With Jodie Whittaker rumoured to be stepping down from Doctor Who, the TARDIS door is open for the first openly queer actor to play the next Doctor.
Rumour has it that Whittaker’s Time Lord tenure is coming to an end after one last series, with an insider telling the Daily Mirror: “Her departure is top secret, but at some point over the coming months the arrival of the 14th Doctor will need to be filmed. It’s very exciting.”
Sounds like idle gossip. But intriguingly, the BBC has refused to comment “on any speculation around Jodie’s future on the show”, which has naturally been taken by many as confirmation that the end of 13 is nigh.
In fairness, Whittaker’s upcoming season will be her third. Her predecessors Peter Capaldi and Matt Smith were also three and out, adding further weight to the theory.
If Whittaker – the first woman to play the Doctor – is bowing out, there are a couple of stars we’d like to see take over. And of course, they’re all family.
Sharon D. Clarke.
Yes, stage legend Sharon D. Clarke has already appeared in Doctor Who (as Graham’s late wife Grace). But that didn’t stop Capaldi, who guest-starred in 2008’s “The Fires of Pompeii”, did it?
The owner of three Olivier Awards, Clarke is as seasoned an actor as they come, and according to the Guardian’s chief theatre critic Arifa Akbar, “emanates personality in every role she plays”.
Rebecca Root joined the Whoniverse in 2020 as Tania, a companion to Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor, in a Doctor Who audio drama.
She became the first trans companion in the series history, but at the time Root said she had set her sights even further.
“I don’t think it’s any secret in the media world that I would love to have a chance to play the Doctor myself,” she admitted to PinkNews.
“Certainly before Jodie Whittaker took over I was hinting very heavily to showrunners that I wanted a stab at that role.
“Never say never though, I’d still like a shot at the TV version, but suffice it to say that being a part of the inner circle of the TARDIS crew is an honour and a treat.”
The acting great would be the oldest Doctor to take over the TARDIS – but frankly, it’s a crime this hasn’t happened already.
Another actor who’s already proven their chops in Doctor Who (at this point, name a British star who hasn’t been in it), The Haunting of Hill House star T’Nia Miller has a special place in the show’s history.
Michelle Gomez’ Missy is often credited with paving the way for Whittaker’s Doctor, but it was the General, who in 2009 was played by Miller, who was the first Time Lord to change gender on screen.
“It was ground-breaking because it was the first time we’d seen another Time Lord hell into another person – you know, as the Doctor does – and she was going to be female,” Miller told Digital Spy.
“She was going to be a Black female. So that was super-exciting for me.”
Yes, he’s American, but just imagine it.
Though it was recently confirmed Elliot Page would continue to play Vanya in The Umbrella Academy, we see no reason why he can’t jump ship to steer the TARDIS in 2021. And, what’s more, we don’t know a better person.