There’s Absolutely No Rush Finding Next ‘Doctor Who’

By February 6, 2017
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Oddsmakers already are collecting bets, and even some of the former stars are making their own recommendations. But not only is BBC far away from naming Peter Capaldi’s replacement on Doctor Who – they haven’t even started looking yet.

Yes, BBC has known a lot longer than we have that this season would be the last for Capaldi. But there’s a lot involved with finding the actor who will play the 13th Doctor – and some of it has to do with the simple fact the show itself is going through a massive management change when Steven Moffat hands over the reins to Chris Chibnall this summer.

And so Chibnall won’t even start his long search for a new Doctor until it’s time to wear shorts and T-shirts outside again, according to Radio Times reporter Ben Dowell.

Chibnall said he “hadn’t started yet’ on the show, and that all his energies were currently focused on Season 3 of his ITV crime drama Broadchurch. The (season) has been shot, but Chibnall said he is still working on the editing of the eight-part story, which sees David Tennant and Olivia Colman’s detectives investigate a violent rape.

Tennant, who starred in Doctor Who as the 10th actor to portray the title role, has pushed for Chibnall to consider Colman for the role – especially as calls for changing up the string of white men as The Doctor grows louder by the day.

Yet, even oddsmakers are putting their money on Ben Whishaw, a white guy best known as playing Q in the later James Bond films with Daniel Craig.

There have been ups and downs for the Doctor Who franchise since Russell T. Davies left in 2010. While both Matt Smith and Capaldi have generated sizable fan followings, many episodes and adventures have been rather hit or miss. Especially with Moffat’s desire to develop complex story lines which sometimes become difficult to unravel.

Chibnall has received praise for Broadchurch, which had a short Americanized life as Gracepoint as well. Yet, Chibnall’s five episodes of Doctor Who since 2007 have been far from memorable.

His first shot was in the show’s third season called “42” when Tennant’s Doctor had to stop a spaceship that was racing for the center of a sun. He tried again in 2010 with the two-parter “The Hungry Earth” and “Cold Blood” that, at least, introduced us to the Silurians (and indirectly produced what would become the recurring character of Madame Vastra, played by Neve McIntosh).

His first episode in the Smith era was “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship” in 2012, which many fans don’t seem to like to talk about.

Chibnall followed that with “The Power of Three” a few weeks later that had something to do with black cubes littering the Earth.

Understandably, that has some fans concerned. When BBC announced several years ago Moffat was taking over, he had at least the episode “Blink” under his belt with the weeping angels that many still talk about today.

And now it seems Chibnall’s first major test is going to be finding the right actor to fill the role. How will he go about it? Who will the next Doctor be?

It looks like we’re finding out in August.

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Michael Hinman

Michael Hinman

Managing Editor at GeekNation
Michael began what has become nearly 19 years of 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 out of New York City where he is the editor of a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper in the Bronx.
  • Eben Fox

    Well, this sucks. A guy with a few mediocre Who episodes under his belt is too busy to give his full attention to the show. Why couldn’t they have found someone who could? After we finally get a season after this last ridiculous hiatus, we can expect another outrageous hiatus. BBC might be overestimating the enduring loyalty of its fanbase. The last season of broadchurch was awful, so it’s not as if people will be going in with high expectations. Then to make us wait a year and a half?