On Sunday Night at 7pm on BBC1 the next Doctor will be announced and my fingers are tightly crossed for the man above – Peter Capaldi. Although he most recently associated with the King of Swearing Malcolm Tucker from the fantastic Thick of It he has a breadth of experience and awards to show that he is not a one trick pony. For me he is one of our most underused and underrated actors and anyone who has watched his TV and film work over the last twenty years or so will testify to his range and ability.
He would be the oldest actor since William Hartnell stepped into the TARDIS in 1963 at the same age as Peter is now, 55. In the 50th anniversary year this kind of cyclical coincidence may well be an omen that we’re going to get an older doctor this time around. Steven Moffat has said in many interviews he wanted to make the Doctor older when he cast Matt Smith but Matt just stormed the audition and there was no turning back. So could our favourite time traveller be about to the third Scotsman to take the role? He would be the first Oscar, BAFTA and Comedy award winner to do so and he is also a huge fan of the show having written to Jon Pertwee on many occasions during his tenancy as the Gallifrean Time Lord – Capaldi was sent a couple of signed scripts and he puts this down to being the moment he wanted to get into television acting. He ticks so many of the boxes and at fifty five it may be his last chance to take the role before the focus groups see him as being “too old”.
So who else are the bookies looking at in this final run up to the announcement? I’ve picked three from the favourites that could well be the new Doctor:
Chiwetel Ejiofor – Could he be the first black actor to get the role? the bookies have Chiwetel, David Harewood and Idris Elba all in the running, but I’d favour Mr Ejiofor as he is less well known and doesn’t carry the same international baggage as the other two. While it would help with the US audiences to a point how could they see the guy from “The Wire” and That bloke off of “Homeland” as the Doctor? And if I’m honest Chiwetel Ejiofor is the best of these three actors and has a great range and ability. Still fairly unknown he would be in a great position to develop his profile and the character at the same time.
Daniel Rigby – His odds have shortened drastically (not as much as Capaldi’s but Bookies are rarely off the mark on these things) and Daniel is a great actor. Forgetting his role in the BT ads he has a BAFTA to his name or his performance as Eric Morecambe in Eric and Ernie and has a good list of stage plays under his belt too. He also performed brilliantly in the first series of Charlie Brooker’s unmissable “Black Mirror” as a comedian who takes things too far with his animated friend. A fresh enough face with enough ability wouldn’t be a bad choice.
Andrew Scott – he sleazed wonderfully across the two series of Sherlock and would be a great doctor to make him quirky yet darker. Scott has a great range and we’d finally get an Irish Doctor perhaps. Again he carried off the BAFTA for his role in Moffat’s other baby Sherlock for his role as James Moriarty. He’s got the acting ability and the connections with Mr Moffat which will not be a bad thing. From baddie to goodie?
Despite these three all being brilliant this is still the image I want to see on Sunday.