Is It Time For a Woman to Topline ‘Doctor Who’?

Speculation is running high that BBC will tap show's first femme lead

It’s a mystery almost worthy of the Time Lord himself – who will succeed Matt Smith as the new Doctor Who? Speculation in the U.K. is rampant that the Beeb will tap a woman to play the 12th incarnation of the Doctor in the beloved sci-fi series.

Smith, who has played the iconic doctor for four years, announced June 1 that he will quit the role at the end of the year.

SEE ALSO: Matt Smith’s Exit Prompts ‘Doctor Who’ Speculation

He will regenerate for the 2013 Christmas special and star in the special 3D episode already filmed for “Doctor Who”’s 50th anniversary, lined up for a November telecast.

“Great actors always know when it’s time for the curtain call, so this Christmas prepare for your hearts to break as we say goodbye to number 11. Thank you Matt – bow ties were never cooler,” said “Doctor Who” showrunner Steven Moffat

In Blighty, much of the chatter around Smith’s departure has centered on who might be the show’s first, eh, Time Lady.

POLL: Who Should Replace Matt Smith in “Doctor Who”?

Helen Mirren is famous for her portrayals of the British monarch, Elizabeth II, so defeating the Daleks would be all in a day’s work.

Two years ago she expressed interest in the part when she said: “I would like to play the new female Doctor Who. I don’t want to be just his sidekick.”

But as betting opened on who might succeed Smith – himself a surprise choice – the odds suggested a black actor was more likely to be the new occupant of the Tardis than a female one.

In the U.K. support for the first lady doctor came from an unlikely quarter – in the leader column of The Times, still associated with the English establishment despite being owned by Rupert Murdoch.

“The first episode was delayed owing to extended news coverage of the assassination of President John F Kennedy,” The Times reminded readers. “It must be possible to turn the Time Lord into a Time Lady.”

British bookmakers have made Rupert Grint and Russell Tovey joint favorites for the role, best known for “Harry Potter” and “Being Human” respectively.

While ratings for “Doctor Who” are on the slide in Blighty, across the Atlantic the show’s popularity continues to grow.

The opening episode of the most recent series was watched by 1.6 million on BBC America.

Smith’s exit is not expected to disrupt the production schedule since “Doctor Who” is one of the BBC’s most lucrative international properties.

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  1. Dr Who Rocks says:

    Hollywood can’t do Doctor Who. The ill fated Doctor Who movie proved that.
    The essence of the show is unique and can live forever with the British keep them guessing Scifi that Hollywood would not understand.

    Please Hollywood stay away from speculating.

    A long time Doctor Who fan.

  2. Floydimus says:

    Kill of Theta and have Jenny (Georgia Moffett) or Susan (Carol Ann Ford) take over as The Doctor.

    If you really want a woman then make it 13 lives and not a fan wank one off.

  3. Mika says:

    It makes sense for the next Doctor to be a woman because River (a woman) gave all of her future Regenerations to the Doctor – he was fresh out of his own- ERGO the next reincarnation should be female; but not some young starlet, a mature woman like Helen Mirren, someone with presence. Besides think of how funny it will be to watch ‘him’ have to explain over & over again ‘ Yes it’s me, Yes I am female, yes I have breasts…now let’s go!” ROTFL I can just picture Captain Jack Harkness leering at the new female DR & trying to pick her up too! lol Now THAT would be gold!

  4. aly says:

    Oh come on! I understand all of that women power bandwagon, but the Doctor has always been male. I have a hard time seeing him as anything else. Yes, the show has a way off completely bombarding the boundaries and blowing it up for good measure but there’s always been a sort of respect between the lines in regards to the main character – all the way back to the first regeneration.
    Changing him just because it’d seem like a good way to get more ratings is like the Doctor being facebook friends with a Dalek. IMPOSSIBLE! And ridiculous. Please, as a worshipping Whovian, don’t change him. He’s perfect. Completely bonkers. But he’s our Doctor. Time Lord. NOT Time Lady.

  5. runebladecomic says:

    Helen Mirren would not only make it work, but make it a HUGE success for the franchise. DO IT!

  6. pj says:

    Helen Mirren is the ultimate Dr. Who – how great to have Who boys? Helen bursting forth from TARDIS…

  7. Jean-Michel Bergeron says:

    Who want a female there… They probably wanted to put Mr. Potato Head but they wouldn’t realistically let them… Another classic is going to be ruined… Damn decade

  8. Steven says:

    I would not want to see a female in the role of Dr. Who that would ruin the show for me.

  9. Dalene McConnel says:

    NO. Will boycott show if goes “pc”. Galifrey (sp?) had its own male-female-child persons. The Doctor is a Man.

    • samaelsmile says:

      Gallifreyans are also established within continuity as being able to switch genders during regeneration. There’s nothing “PC” about it; it is simply looking at all available options.

  10. Sketch says:

    The Doctor is a MAN. Don’t you dare turn HIM into a woman.
    Don’t, any of you, turn this into me being “sexist” or not having an “open mind.”
    Cause if they turned him into a woman, the show would being ruined.

    • samaelsmile says:

      Categorically stating that the show will be ruined if a certain category of actor is cast in the role is the very definition of not having an open mind, even if it’s not sexist.

      Also, it is sexist. It would not ruin the show. It breaks absolutely no rules about the show’s metaverse; it has been established before that Gallifreyans can change gender during regenerations. They would not be in any way limited in the stories they could tell by a gender switch and they would possibly even be able to explore more story types. Thus your only objection can be that you are opposed to it on an emotional level as opposed to any rational level, which is, by definition, sexist.

  11. dan says:

    No there should not be a women the doctor is a man and always will be otherwise it defeats the object of what doctor who is a man WITH a woman companion

  12. The Kingslayer says:

    Rupert Grint is a rubbish choice he’s a horrible actor.

    If they go with a woman Natalia Tena would be the perfect choice.

  13. Rupfan says:

    Agreed Rupert Grint is the best choice!!!!

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