Who Will Be The Next Doctor Who After Jodie Whittaker?
Bookmakers’ PR executives and copywriters must have bored themselves senseless issuing press releases in regards to the seemingly never-ending saga of who will replace Daniel Craig as the next 007 secret agent, James Bond.
It makes sense. Any speculation surrounding the most famous of all film franchises is almost guaranteed to find some column inches in traditional newspaper and magazine publications in addition to thousands of click-throughs from websites and social media platforms.
But with rumours rife that the current Doctor Who, Jodie Whittaker, is to leave the BBC show following the completion of the latest series – the thirteenth to air following the programme's revival in 2005 and thirty-ninth season overall – PR gurus have something new to act as clickbait.
More importantly, odds compilers have something notoriously difficult to price-up and punters, particularly those prepared to do some hard study, have something new to sink their teeth into.
Many will see Doctor Who, which first aired in 1963 making it one year younger than the first 007 movie Dr No, as a poor relation to Bond. But with Doctor Who boasting around five million domestic viewers per-episode and the cult sci-fi series being broadcast in around 50 countries including the United States on HBO Max, Britbox and BBC America, enough people will have an interest to make the several ‘betting on the next Doctor Who’ markets float buoyantly thanks to an abundance of liquidity.
Big Numbers All Round
Before we try to identify who will be awarded the role as the next Time Lord it must be pointed out an announcement is unlikely to be made until the conclusion of series 13.
Its filming began in November 2020 and production will not be complete until September 2021. Furthermore, Jodie Whittaker, who became the most recent Doctor Who on Christmas Day 2017, is not yet officially leaving the show.
The frenzy of news stories and betting activity is backed-up by no more than the BBC declining to comment on her future beyond series 13. It is unlikely this speculation is unfounded though and on average previous Doctors have had a three-year three-month lifespan.
While appreciating setting odds on all realistic candidates for the role is no easy task, some of the 80+ names and prices that have been quoted by various betting firms is quite frankly an insult to any sane person’s IQ. Boris Johnson at 20/1? Snooker player Peter Ebdon at 33/1? There’s good humour, there’s clickbait and there is infantile stupidity.
Unfortunately, when the wheat and chaff are separated there are still 30+ actors listed within the betting which boast the credentials Doctor Who’s producers are likely to be seeking.
Now a word of warning here. Recall how we said this one is “difficult to price-up” – a case in point is the outgoing Jodie Whittaker who was not listed with any bookmaker for the many months the ‘who will be the 13th Doctor Who’ market was open. She only entered the betting a few days before being announced as the new Time Lord.
Next Doctor Who Odds: The Leading Contenders
Just 33 the Londoner from Ghanaian parentage Michaela Coel is a real shooting star and the current Doctor Who favourite. Established as an actress, screenwriter, director, producer and singer. She is best known for creating and starring in the 2015-17 sitcom Chewing Gum and comedy-drama series I May Destroy You. During the past five years she has also guest starred in the series’ Black Mirror, Black Earth Rising and the film Been So Long.
Probably best known for her role in Shameless between 2004-07, this 46-year-old jobbing actress keeps herself very busy with TV, film and theatre work. She’s done plenty for the BBC down the years in particularly a leading role in 2013-14’s The Village.
Highly decorated for playing Margaery Tyrell in Game of Thrones, the 38-year-old from Reading first came to prominence by playing Anne Boleyn in The Tudors. A star of the box office smashing The Hunger Games: Mockingjay movies, her last work for the BBC came in 2011 with roles in Silk and The Fades.
Being a comedian, actor, director, writer, presenter and author it is hard to define what Richard Ayoade is best known for. It’s quite possible his voice is more popular than he is – after all six of his last eight TV roles, all since 2015 involved ‘voice over’ duties. Presenting The Crystal Maze and The Travel Man have been the only exceptions.
The 47-year-old actor, who is best known for roles in My Family, the movie Love Actually, a string of BT television commercials and more recently the lead role in Death in Paradise, was the early favourite and remains a relatively short-priced contender.
At 27, Comer is the youngest of all the Doctor Who front runners. She’s also over-qualified. An Emmy Award winner in 2019 for her co-starring role in the international hit Killing Eve, in 2021 she will co-star alongside Matt Damon, Adam Driver and Ben Affleck in a Ridley Scott big-budget Hollywood movie titled The Last Duel. Given her trajectory it’s doubtful she will be returning to TV roles anytime soon.
Socially Progressive Nature
Like we say the list is long. But is it a difficult one to cull? Irksomely the show has always allowed Doctor Who plenty of artistic rope. The character invariably fits the actor as opposed to the traditional actor morphing into the character. Geeks, romantics, no-nonsense northerners and more have fulfilled the role down the years.
But the show has always done its best to be socially and politically progressive and the social correctness which probably led to Jodie Whittaker becoming the first female Doctor in over 50 years (and a dozen previous appointments) might just lead to our next Doctor being a female from an ethnic minority background.
Who’s Our Money On?
Michaela Coel fits the bill in so many ways it’s no wonder she’s the current favourite. At 33, she’s in the age bracket of recent Doctors – they have been 33, 45, 28, 34 and 41 – but as short as 4/1 she does not represent huge value.
So it is the lesser known actress Jo Martin that we have our eyes on. Aged 40, the actress has certainly done the British TV rounds having appeared in EastEnders, Hollyoaks, Casualty, Doctors and Jonathan Creek. But it is more than experience, gender and race that draw us to Martin, who is now a Holby City lead character.
What makes her such an obvious pick is her appearances in two episodes of the most recent series of Doctor Who (broadcast in early 2020). These were no simple walk-on roles either – Jo Martin played Ruth Clayton, a character revealed to be a previously unseen incarnation of the Doctor. In essence a fully-fledged Doctor from a different era.
Rolling out a new Doctor during a previous season is actually common practice for this show. Peter Capaldi appeared in a 2013 Doctor Who Christmas Special before becoming the twelfth doctor in 2014 for example.
Interestingly, despite the Mail Online writing a feature on Jo Martin being the clear choice of Doctor Who amongst the show’s hard-core fans, it is noteworthy some bookmakers do not have her name amongst their list of potential candidates.
Are they keeping her ‘on side’? 16/1 is available at Ladbrokes though and that looks a great investment.
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