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 are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Haley says:

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

  2. K. says:

    I love the top 3 guys but for me it should be Colin first then Rupert and third place would be Hugh!!

  3. mavs says:

    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!

  4. izzybella says:

    Rupert Grint is my top pick. Otherwise it would be kinda awesome to have a female doctor!

  5. Tedi says:

    This was essentially just a list of some of my absolute FAVOURITE British actors =D <3 Anyone of them would be fantastic!!!

  6. theresa says:

    James Nesbitt – that’s who I would love to play the next Doctor. I remember watching him on Jekyll and thinking he was amazing.

  7. Matthew Macfadyen (not on list)
    Hugh Laurie

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

  8. Jerri says:

    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…

  9. Tony says:

    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.

    • Emily says:

      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.

      • Tony says:

        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.

    • Betsy says:

      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.)

  10. Midori says:

    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. :)

  11. 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.

  12. Sarah K says:

    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.

  13. GeekGirl13 says:

    Lennie James

  14. Lee says:

    I would like to see Andrew Lee Potts step into the role!

  15. mac says:

    Anthony Head, Anthony Head and Anthony Head

  16. Hell yeah Rupert says:

    Fans are really rooting for Rupert. Check out the petition for it:

  17. Luis says:

    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.

    • Wakey says:

      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

  18. Mark S says:

    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.

    • Red Snapper says:

      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.

    • Mags says:

      Damien Molony. He was amazing on Being Human, and would be a perfect Doctor.

    • Lois says:

      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.

  19. Tom Charles says:

    Someone suggested Amy Acker? She now replaces Alan Tudyk as my top American choice for the role. Jaime Murray would be great too

  20. Sheldon W. says:

    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.

  21. Snsetblaze says:

    Well if they skewed a l ittle older, I’d suggest Bill Nighy.

  22. Emily says:

    Colin Morgan or Rupert Grint!

  23. viola says:

    Nicholas Hoult !!!

  24. Eve says:


  25. Leslie says:

    Colin Salmon

  26. Anna says:

    One of the guys who played the Weasley twin in Harry Potter.

  27. RIckOnce says:

    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).

  28. V Ness says:

    JACK DAVENPORT!!!!!!!!!!!

  29. RIckOnce says:

    Max beesley
    Dexter Fletcher
    Richard Armitage
    Rupert Penry-Jones
    Matthew Macfadyen
    Callum blue
    Emun Elliott

    • Lois says:

      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.

  30. Echo says:

    Richard Ayocade would be fabulous!

  31. RIckOnce says:

    Chris O’Dowd will be a good doctor

  32. RIckOnce says:

    Jonny lee miller is also a solution

  33. if Hugh or Rupert enter the TV Show start to see the Tv show, I love these actors

  34. 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.

  35. Isabela Milanezzi says:

    Jack Davenport!!!!!

  36. 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.

  37. skiki says:

    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.

  38. neko says:

    I’ve read rumors about Ben Daniels being signed already…

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

  39. Spencer says:

    Personally, I’m getting sick of the same white dudes all the time. Let’s spice it up a little, Who!

  40. carly says:

    I didn’t even think of Jack Davenport, but he would be amazing!

  41. RIckOnce says:

    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

  42. Pepper says:

    I immediately thought of Stephen Fry. He’d be perfect.

  43. david says:

    none are good enough to be the doctor for me i need someone unknown possibly 30 year old male

  44. valerie says:

    russell tovey’s to refuse.

  45. Allie says:

    Sean Pertwee. Sexy, a MAN, and a legacy.

  46. beinghumanfan says:

    Damien. Freaking. Molony.

    • Mags says:

      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.

    • Lois says:

      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.

  47. mia says:

    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

  48. Andy says:

    Jack Davenport, Richard Coyle, or Hugh Laurie. My top three.

  49. Nin373 says:

    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.

  50. Amy says:

    Colin! Colin! Colin! I’d be open to a woman though. I love Amy Acker.