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Doctor Who: The actors rumoured to take over from Jodie Whittaker, from Omari Douglas to Olly Alexander

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From the stars of It’s A Sin to Michael Sheen and Rhys Ifans, there’s a long list of actors being touted to replace Jodie Whittaker in Doctor Who.

There has been speculation about who will replace the first female Time Lord since January 2020, when rumours began that she would be leaving the role after completing the 13th season.

The series of Doctor Who currently airing – called Flux – is Whittaker’s final outing as the Doctor and will culminate in three specials broadcast in 2022. You can read The Independent’s review of Flux episode one here.

Previous Doctors David Tennant, Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi also all left the show after three series.

The show’s new star will be joining Doctor Who at an exciting time, with former showrunner Russell T Davies rejoining the series as head writer in 2023 for the show’s 60th anniversary.

Here’s a list of the actors who are tipped to replace Whittaker based on the latest betting odds from William Hill.

Omari Douglas – Evens

Omari Douglas (Getty Images)
Omari Douglas (Getty Images)

A surprise addition to this list, It’s A Sin star Douglas is now leading the pack to ride off into that Tardis. Roscoe Babatunde was his first TV role, but Douglas impressed both Davies and viewers with his performance and is now reported by The Sun to be the new showrunner’s top pick to take over as The Doctor. In the coming months, he’ll be starring opposite Jessie Buckley and Eddie Redmayne in a new stage production of Cabaret in London’s West End.

Lydia West – 5/2

Lydia West (Getty Images)
Lydia West (Getty Images)

Another member of the It’s A Sin cast, West has also worked alongside Davies on Years and Years (the TV show, not the band). While West hasn’t had many other TV roles to date, she did make a brief appearance in Steven Moffat’s Dracula and is currently the bookies’ second favourite choice to replace Whittaker. Could another female Doctor be on the horizon? We’ll have to wait and see.

Olly Alexander – 4/1

Olly Alexander (Getty Images)
Olly Alexander (Getty Images)

For a long time, Alexander was the frontrunner to play the Doctor. Like Douglas and West, he also starred in It’s A Sin (in which he actually appeared in a Doctor Who-based scene) and is a multi talented performer who sings live with Years and Years (the band, not the TV show) as well as acting. However, he’s since slipped down this list, after saying in a recent interview with British GQ that he was “never” going to take over from Whittaker. “I can categorically tell you that I am not the next Doctor,” he added.

Michael Sheen – 4/1

 (Rex Features)
(Rex Features)

The 52-year-old actor has previous when it comes to starring in sci-fi and fantasy, having appeared in Good Omens, Underworld and Tron: Legacy. The role would be convenient for him, too, as he lives in Wales, about half an hour from where the show is filmed. Added to this, Sheen has connections. He recently starred in Staged alongside Tennant, a former Time Lord.

T’Nia Miller – 6/1

T’Nia Miller (Getty Images)
T’Nia Miller (Getty Images)

Also in the running to play the Doctor is British actor Miller, who is best known for her performances in The Haunting of Bly Manor and Marcella. She has a connection to Davies, having worked with him on Banana, Cucumber and Years and Years. Interestingly, Miller has already been on Doctor Who, having made an appearance in the 2015 episode “Hell Bent”. Not that that’s stopped the show before – Peter Capaldi famously appeared on Doctor Who in another role before getting the call, as did companions Freema Agyeman and Karen Gillan.

Lucy Lawless – 7/1

Lucy Lawless (Getty Images for Australian LGBT)
Lucy Lawless (Getty Images for Australian LGBT)

Xena: Warrior Princess star Lawless makes her way up this list after recently revealing that Doctor Who is the genre series she wants to join next. “You name it, I’d want to do it,” the New Zealand native told Newsweek. “You want [roles] with a bit of humour. It just helps get through the day. Comedy is always a lovely way of working.”

Rose Matafeo – 12/1

Rose Matafeo (Getty Images)
Rose Matafeo (Getty Images)

New Zealand-born comedian Rose Matafeo is a recent addition to this list. The comic is a mainstay on UK panel shows, but is best known for writing and starring in her own BBC sitcom Starstruck earlier this year. She’s also a previous winner of the Edinburgh Comedy Award.

Michaela Coel – 14/1

Michaela Coel (Theo Wargo/Getty Images)
Michaela Coel (Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

Coel is now a Bafta and Emmy winner for her work on I May Destroy You, but the actor is still in the running among the bookies to play the Doctor. The 34-year-old, who was recently cast in the new Black Panther film, has previously denied any involvement in the BBC series. In 2017, she tweeted: “Dr Who? Lol nah, I’m actually definitely not the next Dr Who. Also happy to collect the money you would have laid down in the betting shop.” However, she was less firm on the rumours in a recent interview, saying that she’d “never say never” to the role.

Rhys Ifans – 14/1

Rhys Ifans (Getty Images,)
Rhys Ifans (Getty Images,)

From Notting Hill to Harry Potter to The Amazing Spider-Man, Ifans has starred in his fair share of blockbusters – but could Doctor Who be next? The 54-year-old’s name was put in the ring by former Doctor Matt Smith, who said in a recent interview that he was backing Ifans for the role. ““You know who I think would be a brilliant Doctor Who… Rhys Ifans,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “Rhys would be sort of cool. I don’t know if we’ve had a Welshman yet. I’m backing Rhys!”

Hannah John-Kamen – 14/1

Hannah John-Kamen (Getty Images)
Hannah John-Kamen (Getty Images)

Another new addition to the bookies’ favourites, could John-Kamen be the next Time Lord? She’s certainly appeared in her fair share of sci-fi and fantasy, including roles in Game of Thrones, Ready Player One, Ant-Man and the Wasp and the forthcoming Resident Evil reboot. There’s yet another Davies connection here too – she appeared in two episodes of Cucumber in 2015.

Richard Ayoade – 16/1

 (Rex Features)
(Rex Features)

Doctor Who fans voted Crystal Maze host Ayoade, 43, as their first pick to take over from Jodie Whittaker in a poll earlier this year. One fan responded to the news on Twitter, writing: “Yes. He’d be perfect. He’d be a good logical extension of 13. Socially awkward, a bit alien, tiny bit rude. He will have range.”

Doctor Who continues Sunday 7 November at 6.15pm on BBC One.

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