The Next Doctor Who: Hugh Laurie, Rupert Grint, a First Female and 17 Other TVLine Reader Ideas

The Whovians have spoken, and Doctor Whos twelfth Time Lord — aka the exiting Matt Smith‘s successor — should be a onetime genius diagnostician, filmdom’s erstwhile Ron Weasley, one of TV’s Sherlock Holmeses or a feisty female.

Or, any of the TVLine readership’s other 20 most suggested regenerations.

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We sifted through more than 400 comments and culled the casting ideas mentioned most frequently, including the aforementioned Hugh Laurie, Rupert Grint (who’s six years younger than Smith), Star Trek‘s Scotty, Idris Elba and, yes, a handful of actors currently busy with other TV gigs — but hey, anything is possible, especially when your days are likely numbered as one of most wanted terrorist Nicholas Brody!

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Flip through this slideshow of your Top 20 Doctor Who recast ideas, then tell us who from this thinned herd you’d most like to see take over the TARDIS.



Comments (292)

  • Give me Gillian Anderson as the doctor and then we’ll talk

    Comment by Haley – June 3, 2013 11:35 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I love the top 3 guys but for me it should be Colin first then Rupert and third place would be Hugh!!

    Comment by K. – June 3, 2013 11:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Jack Davenport will be available.. He’s a great actor. Watch his shows! Coupling, Smash, This life, pirates of the caribbean.. Jack for the 12th Doctor!

    Comment by mavs – June 3, 2013 11:45 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Rupert Grint is my top pick. Otherwise it would be kinda awesome to have a female doctor!

    Comment by izzybella – June 3, 2013 11:48 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This was essentially just a list of some of my absolute FAVOURITE British actors =D <3 Anyone of them would be fantastic!!!

    Comment by Tedi – June 3, 2013 11:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • James Nesbitt – that’s who I would love to play the next Doctor. I remember watching him on Jekyll and thinking he was amazing.

    Comment by theresa – June 3, 2013 11:55 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Matthew Macfadyen (not on list)
    Hugh Laurie

    But definitely would love a woman … just can’t think Who right now.

    Comment by Jessica Reffler – June 3, 2013 11:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Hugh Laurie or Tom Hiddleston would love to see as #12! Anthony Head already played a bad guy on an episode of Doctor Who during Tennant’s stint.

    Sidenote: Same with Mark Sheppard, would love to see him as 12th, but he’s already been in a few episodes of Doctor Who in 2011…

    Comment by Jerri – June 3, 2013 12:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes Mark Sheppard is a very good comedian and hecould be a good doctor.

      Comment by RIckOnce – June 3, 2013 04:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Not so much on this site. But I am shocked at how many sentiments I’ve seen on other sites expressing some kind of “tradition” and “integrity” on why the Doctor has to be a white, English male.

    Comment by Tony – June 3, 2013 12:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I think the Doctor does have to be from the UK. DW feels like such a iconic part of British pop culture that I really don’t think it’s at all wrong to decree that non-UK denizens be excluded. Everything else, though, could be fair game.

      Comment by Emily – June 3, 2013 02:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I only included English in my post because someone made that exact comment on another site. I have no problem if a British television show cast British actors. But not all British actors are white nor are they all male.

        Comment by Tony – June 3, 2013 09:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • DW fandom is a cesspool of racism and misogyny. every time the doctor needs to be replaced, the worst elements rear their ugly heads. tradition and integrity are just their flimsy defenses.

      (and they’ll all dogpile me for this comment — just watch.)

      Comment by Betsy – June 3, 2013 04:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Nicholas Hoult is hot.

    Anyways, we are up to number 13. I think the 13th doctor needs to be a male, then regenerate into a female. Because the Doctor is only supposed to have 13 lives, so then make a joke about how it was 13 lives as a male. :)

    Comment by Midori – June 3, 2013 12:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m all for something fresh. I love Matt and he’s been my favorite since the series returned, but I think a woman is a great idea. Jen Ehle as someone suggested would be terrific I think. But who knows if she’d be up to the grueling TV schedule. But a newcomer might be best.

    Comment by Valerie Pennington – June 3, 2013 12:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • the only one i agree with is jack davenport because he’s older and he’s always on tv shows that are getting cancelled! and hes such a good actor.
    i’d like to see a ginger, female, or ethnic doctor.
    but if jack davenport gets it…i’d totally be okay with that.

    Comment by Sarah K – June 3, 2013 12:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Lennie James

    Comment by GeekGirl13 – June 3, 2013 12:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I would like to see Andrew Lee Potts step into the role!

