A big update here, as the BBC has revealed that we’ll know who’s replacing Peter Capaldi in the TARDIS by the other side of the weekend. The announcement as to who the next Doctor is will be made on BBC One following the Wimbledon Men’s Singles final. Best guess is somewhere around 6.30pm at the moment. Let’s hope it doesn’t rain.
Here’s the BBC announcement that it’s making an announcement…— Doctor Who Official (@bbcdoctorwho) July 14, 2017
Peter Capaldi is leaving Doctor Who at the end of the year, and incoming showrunner Chris Chibnall has been tasked with finding a replacement. The current showrunner, Steven Moffat, is on the way out, having helmed Capaldi and Matt Smith’s time in the TARDIS.
The outgoing team’s final episode will be the 2017 Christmas special, which has been directed by Rachel Talalay. The wrap party took place recently, and all signs seem to suggest that principal photogrpahy is done.
It sounds like there might be one shot left to film, though: the bit where the next Doctor pops up, post-regeneration, and checks if he or she is ginger. Cue lots of excitement, just before the credits roll and we have to wait ages for series 11.
Here’s the reason why we don’t think this scene has been shot yet: Rachel Talalay, despite directing the thought-to-be-in-the-can yuletide spectacular, has said this on Twitter…— Rachel Talalay (@rtalalay) July 11, 2017
“No knowledge of 13”, of course, refers to the incoming 13th Doctor. Talalay is either playing her cards very close to her chest, which is feasible, or genuinely doesn’t know who Capaldi is going to turn into in the final moments of the seasonal special.
Time for some baseless speculation: perhaps there will be one more day of shooting, with Chibnall at the helm and the new Doctor on set, at some point between now and Christmas.
Of course, we’ll bring you all the latest news as we hear it.
One man has claimed knowledge of the next Doctor’s identity: Russell T. Davies, who preceded Moffat as showrunner, and helmed the Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant eras of the show.
Speaking to Guys Like U, Davies said this, in relation to the next Doctor: “I do know who it is.”
Davies jokily added this: “every time you pass comment on Doctor Who, they go mad… they literally phone me up and say ‘can you stop talking about the program Russ.'”
It’s no surprise, then, that a seasoned pro like Davies refused to reveal who the next Doctor is. But it is highly intriguing that he knows (or claims to know) already.
If Davies was telling the truth, Chibnall and the BBC have conducted auditions and cast the role without the press or the public – or Rachel Talalay, apparently – catching a whiff of it. This opens up some exciting doors.
Could this be the first time in recent memory that they manage to keep the casting secret until the new face appears on the screen, post-regeneration? Might they film the next Doctor’s first scene at the very last minute to avoid spoilers getting out? That would be very exciting.
Doctor Who: latest ‘next Doctor’ rumours
As we’ve covered in a fair amount of detail (see: page 2 of this article), the bookmakers of Britain have had a field day trying to guess who will step into Capaldi’s boots.
Phoebe Waller Bridge – the star/creator of Fleabag and Crashing, who’s also playing a droid in the Han Solo Star Wars spinoff – is a name that’s come up a few times in the rumour mill. (To be fair, so are Tilda Swinton, Kris Marshall, Sacha Dhawan and Ben Whishaw.)
Now, the BBC’s own Newsnight seems to be pushing the rumour that Waller-Bridge could be the next Doctor, using clips from the series 10 finale and an old interview with the actress to back up the theory. See for yourself here…— BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) July 4, 2017
Sadly, sending us all back to square one, Waller-Bridge’s theatre company responded with this fairly final-sounding rejection of the rumour…— DryWrite (@DryWrite) July 5, 2017
At the moment, then, we don’t know who the next Doctor will be.
We’ll keep you posted as more news comes to light.
Doctor Who: who will replace Peter Capaldi?
As ever, it’s tough to put much stock in what bookies say on the matter. But, nonetheless, their stab-in-the-dark predictions are fun to talk about.
Today, DoctorWhoTV.co.uk has shared a story from Betway. This particular bookmakers reckons that Fleabag star Phoebe Waller-Bridge – who’s set to appear in the young Han Solo movie next year – is in with a shot.
“Phoebe Waller-Bridge is all the rage with the punters at the moment”, a spokesperson revealed. “Her odds of being the next Doctor Who have collapsed from 20/1 to 2/1 since Monday morning and we’re on red alert, keeping an eye out for any more telling bets.
“Kris Marshall remains solid at 2/1, but the sudden rush of support for Waller-Bridge suggests the race to become TV’s next Time Lord is swinging in her favour.”
Does it actually suggest that, or is people placing bets a fairly random process that might not actually mean anything? We’ll have to wait and see.
