David Tennant Offers His ‘Doctor Who’ Recommendation

By February 2, 2017
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As the world of Doctor Who shares who they think should or could be the next Doctor following the departure of Peter Capaldi, one actor who formerly held the position is weighing in with a choice of his own.

David Tennant, who played the 10th Doctor in the series between 2005 and 2010, says not only does he have the perfect actor to succeed Capaldi, but incoming Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall already knows her. That’s because she’s the star of a show he created, Broadchurch, which just happens to star Tennant as well.

Olivia Colman plays Ellie Miller in the series, and has been quite busy in both television and film, even playing Carol Thatcher in the 2011 Meryl Streep film The Iron Lady. And she has the range and personality that would be a perfect fit for the Tardis, Tennant told Radio 4, courtesy of Radio Times.

“Olivia would clearly be a magnificent choice. If you have the right people telling the right stories, then it’s absolutely a possibility.”

The period of choosing a new Doctor always is a tricky time for the franchise, primarily because while fans might be sad to see one actor go, they’re excited about who’s coming up next. But as mixed as the emotions might be, Tennant assures fans that this is a necessary process to help maintain the vitality of the show that premiered in 1963, and has been running almost continuously now since 2005.

“People who know the show and love the show get very attached to the actors in the role, but are also excited about change and renewal. And that’s how the show has managed to keep going over the years.”

Every time there is a change at the top for The Doctor, many fans begin to clamor for something different other than the 13 white men who have portrayed the role for the past half-century. Like maybe someone with a different ethnic background, or maybe even a different gender.

Yet, current oddsmakers have placed their bets on James Bond franchise actor Ben Whishaw as the next possessor of a sonic screwdriver: His only diversity coming from the fact he would be the first openly gay actor to portray the role, if he is cast.

But if Colman or a host of other talented actresses were considered for the role, there is one man in Scotland who would not be happy at all.

His name is Mark Smith – we’re assuming no relation to the 11th Doctor, Matt Smith – who published an editorial in The Herald on Wednesday saying changing the gender of The Doctor would ruin Doctor Who for boys everywhere.

Um, what?

“Make The Doctor a woman, and you take away the reason the program works. You also risk, in the name of diversity and equality, destroying a show that has done more than most for both of those causes. Doctor Who isn’t just about time travel and alien invasion, it’s about a very particular type of male experience. It is for, and about, boys who have nowhere else to go.”

Yes, white males have had it tough throughout history, so thank goodness there is something like Doctor Who to help provide hope (yes, we’re being facetious).

“Cast a woman in the role … and leave nerdy boys without a hero, and they do deserve a hero. And Doctor Who is the wrong target anyway. The program was created in the 1960s when the corporation was almost entirely white, male and straight, and yet it was run by a woman in her 20s and directed by a gay Asian man.

“In other words, Doctor Who has already done its bit for diversity. Don’t make The Doctor a woman.”

If you’d like to comment directly on Mr. Smith’s editorial, which we’re betting you might want to right about now, the original posting can be found right here.

The 10th season of Doctor Who, and the final one with Peter Capaldi, debuts April 15. So get your taxes done and tune in.

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Michael Hinman

Michael Hinman

Managing Editor at GeekNation
Michael has spent more than 18 years of his way-long journalism career in entertainment reporting as the founder of SyFy Portal, which would become Airlock Alpha after he sold the SyFy brand to NBC Universal. He's based in New York City.