    Comment by Lee – June 3, 2013 12:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Anthony Head, Anthony Head and Anthony Head

    Comment by mac – June 3, 2013 12:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Fans are really rooting for Rupert. Check out the petition for it: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/296/987/385/rupert-grint-as-the-12th-doctor/

    Comment by Hell yeah Rupert – June 3, 2013 01:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • My favorite choice is idris, though I know his career is at a point where he wouldn’t do it. Adrian Lester is another excellent actor if they cast a black Doctor. Jaime Murray would be tremendous- the style she’d bring to the role would be amazing! Of course, Hugh Laurie would be wonderful, perhaps the best Doctor ever, but he’s probably past the point in his career where he’d consider the role. The long term arc of the show seems to have the Doctor appear younger with each regeneration, which would be a good argument for either Colin Morgan, Rupert Grint or Nicholas Hoult, all excellent actors. i know its ridiculous, but is there any way to get Tatiana Mazlany considered? She’s already proven she can handle the British accent, and all of that raw energy could take the role places its never gone before.

    Comment by Luis – June 3, 2013 01:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Seriously the worst thing about Orphan Black is her accent. Its jumps all over the place and rarely ends up getting anywhere near any regional accent heard in the UK. Ends up being closer to a hybrid of Australian, South African and Canadian

      Comment by Wakey – June 3, 2013 02:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Okay, first off, Rupert Grint, absolutely will not be the 12th Doctor. He is too well known as Ron Weasley to inhabit the role, and most of the other names on the list are also either too well known in other roles, too busy with other projects or wouldn’t take the role because of the schedule (9 months a year for a probable 3 – 4 years). Some are too old; both RTD and Steven Moffat have ruled out anyone over the age of 50 (the role is too gruelling)

    Considering Matt Smith was virtually unknown when he was cast and didn’t appear on any betting lists until a few days before he was announced, it will almost certainly be someone with only a few roles on UK television under their belt.

    One UK website has offered up the only credible list of possible actors for the role, taking into account the criteria above:

    1 Damien Molony (Being Human)

    2 Daniel Rigby (Black Mirror, the biopic Eric & Ernie)

    3 Toby Kebbell (Guy Ritchie’s Rock n Rolla, Dead Man Shoes)

    4 Will Merrick (Skins)

    5 Alexander Vlahos (Mordred on Merlin)

    6 Harry Lloyd (one of the Family of Blood on Dr Who season 3, Game of Thrones, The Fear)

    If anyone is going to be cast as the 12th Doctor, he could come from this list more than fan wish-lists.

    Comment by Mark S – June 3, 2013 02:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • This is a good list. The only person I would add is Colin Morgan. I think he would be great as The Doctor. To everyone suggesting Rupert Grint, he is a bit too young and is still too fresh off of being Ron Weasley to take on such an iconic role. I think he would make a good Doctor in like 5 years or so.

      Comment by Red Snapper – June 3, 2013 04:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Damien Molony. He was amazing on Being Human, and would be a perfect Doctor.

      Comment by Mags – June 3, 2013 11:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Alexander Vlahos is supposedly actively campaigning for the role. He apparently has tweeted that he wants the role, and his followers are re-tweeting.

      From this above list, I would say that Harry Lloyd or Damien Molony are the best bets.

      Comment by Lois – June 5, 2013 11:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Someone suggested Amy Acker? She now replaces Alan Tudyk as my top American choice for the role. Jaime Murray would be great too

    Comment by Tom Charles – June 3, 2013 02:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Anthony Head, Richard Coyle or Robert Sheehan would all be very interesting, and Chiwetel Ejiofor could be great, as well.

    That said, I’d still prefer an unknown. Fewer preconceptions that way.

    Comment by Sheldon W. – June 3, 2013 02:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Well if they skewed a l ittle older, I’d suggest Bill Nighy.

    Comment by Snsetblaze – June 3, 2013 02:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I Like this idea.
      David Warner and Christopher plummer’ld be also a good solution.

      Comment by RIckOnce – June 3, 2013 04:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Colin Morgan or Rupert Grint!

    Comment by Emily – June 3, 2013 02:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Nicholas Hoult !!!

    Comment by viola – June 3, 2013 03:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • HE WOULD FINALLY BE GINGER!!!!

    Comment by Eve – June 3, 2013 03:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Colin Salmon

    Comment by Leslie – June 3, 2013 03:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • One of the guys who played the Weasley twin in Harry Potter.

    Comment by Anna – June 3, 2013 03:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I concur.

      Comment by Kim – June 3, 2013 05:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Any actor who played a Weasley brother *except* Rupert Grint. Domnhall Gleeson might be an excellent choice.

      I like Rupert Grint, but he’s too well-known.

      Comment by AL – June 3, 2013 06:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I heard that a actor of Spooks’ll be tested for the role.

    But a bad doctor can be interessing with John Hurt like valeyard.

    I hope that the next doctor’ll be john Hurt for a full series.
    And the next doctor’s “assistant” can be Roger Moore (he’s a fan a Dr Who and Sherlock Holmes).

    Comment by RIckOnce – June 3, 2013 03:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • JACK DAVENPORT!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by V Ness – June 3, 2013 03:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Max beesley
    Dexter Fletcher
    Richard Armitage
    Rupert Penry-Jones
    Matthew Macfadyen
    Callum blue
    Emun Elliott

    Comment by RIckOnce – June 3, 2013 03:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Richard Armitage, Rupert Penry-Jones and Matthew Macfadyen are all too busy with their careers. Emun Elliot is starring in The Paradise, so he may also be too busy. But they all would be great as The Doctor.

