Another day, another rumour about the identity of Peter Capaldi's replacement on Doctor Who. But an intriguing new report from the Radio Times seems to offer a comprehensive update on Who's road to the 13th Doctor, and there are some new names in the mix.
Sources speaking to the Radio Times claim that previous heavily-rumoured frontrunner Kris Marshall — best known to UK audiences as the current, outgoing star of tropical police procedural series Death in Paradise and rumoured Capaldi-replacement practically since Capaldi announced his exit — may not be so certain to take on the comically-oversized mantle of Time Lord in Chris Chibnall's first season of Doctor Who. Instead, the site reports two new names who are in the race for the new Doctor: Luke Treadaway and Sacha Dhawan.
Treadaway as he appears in Fortitude, and Dhawan as Waris Hussein in An Adventure in Space and Time
Treadaway — purportedly a "leading name in the field" for the role — is best known for his role as Vincent Rattrey in the sci-fi thriller Fortitude, as well as an Olivier-Award-winning performance in the lead role of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time's stage play adaptation. Dhawan meanwhile has history with Doctor Who, having starred in the 2013 biopic An Adventure in Space and Time as Waris Hussein, one of the first directors to work on Doctor Who in 1963.
Although Dawan's consideration is intriguing simply for the sake of the fact a non-white actor is in still in contention for the role, disappointingly the Radio Times report also claims that a female Doctor is almost certainly off the cards, despite being "seriously considered" in early casting stages. Previously rumoured candidates Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Tilda Swinton, as well as comedian and Call the Midwife star Miranda Hart, were allegedly names mentioned before the decision to focus on a male lead was decided.
Honestly, for now, it's best to take all these reports with a pinch of salt. Although the casting process for Who's next Doctor has moved well beyond the initial phase of mass media hysteria suggesting every absurd name under the sun for the role, the journey to finding out just who will occupy the TARDIS next year is far from close to its end. This might not be as outlandish a report as previous ones, but even then its best to take all this news with a heaving dose of scepticism... at least until the next report comes along and we can start this all over again.