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Cult Spy: The Next Doctor Contenders

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With David Tennant soon to hang up his Converse, speculation has been rife about his successor. Could the Beeb really cast Andrew Sachs to placate the former Manuel? After all, the current Doctor has a fondness for Barcelona...

Of course not.

Cult Spy instead looks at some of the more serious contenders and their links with the science fiction genre - plus one long shot, who might not be so far-fetched at all.



Chiwetel Ejiofor

His name may be a mouthful at first, but this acclaimed actor could easily slip into the role of the mysterious time traveller. Joss Whedon recognised his talent by casting him as the sword-wielding Operative in space western Firefly's big screen follow-up Serenity.

A trip to 2027 ensued in the dystopian Children of Men, but it was Ejiofor's role in David Mamet's recent film Redbelt that really highlights his 'Doctorish' qualities. Playing a mysterious martial arts instructor with a haunted past and uncompromising humanity, this part should win over any doubters.



David Morrissey

Well, he effectively is 'The Next Doctor' in one way or another, given the character he's inhabiting in the upcoming Christmas Special. As specific details of the character are unknown, we can only speculate as to whether he genuinely is Tennant's successor. After all, wouldn't it be a slight anti-climax if he does go back to play The Doctor in the new Moffat era if we've already seen him in action previously?

Morrissey's experience of the genre is minimal, although he did conjure up a few chills in horror film The Reaping. Besides, the experience of starring opposite Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct 2 should prepare him for any galactic atrocities and Time Wars.



Paterson Joseph

His cult credentials are undeniable as Joseph has nabbed roles in space-based sitcom Hyperdrive, Neil Gaiman's fantasy Neverwhere, and of course Doctor Who - as the ill-fated Weakest Link contestant Rodrick in first season finale 'Bad Wolf/Parting Of The Ways'. We've seen Freema Agyeman return to Who playing another character, so don't think that appearance will work against him.

More importantly, he could well be in the forefront of Steven Moffat's mind through playing the devious Benjamin Lennox (complete with dodgy American accent) in the future showrunner's reworking of Jekyll last year. Joseph also stars in the upcoming sci-fi serial Survivors, which, like all the previous shows listed above, is a BBC production. The organisation's bosses clearly love him, but will they hand over the Tardis keys?



James Nesbitt

Reportedly good pals with Steven Moffat, Nesbitt's brilliant titular performance in Jekyll should hold him in good stead. He managed to flit between the two central personas with ease, retaining a sense of menace and mystery for both. Such ambiguity would be ideal for The Doctor, haunted by the slaughter of his family in the Time War - an interesting parallel with Nesbitt's crusader for justice in Murphy's Law (minus the Time War part, of course).

His well-known cheeky-chappy persona could complement these darker characteristics for Doctor Who's family audience, although tabloid revelations in the past about his personal life - in which he was frequently branded a 'love rat' - might not work in his favour.



Sean Pertwee

Wouldn't it be sweet if Pertwee follows in the footsteps of his late father Jon by playing the Time Lord? Sharing the Third Doctor's rasping voice and rugged looks, the 44-year-old has explored both the future and space in films such as Event Horizon and Soldier. Tackling the Slitheen and werewolves should be a doddle after his experiences in Dog Soldiers.



Dexter Fletcher

A long shot, but perhaps Moffat could reward Fletcher for helping his early show Press Gang take off? As the rebellious teen Spike Thompson, his American accent was so convincing that viewers were shocked when he popped up as presenter on Gamesmaster and spoke in his natural Cockney tones. We've had Christopher Eccleston's Mancunian twang, so maybe the next Doctor might sound like a proper Londoner and fill the Tardis full of pie'n'mash, crime and double yellow lines?

Besides, Fletcher has built up a steady stream of work in recent BBC productions such as Hotel Babylon and Robin Hood and could be a surprising wild card selection for the eleventh incarnation of the Time Lord.


> Click here for our look at The Doctor's past regenerations

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