With news that Matt Smith is to leave the role of Doctor Who (read all about it HERE), many people are wondering who should play Doctor number “12”. So here are my 12 suggestions for The “Twelfth” Doctor – based on likelihood of playing the role and availability. Let the insanity begin! (Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.)

Haha, the look on your face! Anyway, here’s the real list…


Bit of left-field choice this one, due to his parts being usually quite “blokey”, for want of a better phrase, but Beesley certainly has a charm about him not to mention his “handsome” facade. Most recently seen with John Simm (The Master), Marc Warren (Love & Monsters) and Philip Glenister (Life On Mars) in the third series of Mad Dogs, Max would be quite unlike any other actor have Time Lorded it up.


Not really, I just wanted an excuse to use this picture of The Office star wearing a Tom Baker~esque scarf. Actually, having said that, an American in the role might be quite the thing – I’m sure BBC America wouldn’t be displeased. John has just finished on the aforementioned long-running sitcom (along with Catherine Tate) and his movie career is a bit start/stop. Doctor Who could be the kick-start he needs. And he’s not bad on the eye too.


The ‘lil Billy Elliot star,
if I may be so patronising, hasn’t really done much in the way of
television work, choosing, instead, to plough his furrow on the big
screen with works such as the working-class dancey film,
the brilliant Hallam Foe and, more recently, the “Steven Moffat” Tintin
film. The fact that he hasn’t been a small screen presence could work
for him in a very exciting way – though the paypacket would probably be
less enticing (one would imagine).



Another looker this one, Rafe has been making the move into movies of late (Life of Pi, Prometheus) and like Beesley, he has a bit of the handsome man about him (no bad thing, of course). But Spall has revealed many facets to his acting with interesting roles in BBC 2’s The Shadow Line and short-lived Desperate Romantics and also the fun C4 sitcom, Pete Versus Life. My only personal issue with Rafe is that every time I see him, my brain says, “You’ve got red on you.”


Now that he’s done with long-running television “show” House and back in the UK, Hugh would be a stout choice. Currently gigging his blues music everywhere, Hugh might want to get back into the acting lark, and what better way to display his actoring abilities than in the TARDIS – where he can serious it up and get the laughs, like he used to alongside his chum Stephen Fry (who should really play The Master). The only question is: Would the fans accept an American as Doctor Who???*


Mainly known for his comedy rather than his acting (The Mighty Boosh and presenting duties on UK panel show Never Mind The Buzzcocks), Noel could bring in a massively different energy to the TARDIS. His surreality [is that a word? – Ed.] in the face of an alien threat or discovering a new planet could be quite the treat. His odd frame and stature are perhaps reminiscent of Billy Hartnell and Patrick Troughton, whilst his child~catcher looks could bring in a rather different element of fear for the audience.



Everyone lurves Idris, right? BBC’s Luther has firmly established him as a cracking television actor after his electric role on The Wire.
His movie career has been interesting and not totally unsuccessful,
displaying an intriguing range of genres (shortly to be seen playing
Nelson Mandela and appearing again in Thor franchise). Elba’s stature and ruggedness could
possibly rule him out of the role but if the BBC were looking outside
the box that’s bigger on the inside then Idris would be an amazing


After lighting up the small screen as Nathan in the amazing C4 show Misfits (well, it was for a while anyway), Robert hasn’t exactly made the best of acting choices since then (Me & Mrs Jones anyone?) so Doctor Who could well prove an excellent platform for his charm. Sheehan’s bouncy hair and physicality are perhaps too similar to Tennant’s and Smith’s dynamic performances but the Irish actor has a cheek and a swagger that neither possess. Definitely a choice that would upset the “Doctor Who should be old with gravitas” brigade.


I’ve always lurved this guy. Richard is more into directing these days (including the wonderful film Submarine)
but his acting is always a blast to watch and I’m sure he could bring a
hugely alien feel to the role of the Gallifreyan. Having said that, if
he did play it as Moss from The IT Crowd then I’m sure we’d still
have a massively enjoyable show to watch and, after having two slightly
glamourous men in the leading role, might be nice to bring it back to


Whaddayamean “Who???” (That’s what some people said when Matt Smith was announced, if you remember). This guy impressed hugely as the charismatic David Bailey in the BBC Four docudrama We’ll Take Manhattan alongside former Who~er, Karen Gillan. Aneurin very much has an otherly look and that aged youth that seems to be the mantra these days. He’s soon to be seen in the upcoming big BBC drama The White Queen, but one hopes that he can set aside some time in his calendar for some TARDIS fun. He’s also Welsh, which might please a certain Roath Lock.


