We’ve all got that handful of actors we fantasize about playing the Doctor in BBC’s Doctor Who. With the recent reveal that current Doctor Matt Smith is leaving after this year’s Christmas special, it’s time to start fantasizing again. I’ve pulled together this list, not based on likelihood or availability, but based on who I would like to see as the Doctor, if I could make my dreams a reality in that sense. All of my choices hail from the UK, keeping with the show's tradition. Feel free to voice your opinion on my choices or offer up your dream Doctor(s) in the comments!
Figured I’d start off strong with someone who has actually expressed interest in playing the iconic role. Well known for playing Meriadoc 'Merry' Brandybuck in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Charlie Pace in Lost, Dom could bring the depth and range required to play the Doctor, while also talented enough to bring his own flare to the role. Doctor Who’s popularity is steadily increasing, and a big-name like Monaghan would only help. Personally, he’d be my first choice.
While the trend seems to be to go with younger actors to play the Doctor lately, I think Anthony Stewart Head would bring some of the gravitas and class of the older (in both age and incarnation) doctors, still retaining the ability to deliver the light-hearted, silly aspect of the Doctor we’ve come to love in the last couple of regenerations. Fans may remember his guest role in the series 2 episode School Reunion. While he played a villain, I think enough time has passed to where we won’t all look at him and see a bloodthirsty alien in a human suit. Furthermore, Head actually auditioned for the role of the 8th Doctor in the 1996 movie, as well as contributing to multiple Doctor Who documentaries and a webcast in which he played a Time Lord.
There’s a lot of talk and rumor that it may finally be time to give the role to a female lead. Fans seem to be torn on this, but personally, I think it would be a welcomed change of pace bringing a totally new dynamic to the character and Doctor-companion relationships. If the BBC is smart, they’d go for somebody already established like Emma Watson. The Harry Potter star wouldn’t only bring over fans from that series, she’d continue the trend of young Doctors, being the youngest one to date. While some suggest more seasoned female leads like Dame Helen Mirren or Tilda Swinton, I’d personally prefer a younger, more animated and lively female Doctor.
This man is one of my favorite actors, period. He’s a veteran of both the silver screen and the TV screen, with such credits under his belt as Snatch, Jericho and The Walking Dead. As you’ve likely noticed, he’s black. If we’re considering a female Doctor, I think it’s also time to consider the first black Doctor. I was torn between Lennie and The Wire’s Idris Elba, but ultimately I think Lennie would be the better choice with his wide range of emotion and the emotional impact of his performances. For one shining example, check him out in The Walking Dead’s season 3 episode Clear and imagine him putting that kind of emotion and pain into a Doctor fresh out of dealing with the Time War or whatever John Hurt’s Doctor did to “break the promise of the Doctor.” This video shows The Walking Dead scene I’m talking about. Sorry for the quality, it’s the only one I could find.
Henry Ian Cusick
Another Lost cast member alongside Dominic Monaghan, Henry Ian Cusick could play either the 10 and 11-esque Doctor looking real smart in a suit, or the more badass 9th Doctor-type. Lost fans remember him as Desmond Hume, a mainstay in the series from the second season on. Looking at him, I can see the resemblance he bears to the 8th Doctor, which in my mind makes him a ripe choice for the 12th.