Top 10 Women to Play ‘Doctor Who’
Over the weekend it was leaked (and then officially announced) that Matt Smith would complete his run as the Doctor on the long running sci-fi show Doctor Who. After the 50th Anniversary episode Matt Smith, the 11th Doctor, will regenerate during the Christmas episode for 2013. Amid the Whovian tumblr melt-down and hastily photoshopped loving/creepy tributes to him that seem to imply that a) he’s already left and b) is possibly dead, the speculation as to who will step into the pointy boots has begun. Jes M has already taken us through some choices for the role, but one thing that has already been suggested is that the Doctor may regenerate as a woman (something that has already been established to be possible). I for one welcome this – the show has been on the air for 50 years and mixing things up is a good idea. With that in mind here are ten suggestions…
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Joanna Lumley is an icon of British media. Best known on the screen for Absolutely Fabulous Lumley always stands out in whatever she does. A bold personality she divides her time between extensive charity work and acting. If the producers of Doctor Who want to pick a national icon to play another national icon then this is the way to go. She’s even played the Doctor before in Comic Relief!
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The Doctor is many things. He’s smart, daring, funny and something of an oddball. Personification of these traits would result in Mary Louise Parker. With her lead role in Weeds coming to a close she’s free to take on the role, and while many people associate her with the part of Nancy Botwin it’s her work on The West Wing that best encapsulates what she could do with the Doctor. If anything she’d certainly contribute some sass to the show.
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Atwell’s career has been short but littered with acclaim, with her first major award nominations coming within years of starting cinema with Brideshead Revisited. Now a household name after playing Peggy Carter in Captain America she is a striking actor with a strength of character that would be perfectly suited to a leading role such as this.
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Of the names on the list this is the one that is less known. That may be about to change though, having gone from The Prestige to Vicky Christina Barcelona to The Town and finishing with Iron Man 3. Through her career Rebecca Hall has taken on different roles and delivered each performance with charm and a hint of mirth. Going with an up and coming actress may work better than an established performer for the Doctor, and Rebecca Hall may be perfect for the part.
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Whilst never having broken the A-list Kristen Scott Thomas has been working to high acclaim on both the stage and screen for quite some time. Known for her especially refined taste she has even become the measure of ‘cool’ on the show Top Gear. Working in both British and French cinema has opened up many roles for the actress and has resulted in a varied and impressive resume that could be enhanced by tackling the world’s favourite time traveller.
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Few actresses are as interesting to watch as Emma Watson is right now. Although she did not intend to continue an acting career after the Harry Potter franchise which dominated her formative years she has now made a return the craft. Quickly breaking away from the perception of being Hermione Granger with a complex and well received performance in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, with the upcoming The Bling Ring looking equally impressive. On the books is a movie directed by Darren Aronofsky and a television series by Guillermo del Toro. Although she is high demand the producers of Doctor Who need to keep her in mind.
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This highly acclaimed performer has been acting almost as long as Doctor Who has been on the air, and continues to amaze audiences with her dramatic ability. She’s not one to play to type, with the recent RED seeing her meld comedy and high-powered action together. Mirren would be the actor who would bring some class back to the role of the Doctor after the more goofy Matt Smith and while she could balance the comedy and action it’s the emotional side of the character she would really pin down. Mirren has expressed as interest in the role in the past and a potential one-off performance, but we want to see what she can do over a season or three.
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Thompson is an actress with many strings to her bow. She’s worked with Ben Elton, Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie in comedy and her then husband Kenneth Branagh in Shakespeare adaptations. These slices of acting experience are invaluable for playing the Doctor, being able to amuse the audience and switch into drama at the drop of a fez. After Brave and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Thompson’s slate looks a little clean – perfect for making the commitment to an ongoing series.
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Dormer is currently becoming everyones new favourite character on Game of Thrones by keeping Joffrey round her little finger while being the only person to ever be nice to Sansa. Although she’s best known for a rather manipulative and untrustworthy character she has a wry smile and charisma that would be perfectly suited to the modern perception of the Doctor. And when she meets up with Jenna Louise Coleman on set they can reminisce about the one line they each got in Captain America.
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It would be easy to say that Winslet tops the list for being the best actress currently working, but she’s also perfectly suited to the part. The Oscar winning performer was introduced to audiences in Peter Jackson’s ode to insanity Heavenly Creatures and has continued to stay on the radar with a series of challenging roles and stunning performances. Interviews with Winslet have revealed a grounded, amiable personality with a sharp sense of wit, and her role in shows such as Extras demonstrates a kooky sense of humour. Kate Winslet had actually be sought for a role in Doctor Who before – that of the Doctor’s wife River Song. The part eventually went to Alex Kingston (who nailed it) possibly leaving the way open for Winslet to take up the controls to the TARDIS herself.
Don’t forget to check out Jes M’s picks for the men who could steer the TARDIS RIGHT HERE (and yes, some are ‘people of colour’ as one commenter puts it)!