While it has yet to be confirmed, there are rumors that Jodie Whittaker – the first actress to take on the title role in Doctor Who – might be stepping down from the character after the upcoming thirteenth season. With Whittaker possibly stepping down from the show, fans have been theorizing who could potentially be the next Doctor. One rumor says that one of the front-runners could be Himesh Patel, who was recently seen in the Christopher Nolan film, Tenet.
Himesh Patel has been a known actor in the U.K., but is just now starting to become well-known in the United States over the last few years. Patel was on the BBC One series EastEnders from 2007 to 2016, as part of the main cast for 566 episodes. In 2019, Patel made his film debut as the star of Danny Boyle’s Yesterday, and then appeared in Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones film, The Aeronauts. Last year, Patel appeared in Tenet and as part of the main cast of Veep creator Armando Iannucci’s newest show, Avenue 5. He will next be seen in Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence, as well as the HBO Max miniseries adaptation of the book Station Eleven.
Over the last few years, Doctor Who has started to diversity in terms of who could play the Doctor. When picking the Twelfth Doctor, the show went with Peter Capaldi, who was the oldest actor to ever portray the character. With the casting of Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor, the show had its first female Doctor. Ever since David Tennant played the character for three seasons, all subsequent Doctors have only held on to the part for three seasons. The end of the upcoming thirteenth season would, in fact, be the third season for Whittaker.
But if the rumors are true over who will play the next Doctor, it looks as though Doctor Who is attempting to cast its first non-white Doctor. We Got This Covered recently mentioned another rumor that Daniel Kaluuya might be in discussions for the role, however, considering that Kaluuya has so many projects currently in the works, it seems unlikely the Get Out actor would have time. While Patel’s resume is quickly piling up with projects, it looks as though he would be a more valid guess for the part. Even Whoopi Goldberg supposedly wants consideration for the role. If these rumors are anything to go by, it looks like the castings of Peter Capaldi and Jodie Whittaker were just the first attempts at this show to diversify.
But maybe most important is that as of right now, Jodie Whittaker still hasn’t announced whether or not she will be returning after the thirteenth season. The actress has had to deal with a ridiculous amount of drama ugly responses to her casting, simply because she’s the first female to take on the role. While some have proclaimed that Whittaker’s casting was simply an example of “political correctness,” it also simply shows just how diverse and interesting Doctor Who can be when anyone can take on the character.