Earlier in March, Ladbrokes stopped taking bets on Kris Marshall landing the gig.
The My Family, BT adverts and Death In Paradise star, who recently left his role in the latter, became such a favourite with punters that Ladbrokes decided to pull the plug and stop accepting bets.
“A surge of punters have backed Marshall so we’ve had no choice but to close the book,” Ladbrokes’ Alex Donohue told the – sigh – Daily Mail. (You really don’t have to click that link and show them any support.)
“If he does get the gig,” Donohue added, “the bookies will be exterminated first.”
It’s worth mentioning here that bets were also suspended on Tom Hiddleston being cast as James Bond, when a suspiciously large bet was made. That was months ago, and the future of the 007 film franchise is still yet to be confirmed.
The bets-being-suspended-on-Kris-Marshall story in no way confirms that he, or anyone, has got the part.
Previously, when the first-wave of bookies’ choices to take over as The Doctor arrived online, Tilda Swinton was the favourite according to Ladbrokes, with odds of 7/2. The bookies’ next best guess was the aforementioned Kris Marshall at 4/1.
After that they listed Olivia Colman at 5/1 and Maxine Peake at 8/1. Ben Whishaw, Richard Ayoade and Andrew Buchan are all on 10/1, with Reece Shearsmith and Phoebe Waller-Bridge both on 12/1.
We’ll keep you posted as the latest rumours come to light. On page 2 of this article you’ll find Chris Chibnall chatting about his casting approach, and lots of quotes about Peter Capaldi’s departure…
Doctor Who: Chris Chibnall on his approach to casting
Chris Chibnall – who will take over as Doctor Who showrunner when Steven Moffat and Peter Capaldi leave at the end of 2017 – has been chatting about his approach to casting the Doctor.
The East Anglian Daily Times asked Chibnall if he would consider casting a woman in the role, as speculation has suggested. The previous showrunner, Moffat, paved the way for such a change by revealing that Time Lords – such as Michelle Gomez’s take on The Master – can change their gender.
“I can honestly say that nothing has yet been decided”, Chibnall said in response. “I haven’t got my feet under the table yet. I have been working on the play [Worst Wedding Ever, currently playing at The New Wolsey Theatre] and I am still finishing the latest series of Broadchurch. Nothing is ruled out but I don’t want the casting to be a gimmick and that’s all I can say.”
Neither a confirmation or a denial there, then. Chibnall already seems to know all the tricks of being Doctor Who showrunner, doesn’t he?
“We’ll cast the role in the traditional way: write the script, then go and find the best person for that part in that script. You couldn’t go out and cast an abstract idea”, Chibnall previously told The Telegraph.
“The creative possibilities are endless,” he added, “but I have a very clear sense of what we’re going to do, without even knowing who’s going to play the part.”
“I can’t confirm or deny any calls, texts, emails or conversations I might have had,” Chibnall said, asked if the next Doctor could be someone he’s worked with before on Broadchurch. “I’ve just had the most hilarious text from an actor I worked with a long, long time ago. And no, I can’t tell you who it is…”
Doctor Who: Peter Capaldi came close to staying
Previously, we heard that “It took Peter [Capaldi] a long time to make up his mind” about leaving. The outgoing showrunner Steven Moffat told Broadcast Now as much in a new interview.
The Moff continued: “Chris [Chibnall] tried to persuade him to stay. I knew it was a possibility that he’d leave because Doctors tend to do three years. I thought that he might want to opt out, rather than go through the trauma of a change in command and maybe leaving a year later anyway. But I think he came close to staying.”
Peter Capaldi announced his departure from Doctor Who on January 30th, with this statement…
“One of the greatest privileges of being Doctor Who is to see the world at its best. From our brilliant crew and creative team working for the best broadcaster on the planet, to the viewers and fans whose endless creativity, generosity and inclusiveness points to a brighter future ahead. I can’t thank everyone enough. It’s been cosmic.”
Steven Moffat, on the official announcement from the BBC, added that “for years before I ever imagined being involved in Doctor Who, or had ever met the man, I wanted to work with Peter Capaldi. I could not have imagined that one day we’d be standing on the TARDIS together. Like Peter, I’m facing up to leaving the best job I’ll ever have, but knowing I do so in the company of the best, and kindest and cleverest of men, makes the saddest of endings a little sweeter. But hey, it’s a long way from over. Peters’ amazing, fiery, turbulent Doctor is still fighting the good fight, and his greatest adventures are yet to come. Monsters of the universe, be on your guard – Capaldi’s not done with you yet!”
The announcement also confirms that series 10 will have twelve episodes in it, and will start in April.
More news as we hear it.