Doctor Who: the contenders

Later today we will know who is taking over from David Tennant as the Doctor, but in the meantime bookmakers and journalists are enjoying all sorts of speculation which ranges from the too obvious to the completely barmy. So let’s just have a quick run-down of who’s being pipped for the post and, more importantly, why…

Paterson Joseph

Who?: David Mitchell’s boss in Peep Show.

Why?: because he’s black.

I say that with the greatest respect for his acting skills: even before the Presidential election it was fashionable to have a black candidate for everything, and it’s the reason he’s the favourite to win. But in much the same way as Christopher Eccleston being Northern didn’t massively refresh the character of the Doctor a few years ago, let’s hope Joseph isn’t simply going to be “the black Doctor”; when they ticked the “black assistant” box a few years ago they thought that it was enough that she was black so didn’t bother writing her a character. That was a mistake, that was.

David Morrissey

Who?: the star of Basic Instinct 2.

Why?: because in the Doctor Who Christmas special broadcast just days ago, he played a man who thought he was the Doctor. He wasn’t. Much as I can understand why nobody would put themselves through watching said Christmas special, the fact that he turned out not to be the Doctor suggests he’s going to turn out not to be the Doctor.

Russell Tovey

Who?: the least appealing character in The History Boys.

Why?: because Russell T Davies wants to sleep with him. This much he has admitted in so many words in his new book, in various interviews, and probably to himself every night before bed for the last year. It doesn’t necessarily mean Tovey would be a good person to play the Doctor. In fact I suggest it would be a hideous error of judgement, primarily because Russell T Davies is old enough to be his father.

Catherine Zeta Jones

Who?: that Welsh one.

Why?: because she’s a woman.

It has been virtually obligatory to jokingly suggest a woman for the role since 1981. At least, let’s hope this is a joke. Please please please please let it be a joke…

Billie Piper

Who?: singer of 1998 number one single “Because we want to” and Mrs Chris Evans.

Why?: this, I fear, is completely unanswerable.

I mean, what on earth is going on here? Billie Piper played the Doctor’s companion for two years, cropped up again in 2008 and was last seen snogging a clone of the Doctor on a beach in Norway in a particularly twisted story development where she basically got a fuck-buddy who looked the same as a different man she had lustful desires for; are the production team really going to take this a step further and suggest that the original Doctor, having seen himself playing tonsil tennis with his former companion, is suddenly overcome by a desire to look like her? That if he can’t get his hands on the real thing he’s going to follow her lead and make himself a copy, even if that copy is himself?

I mean, really? Is Billie Piper really a candidate? Has the whole world gone completely mad????

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