Interestingly, and I use the word quite wrongly, when I put togther a list of actors who would make a good Doctor Who back before Matt Smith was announced, this guy was also on the list. Since then, Ben’s career has rocketed in an amazing fashion with works like The Hollow Crown and The Hour on the small screen whilst big~screening it in films such as Skyfall and Cloud Atlas. I would think, in all honesty, that he’s just too large a name to commit to the show but Ben would undoubtedly be tremendous, and very much the old man in a young man’s body (stop it). A missed chance, one feels.


Like No. 2, I championed the choice of Chewie back in the day but felt his career trajectory was perhaps too much on the rise, appearing in a number of well-respected and well-performing movies. But Ejiofor has been returning to television and, specifically, the BBC with superb series such as The Shadow Line (featuring Christopher Eccleston and No. 9 on this list) and Dancing on the Edge (also featuring, briefly, Jenna-Louise Coleman). Physically, he’s got that look – that certain something that is undeniably human but has an edge of alien~ness. And his abilities as an actor aren’t too shabby either, with a body of work on stage and on screen that is not to be sniffed at (unless sniffing bodies of work is your thing). I can’t imagine a better TARDIS frontman for 2014 than Chiwetel and you can find him in the player above chatting to the BBC about the role of The Doctor.
12 Actresses Who Should Be The Doctor

10 Actors Who Should Be The Master

Check out more Doctor Who lists HERE.



  1. Jamie Bell or Aneurin Barnard areh the same the only guys in this list that seem the part and good looking, but I don't know how they are going to replace Matt smith the same way they done with David Tennet

    • I once saw a picture of Hugh Laurie standing in front of the TARDIS. People as far as Turkey could hear my squeeing. That said I wouldn't mind seeing him as the Doctor one single solitary bit. "American" or not (wink wink).

  2. No folks. Wow… after David and Matt, you're going to have to get someone MASSIVE to fill those shoes! The bar is set so high…

    Hugh Laurie would make a great Doctor. He could handle it and wouldn't alienate ( no pun intended!) Americans or the under 20 group or the elderly.

    I assume that money's no object, so why not look at some "upscale" Doctors:

    Simon Pegg

    John Simm (the Doctor who looks like the Master would make an interesting transition to John Hurt.)

    Benedict Cumberbatch (No stepping down after Star Trek and Sherlock?)

    Daniel Radcliffe doesn't seem busy…

    James McAvoy

    David Morrissey ("The Next Doctor")

    Ok – I'm taking the last 3 off the table:

    the 12th Doctor, if we are assuming John Hurt is the 13th, has to be able to carry guilt, heartbreak, loneliness, gut-wrenching loss and the knowledge of a his future self being "the killer of 10 Billion"(yes, yes, like McDonalds… I know) and "blood-soaked" while remaining whimsical, hyper-intelligence and super-benevolence, witty, charming, dashing – the sum of all the Doctors before him.

    It's going to take someone that can overwhelm (sorry, there's that word again) his past, his future and the camera.

    10 of the 12 possibilities listed herein just look "goofy."

    I apologize if I've stepped on "the Royal Toes," but I saw Matt Smith in "Ruby in the Smoke(?)" before he became The Doctor and he was ready for the role dotdotdot obviously.

    Beyond all above, if we are trending downward in age, I fear we will be stuck with a post-pubescent ego without enough depth to handle the big stuff.

    HOWEVER, I have faith in Moffat. He's poured his heart and soul into the show. Therefore, I will reserve judgement until it's official.

  3. SO GLAD TO SEE IDRIS ELBA ON THE LIST!! He's my number one choice. His performance in Luther is brilliant. Robert Sheehan was genius on Misfits as well, but he left right when the show was starting to take off, which is weird to me. So he'd probably be another one season Eccleston kind of guy.

  4. Jamie Bell please! But get his Georgie accent back! The accent he has now is so American! xD Also if I am honest the first person to come in to my head BEFORE I read the list WAS Ben Whishaw (would not mind him having ginger hair!)
    But whoever does it might do a good job hopefully it won't take as long to get used to as it did for Matt with me (Seriously just really got used to him and THIS happens!)

  5. I think Darren Boyd would be an amazing choice too! Not too big a name, but done enough to show he can act, and he's GINGER! I think, in reality, they may go older, but the choice of John Hurt as an old Doctor may be to compensate for the youngness of the new Doctor? Moffett always seems to overcompensate (like balancing the epic previous storyline and upcoming anniversary with some mellow episodes this season). It'll be interesting to see!

  6. Yeah, when last night Matt asked the fans in his Facebook page who should be the 12th, my first one to come in mind was Hugh Laurie, then I abandoned the idea, as I'm a massive House MD fan, and would be hard to get used to it. Richard Ayoade would be the best choice I guess

  7. A lot of people seem to be loving the idea of Olivia Colman in the role, and having a female actress do it would at long last be really cool.

