Who is the new Doctor? Whoever they are, they're being auditioned as we speak!
This article is more than 2 years old
Among the most venerable science fiction, Doctor Who must surely rank in the upper echelon. Even more than the decades of Star Trek television programs, movies and cartoons, the various generational rounds of Star Wars films, Doctor Who has staunchly managed to remain a beloved franchise, even while cycling through various different actors for the eponymous Doctor. This is possible via a neat narrative trick of “Regeneration” that has led to British actor Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth incarnation of the benevolent time-traveling alien. And now once and future showrunner Russell T. Davies has announced that auditions for a new Doctor Who have already begun.
Jodie Whittaker began her tenure as the new Doctor Who in 2018, after rampant speculation that the long-running BBC show would finally feature a female incarnation of the character (an idea that has reportedly been in discussion as far back as 1981). And while Doctor Who has generally been something of a cult science fiction property in the United States, it is nothing short of a cultural icon in the United Kingdom. Although the franchise has had many ups and downs throughout the years, it is generally agreed that Russell T. Davies originally coming on board in 2005 to reboot the series with Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor revitalized the series for modern television and set the tone which it has maintained since. So fans must be particularly excited for the baton to be passed from current showrunner Chris Chibnall back to Davies, especially given the critical acclaim the latter has recently received for his Channel Four show It’s a Sin.
Still, the selection of a new Doctor Who is always a hotly debated thing. Jodie Whittaker herself recently weighed in on the subject, stating “I’m going to pick an actress who I think is really exciting and I think would be phenomenal, is Lydia West. If I had the power!” per Entertainment Weekly. Still, as Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith has said of the demanding role: “Of course you miss Doctor Who; everyone misses it; it’s the best job in the world, but it’s challenging and taxing as well. That’s why people often only get to three or four years before they throw the towel in, because it places so many demands.” More internationally famous names like Good Omens star Michael Sheen have been bandied about, although he has said “”…presumably, the person who’s doing it knows already. And it ain’t me!”
As a cultural institution in the United Kingdom, any new Doctor Who tends to be judged harshly. Just recently, Jodie Whittaker ranked in the top five portrayals of the Doctor, which is pretty darn good considering the show has had a mammoth 39 seasons. Hopefully, she took Tenth Doctor David Tennant’s advice to heart. Still, now that Jodie Whittaker’s last full season as the Doctor has wrapped up and the trailer for the first of the three specials that will cap out her run have been released, we’re sure to be getting hints of who’s up next.