Doctor Who: Ncuti Gatwa and other actors who were rumoured to take the role
In 2018, the actor went from being unknown to global stardom - thanks to Eric Effiong, his character in 'Sex Education' (Netflix). Now, however, Ncuti Gatwa will be remembered for being the 14th Doctor Who, following in Jodie Whittaker's footsteps.
There were many rumours about who would be taking on the role - we take a look at those other names who were thrown into the mix before Gatwa was chosen.
One more special episode is all that’s left for first female doctor, Jodie Whittaker. The actress said, "So here we are, weeks away from wrapping on the best job I have ever had. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to express what this role has given me. I will carry the Doctor and the lessons I’ve learnt forever." Easter gave us the second of the three specials and the other (regeneration) episode will air later in the year.
The much loved TV show will see its lead character once again morph into the next doctor. But who else was rumoured to be taking on Britain’s charming and comical Time Lord in the next instalment?
Jodie Whittaker has wrapped up her time as the Tardis-flying Time Lord. It's not normal to have a Doctor return to the screen in the title role, but Whattowatch circulated that David Tennant would reprise his role as the Doctor.
David Tennant was widely considered a favourite in the role, mastering the comedic, pain-behind-the-eyes character. Fans would have loved to see him back. According to this rumour from Whattowatch, it's still possible he might make an appearance. David might not simply play the Tenth Doctor all over again, but a brand new incarnation that just so happens to look and sound like his former self. Time for Doctor Who to get multi-universe timelines and a chance for Tennant's acting ability to really show itself? It could happen.
'Fleabag' was one of the most critically acclaimed and most popular shows in recent years and Phoebe Waller-Bridge not only starred in it, she created it. As well as many other accolades, she was also in the process for becoming the Doctor in Jodie Whittaker’s stead. In the end, Whittaker took the role, of course, but what wasn’t stopping Phoebe from taking on the challenge?
The Welsh actor is best known for playing Tony Blair, David Frost and comedy actor Kenneth Williams. He has also starred as himself in the quarantine series, 'Staged.' It is the latter, proving his perfect comedy timing, that has propelled Sheen into the top spot as one of the bookies favourites to take on the role of the next Doctor.
Although Erin has more often played the villain, her performances have given viewers enough reason to think she could take over the role of the Doctor. The air of leadership she demonstrated in 'The Falcon and the Winter Soldier' was understated, but she certainly showed promise and her quirky style and look was propelling her name in the run to take over from Jodie Whittaker.
O’Dowd has that ‘doctor-esque’ mix of personality traits where he could easily be the leader of the pack, but also the reluctant hero, as well as the babbling nervous characters. He had major roles in 'Bridesmaids' and 'Thor: The Dark World', which led people to believe he could take on the role of the Doctor, thanks to his ability to be silly and serious at the same time.
Miller has worked with new show runner (Davies) before - in ‘Years & Years’. On top of that, she has actually played already played a time lord in the Whoniverse. In the 2015 instalment, ‘Hell Bent’, she played a new incarnation of ‘The General’, so what was to stop her taking on the role of the Doctor herself?
The 'Mandalorian' and ‘IT Crowd’ actor was a top favourite for picking up where Jodie Whittaker left off. He is not only funny (bringing a respected comedy background), intelligent (having taken part in a number of panel shows), but is also an award winning actor, having picked up the BAFTA for Best Male Comedy Performance for his role in The IT Crowd in 2014. Ayoade would have certainly brought something special to the role.
'I May Destroy You' was a hit and Londoner, Michaela Coel not only starred in the successful film, but she also wrote and directed it. Coel has proven she can play authoritative roles with a vulnerable touch and could pull off being both wise and innocent. She was a real contender that many hoped to see become the Fourteenth Doctor.
Jack Whitehall, another one of Britain's successful comedians, revealed a few years ago that he really wants to be part of 'Doctor Who.' But playing the villain, not the Doctor. Despite this, there is a lot of promise that Mr Whitehall would make a fantastic Doctor himself - one day. He has the comic timing; he is very energetic and he has a commanding aura that people are generally drawn to.