    The Radio Times suggested Jack Dempsie and I'm not immune to that idea either, but I spent the early part of this year trying not to make up conspiracy theories that Jenna Louise Colman would not be cast in Dancing On The Edge without a potential Doctor or two in there.

  8. YOu need to find Ginger Actor to play the doctor. he always wants to be ginger so finally make him ginger for crying out loud.

  9. None of them if u havent noticed yet none of the previous doctors have been known for big things before dr who and the actors are getting younger not older and if a female doctor comes in it will wreck the show

  10. BNEDICT CUMBERBATCH :O please. I'm wishing for Ben Wishaw, Robert Sheehan, or Chiwetel- they could be good successors for Matt Smith, they're a bit like him but still different enough and pretty easy on the eyes too. I would die if an American (who couldn't do a british accent- I don't hate Americans!) became the Doctor- it is a classic British TV show, not American so it should go to an actor who can represent, for want of a better word, our britishness or at least do a plausible accent!

  11. What about Tom Riley? Richard Madden? Luke Pasqualino? Will Merrick? Joe Dempsie?

    I'd love a female doctor, but that's never going to happen.

  12. Tilda Swinton. Tilda Swinton. And Tilda Swinton. Now, there I´ve said it. She´s proved she can perform male and androgynous roles, with cruel and raw power underneath that feminine and boyish Peter Pan-air around her. Her androgynousness would make a very good and equal match to John Barrowmans/Jack Harkness polysexuality. Barrowman & Swinton would be a match made in storytelling Heaven.
    Also, Swinton could be the solution to actually finally having a female Doctor. If the 13th regeneration is the last, and the 12th is the last, Swinton would be perfect for the Grand Finale, no?

  13. hiddleston is too big in hollywood and probably too busy to accept a tv role
    cumberbatch has sherlock, another moffat baby, filming currently, it's too much and too soon, people would confuse them
    and as much as i'd love it, this is moffat we're talking about, he's not going to have a woman as the doctor

    what about rupert grint? or any of the phelps twins?

  14. Sad to hear the news today about Matt Smith leaving. But I find the list interesting. I like the idea of having either Richard Ayoade or Idris Elba as the 12th Doctor!

  15. I think it needs to be someone relatively unknown, thats kinda how it is with Doctor Who, so people see them as the Doctor and only the Doctor!

  16. Going a little out of the box how about Guy Pearce? Australian actor born in UK with a great acting history in movies & television (acted with Kylie Minogue in Neighbours).

  17. In my opinion the worst 10 people to play him ever!
    At least you didn't say things like Daniel Radcliffe or Benedict Cumberbach, which are just crazy and beyond belief!
    I'd prefer it to be an older guy.
    So that there's no "does the assistant love the doctor" nonsense.
    Jared Harris from Mad Men would be ideal but then he plays an English guy who's quite stuffy, similar to the first Doctor in a way.

    Who ever it is I hope they do well.

  18. Somehow, I doubt the BBC would go for a Black actor. A fellow Time Lord, yes. The Doctor, no.
    It's not that I'm racist, but there are many other fans who are

  19. I don't know how anyone can say Tom Hiddleston is too big Hollywood, then turn around and suggest Rupert Grint. I know Rupert Grint for the entire Harry Potter Series and know Hiddlestone for Thor and Avengers. So in that respect, I think Grint is far more known. Besides, if Hiddleston dressed as the Doctor, he'd look the part, whereas Grint will always look like a really young and goofy jock. If I google Rupert Grint in a suit, it looks like he was dressed by his mommy, and it doesn't matter what suit he's put into. Hiddleston just has the look, and also the depth to play a very complex and layered role.

  20. I'd love to see Hugh Laurie as the Doctor. Moffat admitted he was looking for an older actor to play the Doctor, before falling in love with Matt and changing his plans, so I think there are chances of seeing an older actor taking on the role. Besides, after three relatively young Doctors (and him getting younger with every new incarnation) it would be high time for New Who to have a more mature looking Doctor 🙂

    A young actor I'd like to see as the Doctor is Tom Riley, I'm sorry he wasn't on the list. I like him very much 🙂 Maybe in other 4 years?

  21. I'm a bit surprised that Chewie isn't getting more love here. If you've seen him as "The Operative" in Serenity, then there is no reason to give as to why he wouldn't be perfect for the role of the Doctor. He can be brilliantly disarming and carry a gravitas that could bring planets to their knees.

  22. Dear TheDoctorHasPie

    PLEASE note the use of * in the Hugh Laurie section and then note what it says at the bottom.

    I know he's not American.

    (Also please note the two reminders above).

  23. No Girl Doctor?
    There's any kind of sin to think Jaime Murray as the 12th? She's also british, cheeky, talented, amazing in improvise crazy ideas, loves the show, so why not?

