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I’m Not Thrilled With This Hugh Grant/’Doctor Who’ Rumor

Hugh Grant in Paddington 2

Right now, we’re trying to figure out what is happening with the future of Doctor Who. Jodie Whittaker made history as the first woman to take on playing the Doctor, and while her time is coming to an end, her legacy as the Time Lord we know and love will never change. But the conversation about the show has now changed gears to being about who Whittaker’s successor will be.

While we don’t know where the show will be going, we do know that Russell T. Davies is coming back to the show after leaving with David Tennant’s Doctor, and it seems like the show might be heading back to the “Which British white man will take on the Doctor next?” if the rumors that Hugh Grant is in talks to be the doctor are true.

According to The Mirror, reporting on an unnamed “TV Insider—so, you know, conspicuously large grain of salt—the show is looking to have a “Marvel-style makeover.” What that means, I could not tell you, but the potential casting of Grant is a strange choice not because he wouldn’t be great (he would, I’d love him as the Doctor) but because that’s not really where the show was heading with Chris Chibnall and Jodie Whittaker’s work in the most recent season.

Apparently, this insider said, “He offers many attributes – great actor, British, award-winning, Hollywood A-lister and excellent at comedy. Conversations are in progress,” which then brings up some questions about the future of the show.

A step back

As much as I love Grant and his body of work, I think he’d be suited more as the Master than the Doctor, and I do think that the Doctor doesn’t need to go back to being a cisgender white man as the first choice after Jodie Whittaker. Hear me out: It’s going to give a new talking point to all the angry Doctor Who fans who hated Whittaker’s Doctor simply because she was a woman. They’ll get to point to Grant’s Doctor and say, “See? We should have left the Doctor as he’s always been,” or some other crappy thing about a white man taking the role again, and whatever joy I would otherwise have gotten out of Grant’s take on the Doctor will be destroyed by their sexist reaction to the show changing.

So yes, I would absolutely love it if we eventually had Grant on the show, but I do think that now isn’t the time. Again, if they want him to be the Master, then I am in. But as the Doctor? We need to keep moving forward in a more inclusive way with the show and not falling back.

A Marvel-style makeover?

I want to know what this means. Like branching into movies and a huge universe about the Doctor and the Time Lords? Or with something akin to a multiverse? What exactly is the meaning behind this and what does that entail? That is, for me, what makes it seem like this “insider” doesn’t really know what’s happening, so I don’t think that Hugh Grant will be our next Doctor, but let’s maybe lean more towards the inclusion of Jo Martin’s Doctor than going back to what we’ve known for the last 50+ years.

(image: Studio Canal)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.