New Zealand-born comedian and actress, Rose Matafeo has made a name for herself at the Edinburgh Fringe and gone on to star and write ‘Starstruck,' which has gone down rather well with audiences. She had a shot at taking over from Jodie Whittaker, for sure.
All those years ago, we first met Kris in ‘Love Actually’, but many remember the actor from his days in the hugely popular British sitcom, ‘My Family’. He’s a funny guy but has also proved he can investigate and take command. His role in ‘Death in Paradise’ has led many to believe he possesses all the qualities a Doctor should have. In fact, his name was flying around in 2017 before Capaldi was finally announced as the Doctor.
Many would love to see Comer as the next Doctor. The Liverpudlian actress has shown off some impressive acting skills and even won an Emmy for her role as Villanelle in BBC drama 'Killing Eve.' She would bring a fascinating sincerity to the role but would also show her light-hearted side thanks to her dry sense of humour. It could be a good fit - but now, at least, for the next regeneration.
Many are saying Dev Patel was ‘too famous’ to take on the role of The Doctor, but he does fit the bill rather nicely. Thanks to ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’, he has shown his sense of humour, but his other roles prove he has what it takes to investigate the universe and keep in control. Many were calling for a Doctor with a change of culture/ethnicity.
As a ‘Broadchurch’, ‘This is England’, and, most recently, ‘Line of Duty’ star, Vicky McClure would also have made a fabulous Doctor. She has played the roles with the tag-lines: ‘fighting for justice’ and ‘not stopping until it’s done’ - which bodes very well for a focused and driven doctor. While bent coppers would be nothing compared to some seriously bent Daleks, many think she had what it takes.
Another ‘Line of Duty’ star to add to the mix. Better known as DCI Jo Davidson in season 6, she is no stranger to the screen, the drama and being in the middle of the action. What’s to stop her from getting involved in the Whoniverse in the future?
So this is a name that had been passed around a lot when talking about the Fourteenth Doctor. She had already played ‘The Doctor’ - but as a regeneration from the Doctor’s forgotten past. It could get confusing putting this character back on the current timeline but it would definitely make a good story…
Harry Potter’s Draco Malfoy has shown there is more to him than a Slitherin school child shouting ‘Potter!’ down the hallways. Tom Felton has appeared in 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes', 'The Flash' and 'Origin' and is making his way into the world of the classic British actor. He certainly commands an audience.
Perhaps this one was a bit too farfetched, as Rhys had been confirmed to play Otto Hightower in the new 'Game of Thrones' prequel, 'House of the Dragon'. He wouldn’t have had too much time to become The Doctor.
And yet, his costar on the new series (and previous Doctor himself) Matt Smith, said in an interview, "You know who I think would be a brilliant Doctor Who … Rhys Ifans. Rhys would be sort of cool. I don’t know if we’ve had a Welshman yet. I’m backing Rhys!" Maybe next time?
Don’t underestimate Dudley Dursley. His other roles have prepared this young actor for a life on the screen; and his performances have been sincere, dynamic and diverse. Melling also already had a connection to the series. Interestingly, he is the grandson of the second Doctor, Patrick Troughton. Many thought it could have run in the family...
The final 'Harry Potter' star we added to this list is Alfred Enoch - Dean Thomas in the 'Harry Potter' franchise. He already ‘replaced’ Jodie Whittaker once before, in the medical thriller ‘Trust Me,’ so he had a remarkable link to the series. But it doesn’t stop there: he is also the son of one of the Doctor’s original companions. There was already so much linking him to the show, but he didn't make the cut.
Olly’s name had been flying around a lot. He was, in fact, the favourite to be the next doctor. Until he shot those rumours down. The musician/actor/television presenter would have made a refreshing Doctor, but his manager, Martha Kind, denied reports (before Gatwa was chosen) he would be taking part in the next series, saying: "I’m afraid I have to exterminate this speculation. As nice as it is to see interest in this story regenerate, it just isn’t true."