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Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Stuff

12 Very Unlikely Candidates to Play Twelve In Doctor Who

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There’s been a lot of speculation floating around about who should replace the soon-departing Matt Smith on Doctor Who. Our buds at Geekosystem, for one, have quite the cool list. But we wanted to go in a different direction. To that end, here are 12 people who definitely won’t be picking up a sonic screwdriver and saving the universe. Even though we might want them to.

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  • Joshua S. MacDougall

    Sean Bean can only play The Doctor’s last incarnation of the Doctor, continuing the tradition of Sean Bean’s characters dying.

  • Trina Talma

    No, Rowan Atkinson can’t play the Doctor. He’s already done it.

  • Jill Pantozzi

    Mentioned in the post. :)

  • Carl Jackson

    I think something is wrong with me. As soon as I saw Dwayne Johnson all my loftier aspirations went away. He’s just so likable and so absolutely wrong.

  • Anonymous

    Sean Bean would go down in history as the Doctor with the shortest tenure. He’d die at the end of his introductory episode.

  • Jill Pantozzi

    The title does say “unlikely.”

  • Luna Carya

    Channing Tatum? Yum.

  • Jen Rock

    In a surprise twist, David Tennant will actually be playing the 12th Doctor.

  • Eddie Vroom

    I’d love to see Arnold Schwartzenegger get a two or three episode Dalek arc, Terminator-style — then get “killed” and regenerate. Just for the hell of it. It could open with the Doctor in the early stages of Upgrading.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I’m assuming this list is a joke.

  • Eddie Vroom

    What’s Tarantino doing?..

  • Anonymous

    How about Jackie Earle Haley? He’d be an older, scruffy Doctor with questionable motives and a dangerous streak that was a mile wide.

    As for an actor with the right nationality, I nominate Billy Connolly. He can certainly do the crazy antics stuff that the Doctor has become known for.

    Or in a surprise twist: John Barrowman. Jack already can’t die, so that would be a handy advantage.

  • Anonymous

    Hence why they’re called “very unlikely candidates.”

  • Rizz Rustbolt

    Even all this joke casting can’t take the sting out of it being Sheehan.

  • realinvalidname

    Allow me to nominate:

    * Liam Neeson – Turns out he’s already been all the other Doctors all along… because he is DARKMAN!

    * Hatsune Miku – Enough with having Doctors leave the part. Cast a CG holographic actress as the lead and she’ll always always be available. Bonus: think of the music and dance numbers!

    * Steven Moffatt – It would be fitting punishment for him to have to perform his own unworkable dialogue and plotting.

  • Pomfelo

    My ideal Doctor would be Helen Mirren. Although I guess she would kinda be River Song: The Doctor.

  • Anonymous

    Normally I’d be against an American Doctor. Changing race or gender is perfectly fine, but ‘British’ is kind of hardcoded into the character.

    If it was Dwayne Johnson though, I’d be too happy to complain about it. He’s almost so wrong for the part that he comes back around to being perfect.

  • Benjamin Meis

    Some of these would be pretty amusing to see, particularly Jeff Goldblum. But, honestly, I don’t care who the next Doctor is, so long as they can keep the Doctor as he is, with all the high energy and manic-quickly-switching-to-dark moments that started so well with Tennant (allowances, of course, for those personal embellishments that make each new iteration different and fun in they’re own right, I’m not saying it should just be a Tennant clone, I just like the sort of energy he brought and which, to certain degree at the very least, Matt Smith has continued). That said, and this is probably going be unpopular as all get out, I don’t think the actor should be a woman. Don’t get me wrong, it’d be cool to have some hidden Time Lady (maybe the Rani survived somehow or someone completely new and awesome) show up and even become a central character to the show. But the Doctor to me is a guy, honestly. I don’t care what race he is, but I personally just think this is not a character that would be served well with a gender swap. Now, I could be wrong, and maybe they hire some awesome woman and the show is as good as ever or even better, I don’t know, and I would certainly give the person they hired every chance (I wasn’t super keen on Matt Smith at first, but hey, he’s turned out pretty awesome). This is just a personal opinion, but I just don’t see the Doctor working as a woman. My two cents, as it were.
    Wow, this went longer than intended. So let me just say that I look forward to the continuing adventures of the Doctor, whoever that may be.

