Jodie Whittaker is Doctor no more. Well, she’s actually very Doctor for the next year and a half, but with today’s shock announcement that both she and current showrunner Chris Chibnall will be departing Doctor Who by the end of 2022, we’ve come to the time-honoured tradition of dreaming buck wild over who could replace her (while being completely ignorant of how the BBC, most importantly its budget, actually works).
Ever since the news broke this morning, we’ve asked editors and writers at Gizmodo to come up with their own hopes and dreams for the 14th Doctor, whether they’re Doctor Who diehards (me, Jill Pantozzi) or Whovian neophytes (pretty much the rest of the staff, it’s fine, there’s too much TV to watch anyway). What follows is our list, so, I don’t know, do what all good Doctor Who fans do — harshly judge us and get loud about it in the comments?
“Oh that Loki, it’s just like Doctor Who but Marvel, innit,” people who’ve never seen a second of Doctor Who in their lives said as Tom Hiddleston and his many multiversal selves jaunted across Disney+ for a month and half. But you know how you’d make Loki actually feel a little more Doctor Who? You take Wunmi Mosaku, criminally underutilized as Hunter B-15 in the Marvel series, and you give her the keys to the TARDIS.
She knows a thing or two about taking on the legacy of a ginormous sci-fi icon with a legion of ever-demanding, sometimes loving, sometimes bonkers fans. She knows a thing or two about starring in some pretty duff sci-fi shenanigans, too (we say it with love). Hell, a lightsaber is basically a meaner sonic screwdriver — they both open doors, from a certain point of view.
What is a Doctor’s relationship with their past incarnations if not an extended episode of Sense8 anyway? Desai’s debut as Kala in the the mind-bending Netflix series gave us plenty of promise; we’d love to see her tackle a role like the Doctor.
Turns out Star Wars is chock full of potential Doctor Who stars, and thanks to Attack the Block, Boyega has the bonus of a) knowing Jodie Whittaker well, and b) being very good at running around British council estates to avoid being killed by aliens. That’s basically a Doctor Who resume, right there.
Dame Harriet Walter
Walters may have just recently appeared as the ill-fated British politician Jo Patterson in this year’s “Revolution of the Daleks” — in which she gave us the wonderful image of a Prime Minister being zapped by Daleks on the steps of 10 Downing Street — but when has being a guest actor on Doctor Who stopped you from becoming the Doctor before?
Speaking of Doctor Who guest stars as the Doctor, imagine this twist: after everything the 13th Doctor and Dhawan’s Master went through with each other during season 12, what if, after his seeming demise on Gallifrey, as the Doctor regenerates, she thinks of her long-time frenemy and finds herself regenerating into his likeness? What if people think the Doctor is the Master? How would they feel having taken the Master’s face? Do I just want an excuse for more Sacha Dhawan? So many questions, so little time.
Dame Judi Dench
I can’t tell which version of Judi Dench I’d want in the TARDIS more, something akin to her time as M in the Bond franchise, or just like Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Judi Dench. She could be either. She could do both! Time Lords have layers.
Look, I just want justice for the fact that Henwick never got to be the true Iron Fist we wanted on Netflix’s up-and-down Marvel adaptation, nor did she get to return as X-Wing ace Jess Pava after The Force Awakens.
Golding may have hoped that Snake Eyes could be his next big action franchise, but given that it hit theatres with all the boom of, well, a very quiet ninja, maybe he could pivot to time travel?
Ah, if only Neil Gaiman hadn’t nabbed her for Death on Netflix’s Sandman adaptation already. Maybe we could get him to write for Doctor Who again if Gaiman and the stream let the BBC borrow her for a few seasons in Time and Space?
Bonus Round: Michelle Yeoh, Because Michelle Yeoh Should Be In Everything
I mean, come on. She’s got Star Trek. She’s in a Marvel. She’s doing The Witcher. Disney are too busy being cowards to have not yet cast her as some piratical smuggler queen in Star Wars or something. Let Michelle Yeoh kick a Dalek, even if the Doctor is meant to generally be against kicking things, even the Daleks. It would be very funny.
Anyway, those are our outlandish dream picks. Who do you want to be Doctor Who’s 14th Doctor? Go wild with your suggestions in the comments below!