    LoL Hugh Laurie's joke made of WIN o/

  24. While I admit the idea of a woman is probably a long shot… if they did, then how about Bonnie Wright (aka Ginny Weasley from the "Harry Potter" films)? I think that would be ironic with all the people who champion the idea of Rupert Grint.

  25. Caitlyn Blackwood! Female, ginger, and continues the trend of ever-younger Doctor casting.

    Or if you want to go in the other direction: Craig Ferguson, who has nothing better to do (just ask him).

  26. I never thought about Hugh Laurie as The Doctor…but what a great idea! I think he would be fantastic!! But what about George Blagden!?!? He would be fantastic, too!!

  27. I've looked at many of these comments, all good choices. But why has no one said Simon Pegg? I think he'd make a great Doctor. Just look at some of the roles he's played. Many of the Doctor's qualities are in them. So, please let Simon be #12

  28. My List,
    1.Ben Whishaw
    2.Damian Lewis
    3.Andrew Lincoln
    4.Colin Morgan
    5.Matthew Lewis
    6.Nicholas Hoult
    7.Chiwetel Ejiofor
    8.Matthew Macfadyen
    9.Jamie Bell
    10.Tom Hiddleston.

  29. I am still thinking Tom Riley. The first time I saw him, my first thought was that he would make an incredible Doctor.

  30. Honestly, my mind is blown thinking of House as the new Doctor. That would be, as number 9 would say, "Fantastic!"

  31. Love the list, love the majority of the suggestions in the comments, but I must confess that if 11, 6 or 4 made it I'd be in geek heaven.

  32. I am sick and tired of people asking for a female Doctor. Timelords do not change sex, there are two sexes or there was until they where killed off.

  33. They're all men! 🙁 I think it's about time we get a girl Doctor! I would die happy if they decided to have Helena Bonham Carter.

  34. My list:

    (1) Sean Bean: I am not sure he's any good for most of the time but I am pretty sure he will be awesome in his regeneration scene…

    (2) Iwan Rheon: Currently seen on Game of Thrones as the Bastard of Bolton, yes he's creepy, but in a fun way!

    (3) Jonny Lee Miller: He's more Rainman than Sherlock Holmes in the American (remake/fake) version of Moffy's Sherlock (Yes I am an Elementary HATER, so sue me), so let's get this poor man off this terrible show and put him in something good.

    (4) Rhys Ifans: Plays eccentric very well with a touch of class that instills trust/fear/authority (See latest Spiderman regurgitation and the over the top but very entertaining B-movie Anonymous), at the same time this is the guy who played Adrian in Little Nicky…

    (5)Benedict Cumberbatch: He's a natural ginger, isn't he? I know he's already playing Sherlock, I know he's too much of a hotshot and that they will probably need to spend 50% of the show's budget to pay his salary, but there's always blue/green screen right? And I don't mind if the Daleks look like they are made out of painted toilet rolls!

    (6)Cris O'Dowd: Just imagine: The 12th Doctor: Brilliant, nerdy and an absolute slob…

    (7) Katherine Parkinson: OMG NO! She can't be a woman! I mean…the Doctor is a Timelady! I mean…she can't be the Doctor! She is a girl!!!!! Yes, and she will be hilarious!!!!(If I google google, will the internet collapse? Tardis? How do I turn this thing on again? Why is this so complicated? All these dials and keyboards and levers, it's so confusing, why not one big red button with start painted on top of it?)

    (8) Sue Perkins: Again…Timelady…gasp, faint. She wouldn't be having any technical trouble with the Tardis though. Sharp-witted Sue will not be baking Souffles

    (9) Steven Moffat:
    I'll do it… long as I get to write the theme tune, sing the theme tune. Seriously, if he could be the 12th Doctor he would perhaps finally realize that SAVING ever BIGGER things (town, nation, race, planet, solarsystem, universe, multiverse realities, time it self) can become a bit of rut to play (and more so to watch) when the plot is as bad as it was in season 5 and 7.

    (10)Christoph Waltz: CV includes playing a disturbingly likeable Nazi and the sympathetic Dr. King Schultz in Django Unchained. Lovely accent…

  35. Andrew Scott would be amazing, but since Sherlock is such a high profile show and so closely related to Dr who I doubt anyone will be switching sides any time soon. Also Benedict has stated that he's not interested in taking up the role of the dr, and I'm personally very happy to continue watching him as Sherlock 🙂

  36. What do you mean Robert sheehan hasnt made the best acting choices? Hes in a film this august thats set for 5 sequals…

  37. Here's my list (I know that it looks quite impossible but I would love to watch any of them as the doctor):

    1) Helena Bonham Carter
    2) Tilda Swinton
    3) Hugh Laurie
    4) Matthew Macfadyen
    5) Toby Stephens
    6) David Thewlis
    7) Richard Armitage


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