  • Anna

    AMY ACKER! think about it.

  • Anonymous

    Alternatively: It needs to be someone totally unknown, so tumblr can complain about it until they show up! Of course, by the next regeneration they will be the best Doctor ever, and how can the show be getting rid of them, curse you Moffat, etc.

  • chris

    wow, I just wasted 30 seconds of my life reading THE most worthless article, like Ever! how about some actors that actually “could” portray the Doctor? What about Richard Ayoade? I think he would make a fab doctor! and we would have the added pleasure of watching all the racists scream and rant! XD

  • Robin S

    Russell Tovey was given high odds (which I don’t quite get. I love him, but his turn as Alonso was really memorable. Bring him back as a companion!) He’s now definitively said no, it will not be him, via Twitter:

    And I quote:

    “Doctor doctor?
    Who’s there?
    Russell Tovey?
    Russell Tovey, Isn’t he gonna be the new twelfth Doctor Who?

    No x


  • Carl Jackson

    He was referenced in the other article. This entire article is outside the box thinking which is fine for fun.

    In practice I’m not sure it’s bad either. Hell, without that Sir Patrick Stewart never helms the Star Trek franchise. Charlie Jane Anders posits the Doctor has gotten a bit overdone one way. Why not go crazy with it and actually reinvent the character a little bit. You can always go back.

  • Carl Jackson

    Hah… another crazy thought… Jermaine Clement or Dichen Lachmann. No one will see those coming. >>

  • Jill Pantozzi

    Yeah, let’s do the same thing ever other site is doing and never have any fun.

  • Anonymous

    Are… are people not reading this article AT ALL? The title of the article says “very unlikely candidates”, the header thingy says “people who won’t be Doctor”, and the descriptions on the pictures are downright silly. And yet people are getting bent out of shape about it? Read first, comment later, folks.

  • Anonymous

    Speaking of Quvenzhané Wallis, would her purse be included as the new K9? Because that would be ten shades of awesome. K9, the Doctor’s trusted Companion and carrying case. I’ve always wanted a purse that could hold my wallet and jelly babies and also shoot bad guys and talk to me.

  • chris

    I guess your idea of fun and mine are vastly different. Why didnt we just add Pres Obama, Oprah Winfrey and John Wayne to the list as they’re equally “unlikely”. My point was not to get into a troll war with anyone, just that “unlikely lists” are pointless. Speculation becomes “FUN” when their is at least a SMALL kernel of possibility in them….

  • DarthBetty

    Yeah for REAL why DIDN’T we just say the most obvious THINGS instead of attempting WIT. Because DAMN Obama would have been the most OBVIOUS choice. Not to mention JESUS, and also my neighbors dog, and freaking ELLEN YOU GUYS

  • Jill Pantozzi

    If you find “unlikely lists” pointless, why did you even read it?

  • Rebecca Pahle

    Everything on the Internet has to have a point? News to me.

  • Anonymous

    I agree. I think they should make him put on a really really bad English accent as well though. And wear lots of tweed.

    Though having said that ‘British’ and English aren’t synonymous. I’d really like to see a Scottish or Irish or Welsh Doctor…

  • Anonymous

    OH MY GOD ELLEN AS THE DOCTOR!! I’d pay good money to see that.

  • Space Marine Lysana

    And he’d be a non-white Doctor! The rage. Oh, the rage. *grins*

  • Space Marine Lysana

    You’d think so, but apparently not. He was even Mr. Bean during the Olympic ceremonies. Also, there’s been a Bean movie in US distribution. Not so for Blackadder.

  • Anonymous

    I said it before and I’ll say it again – Amy’s “stupid face” speech about how you see someone when you love them is really about the Doctor’s regeneration. So the person who really gets what’s going to happen now is Gaiman. We’ll get someone we don’t know, and a month later they will have become the perfect Doctor.

  • DarthBetty

    Yeah, I took my sarcasm to a level where it instead became awesome and now I will forever wish Ellen as the good doctor.


    Idris Elba for Number 12! Wait, no, not Idris Elba; Stringer Bell.
    Stringer Bell for Number 12!

  • Jesse

    . . .

    I know this is a goof. But yeah. I would have been all in for Atkinsin for 12.

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    I dunno. He is a little young and a little Lister from red dwarf.

  • Anonymous

    I dunno. He is a little young and a little Lister from red dwarf.

  • Anonymous

    Unlikely candidates:

    Allison Janney. She’s got the comedic timing, and she’d be able to pull off “serious face” if she has to.

    Also, either Rob Brydon or Steve Coogan.

    They’d all be good, but oh so wrong.

  • Abel Undercity

    Ellen/Doctor cures the Daleks’ rage by teaching them, at long last, the simple joy of dancing. I like this.

  • Abel Undercity

    Neil Gaiman absolutely summed up how I’ve felt about every Doctor since the change from Tom Baker.

    Also, when my wife sees Dwayne Johnson coming out of the TARDIS it’s going to make her week, so thanks for that! :)

  • Nick Hudson

    Rule 1: The Doctor Dies

  • Suzanne Larsen

    the point of the internet isn’t cats? I’ve been internetting wrong all this time? Dammit I knew that college education would turn out to be a waste of time. *grumble*

  • James Alexander

    Neil Gaiman is exactly right of course. The entire internet needs to be ignored so BBC and Moffat can audition some people in peace and move on from there.

  • Mark Matson

    Betty White would be the perfect 12th Doctor! I can almost see them do it, too, as the 13th Doctor would show up after only a few minutes.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Thank goodness.

  • Octochan

    I think most of these are downright impossible, never mind unlikely. I’m still holding out for Craig Charles (Lister from Red Dwarf), since nobody’s nominated him in any of the lists I’ve seen.

  • Nicoclaws


  • Erin Macdonald

    That unexpected picture of Jeff Goldblum gave me the swoons. Thanks :)

  • Fisty

    Jeff Goldblum would be great

  • WHO

    I hate him

  • Agrehond

    I would love to see Edmund Blackadder as The Doctor!

  • Anonymous

    Tony Curran would’ve made a fine, glesca Doctor. And ginger! (The van Gogh role killed that daydream, but so sweetly that I didn’t mind.)

  • JF Spurlock

    How about Robin Williams for the Doctor?

    Imagine him going thru all the old Doctor’s clothes trying to find something to wear…
    Imagine that sly smile shining up from the Tardis Console…
    Imagine him in a long frock coat, with funny little granny glasses…
    Imagine a young companion for him again, someone in their teens like Bella Thorne,

    Just like it all started; A quizical old man and a young girl, in a Funny old Blue Box, full of surprises!

    What do you think? Robin Williams as “The Doctor”

  • Anonymous

    I’m hoping that in a surprise twist they bring Karen Gillian bcak to play the Doctor.

  • Elias Algorithm

    He could be the Doctor in real life because actual Sean Bean is freaking immortal.

  • stella

    But Amy Pohler is Leslie Kope…..

  • Anonymous

    why isn’t my name on this list? i am less likely to play the doctor than any of them are!

  • Anonymous

    Oh, you mean like…THIS:

  • Jayme

    “I agree. I think they should make him put on a really really bad English accent as well though. And wear lots of tweed.”


  • Luis

    My unconventional choice – Martin Sheen. The only TV role that could be cooler than President Bartlett.

  • BabeWoreRed

    Rowan Atkinson would actually be great, citing Mr Bean as the sum total of his career is total crap. Bean is far and away the lowest point of his repertoire, even if it is the thing he’s best known for (he suffers from Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” syndrome). Ever seen Blackadder? If not the only correct course of action is to watch it RIGHT NOW. He’d be the snarkiest Doctor of all freaking time.

  • BabeWoreRed

    Right?! Especially Fourth season Backadder, his companion would almost certainly not fall in love with his snarky ass. And all the cunning planning…

  • Anonymous

    Well, there’s your answer.

    Grumpy Cat as the 12th Doctor.

  • Suzanne Larsen

    well some people have been saying they want less zany, more curmudgeonly. *laugh*

  • Michael Cove

    I would love if mr bean would play dr who

  • Kristie McCann

    Richard Coyle, that would work for me. is he still around?