Mark Gatiss, Billie Piper Support Female Doctor Who

Though Peter Capaldi has another season left as the Doctor, the discussion of who should take over the iconic role has already begun.

Following Season 10, Doctor Whowill undergo a massive regeneration… The long-running British science fiction drama will not only pass the reigns from the current showrunner, Steven Moffat, over to the next, Chris Chibnall, but will see the introduction of a brand new Doctor, following the end of Peter Capaldi’s three-season run as the Twelfth Doctor.

As is the case following every announcement of an upcoming Doctor regeneration, everyone has their picks for who should be the next incarnation. As with each previous regeneration of the iconic character, the calls for someone other than a white, male actor to take on the role seem to get louder. With speculation about who the Thirteenth Doctor might be starting up, it seems more likely that ever that the time-travelling Gallifreyan could be a woman.

The latest Whoinsider to speak up in favor of a female Doctor is Mark Gatiss, who has not only appeared on the show, but written eight episode of Doctor Who,in addition to the Whodocu-drama An Adventure in Space and Timeand Big Finish audio plays. Needless to say, he has been a major creative force in Doctor Whocanon.

Speaking to BBC Radio 2 (via Digital Spy) about the possibility of a female Doctor, Gatiss said:

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I think it’d be really good for the show … It’s been back for 12 years, which means it’s not the new kid on the block anymore, it’s not a revival, it’s been back for a long time … It’s the sort of thing that would bring an amazing new audience to it. I think it’d be fantastic. But who knows, it’s up to Chris Chibnall.

Current and former Whocast members who have also spoken up in favor of a female Doctor include Peter Capaldi, Eighth Doctor Paul McGann, and Billie Piper. Piper told the BBC that, if it isn’t a woman, she thinks it would “feel like a snub,” adding:

I’ve always supported the original format but I don’t know where they can go from here … I think it would be great [to have a female Doctor] given the spirit of the world at the moment. I think it would be timely.

Possible names that have been thrown out (entirely as speculation, at this point), include Olivia Colman (who worked with Chibnall on Broadchurch) as a frontrunner. Capaldi has suggested Harry Potter/Outlander star Frances de la Tour, while McGann has made his own dreamcast clear on Twitter…

— Paul McGann (@pauljmcgann) January 31, 2017

Inevitably, the decision is up to Chris Chibnall and the BBC. It’s hard not to hope for a Doctor type we’ve never seen before, one who represents the diversity of the U.K. — especially with the world in such a tough place right now.

The Doctor has always been a character who inspires hope in others. I think we need that now more than ever, and a more diverse Doctor Who— both in front of and behind the camera — would send a message I think the Doctor him or herself would be proud of.