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. clif says:

    where is the voting poll link?

    • asniech says:

      They just pulled from the comments section of the original article about Matt Smith leaving. I don’t think there was ever actually a poll.

  2. didi says:

    Hugh Laurie would be the perfect choice.

  3. Kristi says:

    I like the Rebecca Mader and Damian Lewis suggestions.

  4. Hus says:

    Iddo Goldberg!

  5. ttr says:

    HUGH LAURIE !!!!!!!!!!

  6. kate says:

    amanda tapping!!!!!

  7. Grant says:

    younger woman – Jaime Murray
    older woman – Dame Judi Dench
    black male – Adrian Lester
    black female Gugu Mbatha-Raw
    young white male – Colin Morgan
    older white male – Stephen Fry or Martin Freeman

  8. Kaye Munroe says:

    Everyone here is talking about well-known actors, but I’m hoping they cast someone like Matt Smith–a talented but unknown actor. When they announce the next doctor, I hope everyone will say, “Who?”

  9. RIckOnce says:

    And a new River Pond?
    Clara is perhaps a reincarnation/regeneration of River Song

  10. Zeph says:

    While I love some of the ideas here, I think it very unlikely that any major known actor will be cast. And sure, a woman would be interesting, and not entirely without precedent since Smith’s Doctor once referenced that one of his usually male Timelord counterparts had had at least one female regeneration (during ‘The Doctor’s Wife’ if I remember correctly). Realistically, though, it will be someone lesser known, or at least someone not currently active or only recently out of a major role – which lets out Rupert and Colin. But I’ll second someone’s reference to Mark Sheppard (though unlikely) and can think of a few additional names to add into the hat…

    Peter Wingfield
    Robert Lawrenson
    Roger Rees
    Jonathan Young
    Robin Dunne
    Neil Grayston

    Yes, the last three are Canadian, not British, but I have no doubt they could carry it off. And if we were to look to ‘Sherlock’ for casting – not Benedict or Martin, no matter how good they’d be – Andrew would be interesting and Rupert Graves would make a wonderful Doctor but since he was a guest actor in the first half of Season 7, it’s probably too soon to get away with him as the Doctor.

  11. WowLith says:

    Totally baffled that no one has considered the possibility that Andy Serkis would be a great doctor!!

  12. CarbonDate says:

    Mark Gatiss would frankly be brilliant. Yes, he played a villain in that one episode way back when. He also has deep connections to the show, having written six episodes, four Doctor Who novels, and six anthology contributions. He’s freaking perfect. Perhaps a bit too perfect.

    That and he’s Mycroft Holmes.

    • CarbonDate says:

      Whup, two episodes he’s been in. Excuse me. I didn’t even recognize him in the Wedding of River Song. Still. He’s perfect.

  13. Cherie says:

    Richard Ayoade or if this will really be the last Doctor, make him ginger

  14. amturner says:

    If you want ginger I say Kevin McKidd should head back to the UK! If you want to go for non-white, Shazad Latif or RazaJaffrey. (Yes, I’m an MI-5 fan)

  15. ging'e says:

    ben whishaw should be the next galafrain

  16. seth welch says:

    richard Ayoade

  17. seth welch says:

    or simon pegg

  18. Robin says:

    Richard Ayode would be someone cool and different! Some of these guys have already been on Doctor Who – so it would be hard for me to buy into that. It would also be hilarious if Rupert Grint was the doctor, given all the jokes Matt Smith has made about gingers!

  19. DaTroof says:

    Hugh Laurie would go down in history as one of the very best, ever.

    • Lois says:

      Hugh Laurie would be amazing as The Doctor, but he’s too big a star to take the role. Maybe if they ever really make that Doctor Who movie he could play the role.

  20. Gina says:

    Hugh Laurie all the way!

  21. Elena says:

    COLIN MORGAN!!!⭐⭐⭐

  22. Mark says:

    Gary Oldman

  23. Arne says:

    I think they should give Jim Carrey a go ,I mean he is hillarious

  24. stephanie says:

    No females :( It would make the show weird on a level I don’t think viewers want. It would make the whole compainion thing weird too. He is male, even if his physical self changes he is a male.
    Hugh Laurie would be AWESOME! He is an excellent actor, and so much more than his house character. Seriously, does anyone remember him in anything else? The man knows what true acting is.

  25. Shawne Miles says:

    Hugh Laurie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. Lily says:

    Please no femaie doctor. Regeneration should have some limits–changing gender should be one of them. There are excellent female roles on this show anyway. No need to make the doctor a female.

  27. Haley says:

    Russel Tovey #9 already had a part in one of the weeping angels episodes. He was killed in the cave by the angels.

  28. Cody Cox says:

    Not Russell Tovey. If anyone remembers he played Alonso in Season 4.

  29. Bre says:

    It shouldn’t be a woman simply because its a male character. He started on Gallifrey as male why should that change. It seems to be people wanting to be PC for the sake of being PC. Race whatever else shouldn’t matter but it should be a male. I say Damian Maloney, he was outstanding on Being Human. He could even keep his original accent :P

  30. Sarah says:

    hugh laurie for the win!! i think he would make it a bit more serious and david tennant-ish, without losing any of the fun and keeping all the chemistry and OMG THE FEELS.
    eurgh i’m such a fangirl :-P

  31. mattyj says:


  32. Brandon_Love23 says:

    ok fist to all the people who think Russell Tovey should be the Doctor I would be cool exept for the fact that 1 he was already in the titanic episode!! and 2nd he was dating Mr. handsome as people call him the Face of Bo. if people can remember the Doctor had them meet in a bar!!!

  33. wayne butler says:

    eliza dushku would make a fantastic companion as would nicholas brendon and the actress that played anya in buffy…..but there really are not too many choices for the twelvth doctor…but julian richings or benedict cumberbatch paired with eliza dushku would definently SPARK

  34. Connie says:

    Rupert Grint!,,,,,,, Perfectly excentrict! Brilliant choice!

  35. DWFan says:

    Benedict Cumberbatch or Colin Morgan! Cumberbatch has a fast talking, crazyness that would be good for the Doctor and I think Morgan could do a great job as the Doctor!

  36. Firstly, Hugh Laurie would be awesome as the Doctor. Secondly, A woman would not work for one major reason. Timelords do not change sexes. Males stay as males and so on. Doing so is to cater to the Gay and transgender community. And doing so would cause Doctor Who to get the worst ratings ever and end the series.

  37. Brandie says:

    I honestly can’t pick between Anthony Stewart Head and Hugh Laurie…either one would be extremely exciting to watch in this role!!!

  38. kat says:

    OMG yes Rupert grint!!!!

  39. Syd Earle says:

    I’m kinda tied between Anthony Head and Hugh Laurie. But out of the two, Anthony should be the new doctor, he seems so perfect for it.

  40. VZE says:

    Dr. Who has to be male. Changing that fact, would change the dynamic of the show too much and how fans relate to him.

  41. VZE says:

    Yes, Anthony would be a good choice. Agreed.

  42. Sponge says:

    I think Tom Haddleson would be a good doctor. Or Rupert Grint.

  43. Ken Trew says:

    IF YOU DECIDE to use a non-Brit how about Canada’s Paul Gross.