Doctor Who: The actors rumoured to take over from Jodie Whittaker, from David Tennant to Lydia West

Here’s a list of the stars who bookies believe could be the next Time Lord

Isobel Lewis
Monday 18 April 2022 11:05
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From the stars of It’s A Sin to Michael Sheen (and even a former Doctor), 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.

Whittaker’s final series as the Doctor (called Flux) aired last year, which will be followed by three special episodes, the most recent of which aired on Sunday (17 April) night. You can read The Independent’s review 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.

However, Davies has said in a recent interview with The Guardian that they are yet to cast the role of the Doctor and that they are “just starting auditions”.

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

David Tennant – 4/6

David Tennant

If you’re sat there scratching your head and thinking, “Hang on, hasn’t David Tennant played the Doctor before?”, then you’re not alone. But fans have speculated that the Scottish actor will return to the show with Davies as an entirely new iteration of the Doctor who will stick around for a year in 2030 (which just so happens to be the 60th anniversary year) before another actor takes over. It’s a bizarre theory, but this is Doctor Who – weirder things have happened.

Lydia West – 4/1

Lydia West

Having worked with Davies on bothYears and Years (the TV show, not the band) and It’s A Sin, West is among the names leading the pack to ride off into the distance in the Tardis. While she hasn’t had many other TV roles to date, she will appear in the Apple TV+ series Suspicion and Netflix’s new Mike Myers show The Pentaverate. Whittaker herself also said that she would like to see West play the role, adding that she would be “phenomenal”. Could another female Doctor be on the horizon? We’ll have to wait and see.

Michael Sheen – 6/1

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.

Olly Alexander – 6/1

Olly Alexander

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 an 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. He has since backed Douglas for the role.

Omari Douglas – 6/1

Omari Douglas

Another member of the It’s A Sin cast, Douglas was initially a surprise addition to this list. Roscoe Babatunde was his first TV role, but Douglas impressed both Davies and viewers with his performance and was reported by The Sun to be the new showrunner’s top pick to take over as The Doctor. He has recently starred opposite Jessie Buckley and Eddie Redmayne in a new stage production of Cabaret.

Lenny Henry – 9/1

Henry in 2018

Comedian Henry has a number of connections to the Whoniverse. Back in 1986, he parodied the sci-fi series on his comedy show The Lenny Henry Show, in a sketch imagining him as the first ever Black Doctor. He then appeared in the show opposite Whittaker in the 2020 episode “Spyfall”, but this doesn’t rule him out of the competition, as Peter Capaldi famously appeared in another role on Doctor Who before playing the time traveller.

Michaela Coel – 10/1

Michaela Coel

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 has been 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 an interview last year, saying that she’d “never say never” to the role.

Hugh Grant – 12/1

Hugh Grant

A new addition to this list, Grant was linked to Doctor Who by reports suggesting he was Davies’ choice to play the 14th Doctor. He shot to the top of the odds, but has since slipped down again after Grant denied the rumours on Twitter, saying he had “no idea” where the story originated. “Nothing against Dr W but I’m not,” he wrote.

T’Nia Miller – 12/1

T’Nia Miller

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. Like Henry, Miller has already been on Doctor Who, having made an appearance in the 2015 episode “Hell Bent”.

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