code, “Master and Commander”). Before he was cast as this year’s Superman, I’d have said Henry Cavill would be a great choice, even though, to be honest, I don’t think The Doctor should be so in-your-face good looking.