On “New Doctor” Anticipation

So, in about two hours, we’ll know. We’ll know who David Tennant’s replacement is. We’ll know who the next Doctor will be. 🙂

BBC News has a rundown of the leading contenders. Leading, as in, these are the people the bookies in the UK are talking about. As if bookies know anything.

The leading candidate is, of course, Paterson Joseph, of whom the BBC writes:

The actor is the bookmakers’ favourite to succeed Tennant.

If he lands the part, the 44-year-old will become the first ever black doctor.

I’m rather intrigued by the prospect of a black Doctor. The reason? Doctor Who could tackle racism head-on. Imagine a story set in colonial America during a slave rebellion, or in the antebellum South, or in South Africa during the Apartheid era, or in the South during the Civil Rights era, and the Doctor, by the dint of his skin color, is marked instantly as part of the oppressed minority and treated as such. It would be dark, even brutal, storytelling, and it would make a return to the historical and educational storytelling that marked the series’ early years, where the monsters didn’t have funny heads, the monsters were man himself.

On the other hand, we might end up with something like “Daleks in Manhattan,” which dealt with race in 1930’s New York City by simply ignoring it. :-/

At the very least, if Joseph or Chiwetel Ejiofor, another leading candidate, is cast, I imagine a half-dozen authors minimum will be e-mailing Justin Richards pitches for “black Doctor confronting racism” pitches for New Series Adventures in about two hours. It’s the natural story. 🙂

So, who would I cast? Thinking realistic choices… Stephen Fry would be on my shortlist. Alexander Siddig. Alan Davies. Rufus Sewell. An odd choice, perhaps, but Lee Pace of Pushing Daisies. Yeah, I’m thinking that the UK bookies aren’t thinking of any of my choices. 😆

Well, we’ll know soon enough.

ETA: It’s Matt Smith. All my speculations have gone out the window. 😆

ETA2: I’m going to recommend Stuart Ian Burns’ take on the casting. It’s measured, nuanced, optimistic, and he makes a point I made in the comments here — Steven Moffat and Piers Wenger know what they’re doing, so if they picked Matt Smith, they did so because they knew he was right.

Published by Allyn

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

6 thoughts on “On “New Doctor” Anticipation

  1. It’s Matt Smith. Twenty-six. Don’t know anything more than that. Here’s the BBC’s press release.

    As for Outpost Gallifrey… I understand the need for lockdown, to keep the servers from creaking under the load. However, yesterday’s lockdown seemed pointless and premature, and I think there was zero need for it. I was a bit angry about it, honestly. Yes, I could pony up money to pay for the privilege, but it’s not worth it to me.

  2. Same here. I used to be huge into Gallifrey One… but I don’t know, it seems to have changed. I visit every so often, but not enough to warrant paying for it.

    Who is Matt Smith? LOL We’ll see how he does, but the choice seems kind of… safe.

  3. “the choice seems kind of… safe”

    Really? You think the youngest Doctor ever, a virtual unknown, and not conventionally handsome is a safe choice?

    If he were ten years older and a bit handsomer and famous-er I’d worry that he was a Tennant clone and therefore the obvious kind of choice, but as is I think this is as daring in its way as a black or female Doctor.

  4. I have faith in the Moff. 🙂

    I don’t see Smith as a “safe” choice. (Sorry, Julio.) I suspect that Moffat was looking for something specific in the actors he auditioned. I’ve not seen the Confidential yet, but I’ve seen quotes that Smith came in with something new and daring that none of the actors auditioned had.

    I criticized Tennant when he was cast; he was an unknown, I hadn’t heard of him. Tennant proved me wrong, and it really took a Moffat episode – “The Girl in the Fireplace” – to make me say, “Only Tennant could have done that, Eccleston couldn’t.” I’ll admit that I was wrong in my initial negative reaction to Tennant, because he’s proven himself to be rather adept, and I’ve no doubt he’s going to be a tough act to follow.

    And that’s the thing. Everyone involved in the casting knew that Tennant was going to be a tough act to follow. Which meant that this choice was made carefully and with a great deal of thought. I don’t know anything about Smith. I don’t have to. That’s why Piers Wegner and Steven Moffat get paid to make the decisions. They decided on Smith, and that’s all I really need to know at this point.

    As I said, I have faith in the Moff. 🙂

  5. I’m very annoyed that Matt Smith has been chosen as the Next Doctor. I was sort-of hoping that we would have a female Doctor this time round (it would make things more interesting).

    I don’t know why, but Matt Smith riles me.

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