      Comment by Lois – June 5, 2013 11:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Richard Ayocade would be fabulous!

    Comment by Echo – June 3, 2013 04:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I would so watch it!

      Comment by Christine – June 3, 2013 04:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Chris O’Dowd will be a good doctor

    Comment by RIckOnce – June 3, 2013 04:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Jonny lee miller is also a solution

    Comment by RIckOnce – June 3, 2013 04:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • He’s in Elementary, so he wouldn’t be available.

      Comment by Mags – June 3, 2013 11:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • if Hugh or Rupert enter the TV Show start to see the Tv show, I love these actors

    Comment by Cacauzinha (@Scarlate_ro) – June 3, 2013 04:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • My picks for the next Doctor: Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Claudia Black, Shirley Manson, Lena Headey, Jaime Murray, Lennie James. Pricey but maybe they’d do it–Helen Mirren or Judi Dench.

    Comment by Tapati McDaniels – June 3, 2013 04:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • No. The next Doctor’ll be Donna Noble-Temple the doctor Donna

      Comment by RIckOnce – June 3, 2013 05:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Jack Davenport!!!!!

    Comment by Isabela Milanezzi – June 3, 2013 05:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Zawe Ashton is winning the poll on the Guardian’s site. I would love if she were the Doctor–she is IMMENSELY talented, and I could see her bringing a real sense of wonder and enthusiasm to it.

    Seriously, in a few years, everyone is going to know her name and regret not knowing it sooner.

    Comment by alexandraewing – June 3, 2013 05:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think of the ones who might actually consider it (doubtful for Idris, Benedict, or Martin), I would be entirely thrilled with Ayoade or Hugh Laurie (who still is probably a reach). A girl would be cool too, but you need someone super awesome like Ruth Wilson. Yeah, let’s just go with Ruth Wilson. She’s the best, and Grint could be her sidekick.

    Comment by skiki – June 3, 2013 05:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’ve read rumors about Ben Daniels being signed already…

    Personally I would love John Hannah, Paul Bettany or Colin Morgan for the role.

    Comment by neko – June 3, 2013 05:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • yes for John Hannah

      Comment by RIckOnce – June 3, 2013 05:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Personally, I’m getting sick of the same white dudes all the time. Let’s spice it up a little, Who!

    Comment by Spencer – June 3, 2013 05:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Alexander Siddig

      Comment by RIckOnce – June 3, 2013 05:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • what about Lennie James?

      Comment by valerie – June 3, 2013 06:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I didn’t even think of Jack Davenport, but he would be amazing!

    Comment by carly – June 3, 2013 05:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • And now the list for the master

    Bruce Payne
    james frain
    Jonathan Rhys-Meyers
    sam neill
    Jeremy Northam
    ciaran hinds
    Douglas Henshall
    Jason Flemyng
    Alexander Flemyng
    Colin Salmon
    Stephen Moyer
    Marc Warren
    Philip Glenister

    Comment by RIckOnce – June 3, 2013 06:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • sorry not alexander flemyng but Alexander Siddig

      Comment by RIckOnce – June 3, 2013 06:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • hadn’t thought of that. still going with russell tovey

        Comment by valerie – June 3, 2013 06:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I immediately thought of Stephen Fry. He’d be perfect.

    Comment by Pepper – June 3, 2013 06:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • none are good enough to be the doctor for me i need someone unknown possibly 30 year old male

    Comment by david – June 3, 2013 06:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • russell tovey’s to refuse.

    Comment by valerie – June 3, 2013 06:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Sean Pertwee. Sexy, a MAN, and a legacy.

    Comment by Allie – June 3, 2013 06:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Damien. Freaking. Molony.

    Comment by beinghumanfan – June 3, 2013 07:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes! He’s worked with Mark Gatiss before on Being Human. Gatiss writes with Steven Moffat on both Sherlock and Doctor Who, so Moffat must be aware of him.

      Comment by Mags – June 3, 2013 11:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Molony seems to be a good bet, as he was being talked about as the next Doctor long before Matt Smith officially announced he was leaving.

      Comment by Lois – June 5, 2013 11:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Be awesome if Chewitel was the next Doctor. He’s such a versatile actor; hilarious but also can break your heart. And I have a feeling the next Doctor is going to be a man of colour

    Comment by mia – June 3, 2013 07:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Jack Davenport, Richard Coyle, or Hugh Laurie. My top three.

    Comment by Andy – June 3, 2013 07:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • My top picks would be: Ben Whishaw, Colin Morgan. Ben is currently doing a play and as far as I know Colin isn’t committed to anything long term yet.
    My dream choices that won’t happen? Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston, and Simon Pegg. I’m not against a woman Doctor but I feel like Donna should and always will be the woman Doctor.

    Comment by Nin373 – June 3, 2013 08:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Colin! Colin! Colin! I’d be open to a woman though. I love Amy Acker.

    Comment by Amy – June 3, 2013 08:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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