Who is The 12th Doctor?

I know nobody’s looking at the Internet on a Friday in the summer, but allegedly the announcement of what actor will play the 12th Doctor comes out this Sunday, and all the Whovians are all a-flutter. Not the least of which are us; here at Stately Friel Manor we watch episodes on DVD going back to William Hartnell, and we get excited about new Doctor Who episodes coming out like civilians get excited about baby showers. Of course, we know there’s all kinds of specific criteria for who the next Doctor simply has to be, and all kinds of a wish list.

So, without further ado, here’s our dream wish list for The 12th Doctor.

Bob Newhart is The 12th Doctor.
“I… I… uh, did what I had to do, for uh… sanity, and, uh, peace, yeah. Something like that.”

Bob Newhart as The 12th Doctor. As Dr. Bob Hartley, he dealt with the greatest enemy of all: indifference and narcissism. He did it coolly and calmly, for the most part, but when things did get out of hand, it was always legendary (see Season 4, Episode 11, Over The River and Through The Woods). While Bob Newhart is Vince’s choice for The 12th Doctor, he’s not mine, because every episode would be 14 hours long and the Daleks would just get bored and go away on their own.

“Before you go, I just want to tell you, you were fantastic… And so was I.”

George Clooney as The 12th Doctor. As Dr. Ross, he handled a chaotic Chicago emergency room and made painful and difficult decisions, including assisted suicide for a child, with panache and grace. Also, that’s a hell of a lot of eye candy, which should give Tennant a rest from the heavy mantle of The Hot Doctor Who. Besides: he’s Batman.

“This is who I am, right here, right now, all right? All that counts is here and now, and this is me!”
“This is who I am, right here, right now, all right? All that counts is here and now, and this is me!”

Hugh Laurie as The 12th Doctor. He’s already posh, he’s already mad, but as Doctor House he’s been the guy who’s scarred and scarring. He’d cut the Ood’s shiny balls off to spite their inborn need to serve and say, “You’re welcome.” I actually can’t take this idea too seriously, because if the BBC had ever really wanted Laurie to play the Doctor, they would have gotten him to do it when they got Eccleston (my favorite) to play the Ninth Doctor. But he definitely fits the mold of irreverent and cute, yet damaged by the weight of history. Which brings us to the perfect fit:

“Do what I do. Hold tight, and pretend it’s a plan!”

Mike Farrell and Alan Alda as The 12th Doctor. The Korean War was hell, and it’s still ongoing. Doctors McIntyre and Pierce faced bombs, snipers, rage-propelled adversaries, young kids bleeding slowly to death, inhospitable landscape, adverse climate, bureaucratic knots, limited resources, inner demons, and Frank Burns, with charisma, swagger, and faith. If Soufflé Girl can split into a million different somebodies, why couldn’t the Doctor split into two? He often disagrees with himself, and maybe the writers will have an easier time keeping the Doctor from sounding like an idiot.

Okay. Before you rip me to shreds over canon and BBC Guidelines and your intense need to prove what an expert you are on Everything In The Whoniverse…


Personally I think the next Doctor will be either Ben Whishaw or Richard Ayoade. They’re both youngish and good-looking, inherently British, early enough in their careers to not have something else overshadow them to people who have never seen Doctor Who before, and both of them can have the Tom Baker hair (with the right stylist). Vince thinks it will be someone that no one has ever heard of, who has just enough film and stage experience to give them some credibility.

However, there is absolutely no question as to who the next Master will be.

“If I told you the truth, your hearts would break.”

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