It’s one of those great geek moments that comes around now and again: one Doctor’s leaving, the next is yet to be revealed. Since Matt Smith confirmed that he’s leaving Doctor Who after the 50th anniversary episode this fall, Whovians the world over have been debating who might next take up the mantle of everybody’s favorite slightly insane Time Lord. Well, it turns out we won’t have to wait much longer: the new Doctor will be revealed this Sunday in a televised special that will include interviews with executive producer Steven Moffat, departing Doctor Matt Smith, and the new guy, Who-ever he may be.
Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor will air Sunday, August 4, at 2pm ET on BBC America and BBC One in the UK. It’ll be hosted by English TV personality Zoe Ball, but I’m pretty sure none of us care about that part. The new Doctor will be announced in front of a live audience, and in addition to Moffat, Smith, and the new Doctor, the special will also include “Doctors old and new, as well as companions and celebrity fans.” It’ll be interesting to see if they wrangle all the surviving Doctors to participate (even though they didn’t bring them all back for the 50th anniversary episode, ahem).
Moffat of course had to play up the drama in the press release: ““The decision is made and the time has come to reveal who’s taking over the TARDIS. For the last of the Time Lords, the clock is striking twelve.”
So, we’ve still got a few days to argue about this: who the hell will be Who’s next? If you’re a betting man, you might want to lay odds on actor Peter Capaldi, probably best known for his foul-mouthed Malcolm Tucker from The Thick of It. Apparently he’s the odds-on favorite according to the British betting company William Hill. Their spokesman Joe Crilly says:
Peter Capaldi was not even in our list a few days ago but he has been the subject of a lot of betting interest recently and this gamble would suggest that if he does not have the part already, he is almost certainly on the shortlist.
For the record, the top five contenders are:
- Peter Capaldi: 2/1
- Ben Daniels (House of Cards): 4/1
- Rory Kinnear (Skyfall): 6/1
- Ben Whishaw (Q from Skyfall): 10/1
- David Harewood (Homeland): 10/1
If Capaldi does get the gig, it won’t be his first foray into Who. He previously appeared in the 2008 episode “The Fires of Pompeii,” and also had a role in the excellent spin-off series Torchwood: Children of Earth. If Capaldi is indeed the new Doctor, I’ll begin to suspect that “The Fires of Pompeii” has strange clairvoyant properties when it comes to foreshadowing the show’s future: it also featured an appearance by Karen Gillan, who went on to play Amy Pond alongside Smith’s Eleventh Doctor. Come to think of it, she was even playing a soothsayer…to borrow a phrase from another time-hopping franchise, strange things are afoot at the Circle-K…
It’s also worth noting that all this talk of the Twelfth Doctor may be proven inaccurate by John Hurt…lucky number thirteen, anyone?