Trending: Who would be best on Doctor Who?

Time Lord casting news - Rebecca Armstrong wishes they'd think outside the Tardis

Doctor gets new assistant' isn't the sort of headline that would normally make you look twice, unless you're a particularly avid reader of NHS staff mag YourChoice. But when the professional in question is Doctor Who and the assistant will be helping him save the universe rather than the group practice's budget, telly addicts and sci-fi fans alike rear up to get a better view.

The latest Tardis co-habiter was named yesterday as former Emmerdale actress Jenna-Louise Coleman. Young (25), attractive (twice nominated for Sexiest Female at the British Soap Awards) and with a solid acting background (she's been in Waterloo Road, Captain America: The First Avenger and will be bobbing up – or perhaps down – in ITV's new take on Titanic), Coleman seems to be a perfect fit for a role that has, in recent series been, well, all about being well fit.

The recent series of Doctor Who have, after all, seen hot doctors (Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith) assisted by companions so foxy (Billie Piper, Freema Agyeman, Karen Gillan) that it's a wonder any of them have time to fend off the Cybermen when they're navigating will they/won't they plot lines. Even the rumours surrounding the 12th Doctor (despite the fact that the current incumbent, Matt Smith, is still very much at the helm of the Tardis) named thinking lady's TV totty Benedict Cumberbatch, although speaking to the Radio Times this week, Who writer Steven Moffat poured cold water on that theory (and on hot-under-the-collar fans).

I think that all this Doctor/assistant sexual tension is obscuring the elephant in the room – the issue shouldn't be sex with the Doctor, but the sex of him. Or her – as, despite inching closer to the possibility of a female Doctor by way of Donna Noble, River Song and the much-missed Sarah Jane Smith, we've yet to see a Time Lady take up the sonic screwdriver.

"We've seen female Time Lords before – the Doctor's companion Romana in the Seventies was one," explains Tom Spilsbury, editor of the monthly Dr Who Magazine. "There's no reason why the writers couldn't do anything they wanted and Doctor Who has a format that means you can do all sorts of things."

My money would be on Helen Mirren as the next Doctor – and she agrees, having told the Daily Star in December: "I would like to play the new female Doctor Who. I don't want to just be his sidekick." But what would die-hard Whovians think? "I think it's a tough idea to make work. There would be a lot of resistance to it," says Spilsbury.

But fellow expert Simon Brew, editor of the website Den of Geek thinks otherwise. "I think there'll be one one day – I think there should be," he says, before revealing that, technically, Doctor Who has regenerated as a woman before. "Joanna Lumley appeared as the Doctor in a spoof four-part series for Red Nose Day called Doctor Who and The Curse of Fatal Death in 1999." Lumley! Another great potential Doctor who, as with Mirren, brings some much-needed maturity to a role that has been played by steadily younger actors since the marvellous, silver-tressed John Pertwee.

But this being the 21st century, I probably wouldn't be allowed to cast either of my Doctors without a little bit of chemistry between them and their helpmeet, much as I'd like Doctor Who to be more about the monsters than the romance. So may I suggest Harry Styles as a bright, young companion to either of these excellent candidates? OK, so Styles might be a bit on the busy side, what with a number one album Stateside, but he's be easy on my sci-fi eye.

Or perhaps we should take a leaf out of Torchwood's book and get bisexual Jessie J to spice up life in the Tardis with Helen or Joanna.

Arts and Entertainment
Reach for the sky: there are around 250 new buildings of 20-plus storeys planned for London alone, some 80 per cent of them residential
architecture
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
television
Arts and Entertainment
Shining star: Maika Monroe, with Jake Weary, in ‘It Follows’
filmReview: The ingenious film will intrigue, puzzle and trouble audiences by turns
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift won Best International Solo Female (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment

Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

Oscars 2015 Bringing you all the news from the 87th Academy Awards

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Lloyd-Hughes takes the leading role as Ralph Whelan in Channel 4's epic new 10-part drama, Indian Summers

TV Review

The intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Segal and Cameron Diaz star in Sex Tape

Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscars ceremony 2015 will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles
Oscars 2015A quiz to whet your appetite for tonight’s 87th Academy Awards
Arts and Entertainment
Sigourney Weaver, as Ripley, in Alien; critics have branded the naming of action movie network Movies4Men as “offensive” and “demographic box-ticking gone mad”.
TVNaming of action movie network Movies4Men sparks outrage
Arts and Entertainment
Sleater Kinney perform at the 6 Music Festival at the O2 Academy, Newcastle
musicReview: 6 Music Festival
Arts and Entertainment
Sleater Kinney perform at the 6 Music Festival at the O2 Academy, Newcastle
musicReview: 6 Music Festival
News
Kristen Stewart reacts after receiving the Best Actress in a Supporting Role award for her role in 'Sils Maria' at the 40th annual Cesar awards
people
News
A lost Sherlock Holmes story has been unearthed
arts + ents Walter Elliot, an 80-year-old historian, found it in his attic,
Arts and Entertainment
Margot Robbie rose to fame starring alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street

Film Hollywood's new leading lady talks about her Ramsay Street days

Arts and Entertainment
Right note: Sam Haywood with Simon Usborne page turning
musicSimon Usborne discovers it is under threat from the accursed iPad
Arts and Entertainment
A life-size sculpture by Nick Reynolds depicting singer Pete Doherty on a crucifix hangs in St Marylebone church
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Escalating tension: Tang Wei and Chris Hemsworth in ‘Blackhat’
filmReview: Chris Hemsworth stars as a convicted hacker in Blackhat
Arts and Entertainment

Oscar voter speaks out

film
Arts and Entertainment
The Oscars race for Best Picture will be the battle between Boyhood and Birdman

Oscars
Arts and Entertainment
Anne Boleyn (Claire Foy), Thomas Cromwell (Mark Rylance)
tvReview: Wolf Hall
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Meighan of Kasabian collects the Best Album Award
music
Arts and Entertainment
Best supporting stylist: the late L’Wren Scott dressed Nicole Kidman in 1997
film
Arts and Entertainment
Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan as Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey

Film

Arts and Entertainment
Mick Carter (Danny Dyer) and Peggy Mitchell (Barbara Windsor)
tv occurred in the crucial final scene
Arts and Entertainment
Glasgow wanted to demolish its Red Road flats last year
architecture
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower