Peter Capaldi hasn't been at the helm of the TARDIS for very long, but already we're bracing ourselves for his regeneration. The Twelfth Doctor (Thirteenth if you count Meta!Ten) actor is said to be leaving Doctor Who when showrunner Steven Moffat steps down at the end of Series 10.
According to the BBC, Capaldi will be "bowing out" after the next Christmas special, marking four years as the Time Lord. The true identity of his successor is still up in the air, but a few names are already in circulation: Olivia Colman (Broadchurch), Richard Ayoade (IT Crowd), Ben Whishaw (James Bond), Maxine Peake (The Village, Silk), Rory Kinnear (Penny Dreadful), David Harewood (Supergirl), Emma Watson (Harry Potter), and several others.
But, according to IBT, BBC backers are hoping to replace Capaldi and his companion Bill, played by Pearl Mackie, with a “dashing male lead and young female companion.” This, they say, will return the show to the days of David Tennant and Billie Piper (in spirit) and help boost sales, which were said to have fallen in recent seasons.
“BBC management wants a return to the format from the David Tennant era, when you hada dashing male lead and young female companion,” a source told the Mirror. “Merchandising has dropped off sharply in recent years and there is a strong desire to boost the show’s popularity among kids.”
Billie Piper, known for her role as companion Rose Tyler, said the whole thing would "feel like a snub" if the Doctor regenerated into another man. If the Master can regenerate into a woman, why can't the Doctor? It's a valid question!
According to Radio Times, Joe Ahearne says there is no reason why a woman should not or could not play the Doctor. In fact he would "love to see a woman Doctor."
“Woman are 50% of the population. People who don’t want it are the ones who have to explain why they don’t want it rather than those who do. It’s just tradition. There will be some usual lunatic objecting but there’s always a backlash. I remember when Jon Pertwee turned into Tom Baker and I thought I’d never watch it again. But I'd forgotten two weeks later. That’s what kids are like and it is for kids.”
Ahearne directed several Doctor Who episodes, including "Bad Wolf," "Dalek," "Boom Town," "Father's Day," and "The Parting of the Ways." When asked if he would return to direct under the new showrunner Chris Chibnall, Ahearne said he will always be a fan of the show but "does not expect" to return.
Neil Gaiman even threw in his pick for the next Time Lord -- or should we say Time Lady? The bestselling author believes "the time is absolutely right" to shake things up in the main cast.
CinemaBlend reported that gambling company Ladbrokes still thinks the Doctor will remain male, placing the odds at 4/7 male and 5/4 female. However, "a ton of female names are bandied about" with the likeliest being Tilda Swinton, recently seen in Marvel's Doctor Strange.
According to the betting polls, "Tilda Swinton is running on 7/2 odds, meaning she's the favorite to take over. Other female names being bandied about include Olivia Colman (5/1), who worked with other Doctor Who actor David Tennant on Broadchurch, not to mention new showrunner Chris Chibnall, and Maxine Peake (8/1). Of the dudes who could potentially take over the new role, Kris Marshall (4/1), Richard Ayoade (10/1), Andrew Buchan (10/1) and Ben Wishaw (10/1) have decent odds."
Whether or not the Doctor regenerates into a woman, Whovians can take heart knowing our favorite Time Lord will be zipping across the time space continuum for years to come.
Peter Capaldi will be back to take us on more adventures when Doctor Who returns this April!