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'Doctor Who' Matt Smith departs - Who should play the 12th Time Lord?

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Matt Smith is leaving Doctor Who and whoever takes the helm of the TARDIS next will have big shoes to fill - 30-year-old Smith is not just a brilliant actor but also a fantastic ambassador for the BBC's sci-fi smash and his clear love for what he was doing was always evident on screen.

Digital Spy will be bringing you more platitudes and tributes to Matt in the week ahead, but we all know that - just as the recently-dumped can console themselves by embracing single life again - so the only way to get over losing one Doctor is to dream who the next one might be...

The Doctor (Matt Smith) in Doctor Who: 'The Bells of St John'

© BBC

The Doctor in The Bells of St John



With the bookies already touting odds on a number of unlikely (Helen Mirren) or impractical (Benedict Cumberbatch) choices, we'd like to offer a look at a few actors who actually fit the bill and might stand a shot of becoming the 12th Doctor...

> Doctor Who: Who won't be playing the Twelfth Doctor

Damien Molony
Being Human, Hal (Damien Molony)

© BBC



Being Human veteran and rising star Damien Molony would make for a fantastic 12th Time Lord - anyone who saw him as the vampire Hal on BBC Three's paranormal drama knows that he can do dark, he can do funny and he can do eccentric. And with Being Human having now departed our screens, he's also available...

What's more, Molony wants the part. Here's a quote from February of this year: "The Doctor is one of the most iconic parts for an actor to play, up there with Sherlock Holmes [and] James Bond, it is such an epic series. Following in the footsteps of so many great actors, it would be an honour to play The Doctor…" - make it happen, Moffat!

Daniel Rigby
'Black Mirror: The Waldo Moment'

© Channel 4

A still from 'Black Mirror: The Waldo Moment'



He might've become a familiar face to UK audiences for playing a nerd in those BT ads, but Daniel Rigby proved he had real chops in an episode of Charlie Brooker's dark fantasy anthology Black Mirror and it's possible that he might've caught Steven Moffat's eye when he beat both Matt Smith and Benedict Cumberbatch to a BAFTA with his performance in BBC biopic Eric and Ernie.

Toby Kebbell
Toby Kebbell, Black Mirror, Channel 4

© Channel 4



An actor with real range, Kebbell won plaudits both for his role as junkie rocker Johnny Quid in Guy Ritchie's RocknRolla and his sensitive turn as the mentally impaired Anthony in Shane Meadows's Dead Man Shoes. He's not above doing telly either, having filmed a superb episode of Black Mirror in 2011, and Doctor Who would be lucky to have him.

Will Merrick
Alo from Skins season 5

© Channel 4



At just 20, Will Merrick might seem a little young to play the Doctor, but that's what people said when 26-year-old Matt Smith was cast. Those who saw his stand-out turn on Skins will know that Merrick has an offbeat energy that's compelling to watch. He played a small role recently in the Who episode 'Nightmare in Silver', but there's nothing to stop him doing a Colin Baker and coming back to claim the lead role. Plus, the Doctor would finally get to be ginger.

Alexander Vlahos
Merlin S05E09 - 'With All My Heart': Mordred (ALEX VLAHOS)

© BBC / Shine



Merlin's Colin Morgan has long been a fan-favourite to replace Smith, but the Irish star appeared to take himself out of the running last year.

But how about his co-star in the fantasy drama's final run? 24-year-old Vlahos is a fine actor, has plenty of geek cred thanks to Merlin and even holds a tenuous Doctor Who connection, playing Dorian Gray in a series of audio-plays from Big Finish - the same company that's produced Who on audio since 1999!

Harry Lloyd
Harry Lloyd in Channel 4's 'The Fear'

© Channel 4

Harry Lloyd in Channel 4's 'The Fear'



Once earmarked by former Who showrunner Russell T Davies, 29-year-old Lloyd remains a strong candidate for the role of the Doctor - since spectacularly creeping us out in 2007's 'Human Nature' / 'The Family of Blood', this fine actor's gone on to scoop a BAFTA nomination for his excellent work in Channel 4's dark drama The Fear and won a new legion of cult followers with his stint on HBO's Game of Thrones.

Who do you want to see play the 12th Doctor? Share your own casting choices below!

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