Doctor Who series 8: who should be the Twelfth Doctor?

The Interwebz are abuzz with speculation about who will be cast as the Twelfth Doctor when Matt Smith steps down in the 2013 Christmas special after four years playing the lead on Doctor Who.  Will we see our first black Doctor?  An Asian Doctor?  Our first woman—Joanna Lumley notwithstanding—Doctor?  Or will Steven Moffat again choose someone fresh-faced and a little bit obscure to step into the TARDIS for all new adventures in 2014?

In all likelihood, this person has already been cast, and is biding his (or her) time and biting his (or her) tongue until an official announcement is made.  In the meantime, here are my top five completely baseless and mostly random picks for the Twelfth Doctor.

Theo James

Theo James

Theo James is tall, good-looking, and has a dreamy voice—and since Golden Boy was canceled after just one season, he’s gonna need a new job.  At 28, he’s still older than Matt Smith was when he accepted the role, but my gut tells me we may see a return to a slightly older Doctor.

Josette Simon

Josette Simon

Josette Simon is probably most famous for playing Dayna Mellamby in series three and four of Blake’s 7, but she would be a bold and surprising choice for the Twelfth Doctor.  The actress will be 54 in 2014, and could bring a more mature and perhaps edgier performance to the show.  Josette would also be notable as the first black Doctor, as well as the first female Doctor.  (Sadly, I may be the only person in the world suggesting Josette for the role.)

Michelle Dockery

Michelle Dockery

Another dark horse candidate for the first woman Doctor, everyone knows Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley on Downton Abbey.  At first glance, Michelle might be a better choice to play Romana III, the so-called War Queen and Mistress of the Nine Gallifreys, but she has an ample and impressive body of work on television, in film, and on the stage.  I could easily see Michelle, who will be 32 later this year, at the helm of the TARDIS.

Chiwetel Ejiofor

Chiwetel Ejiofor

Chiwetel Ejiofor is at the top of everyone’s wishlist for the next Doctor, and with good reason.  He’s rugged, good-looking, and possesses an undeniable Doctor-ness.  He’ll be 36 in 2014, and with an impressive filmography under his belt, there’s no question that he would instantly take the role and run with it.

Henry Cavill

Henry Cavill

Perhaps the real question isn’t whether it’s time for a black Doctor or a woman Doctor, but whether it’s time for a Doctor with a full beard?  And bulging muscles?  Henry Cavill, currently starring as Superman in Man of Steel, could very easily take the controls of the TARDIS, as a beefier, more strapping incarnation of the Doctor.  At 30, Henry is still a little younger for the role, but did I mention beard and muscles?

What do you think?  Who are your top picks to play the penultimate incarnation of the Doctor?  Let me know in the comments below!

Daniel Lestarjette

Daniel is the owner and Managing Editor of Time and The – !. He's been a fan of Doctor Who since watching Tom Baker regenerate into Peter Davison on his local PBS station as a kid. He launched Time and The – ! in 2011 after having the bright (?) idea to watch every Doctor Who story from the beginning and blog about it. (Yeah, he's way behind.)

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  • Johan Corby

    These are actually some pretty inspired choices. I wouldn’t have gone with Josette Simon, mostly because I wouldn’t have thought of her. I think Chiwetel Ejiofor is probably a little too high profile (same thing with Henry Cavill), but a relative unknown like either one of them would do well, I think.