If a female actress does take on the role, she must maintain the Doctor’s key traits. The character has always changed with each incarnation, however there’s always been a steeliness, a supreme urge for adventure and a selflessness that has made him impossible not to love. Here are three actresses who I think could do the best job.
3 – Maxine Peake
Casting a female Doctor would be the biggest risk in the show’s history. Like the appointment of Matt Smith, fans would be split about the decision and the show would need to entertain, to try and keep fans on side, as well as attracting new viewers. Maxine Peake has potential to play the Doctor similarly to Matt Smith. She has a wonderful eccentricity about her when she acts and I’d love to see her bring that to the show. She demonstrated in Silk that she can also portray a real stern and determined character and that could balance what could be a prodominately fun incarnation in the darker moments. Her accent along with how she performs would bring a good blend of the ninth and eleventh Doctors and Peake should certainly be considered, should the BBC decide the Doctor will change gender.
2 – Helen Mirren
Yes, casting Helen Mirren would be ambitious, but this is a show where several famous stars have appeared, nobody more famous than John Hurt as the Doctor himself. Mirren could bring a steel and grittiness to the role that would almost maintain the show’s traditional formula. I could see her working well with the usual younger female companion as a sort of mentor. Mirren recently starred in Eye in the Sky, a movie with a plot not too dissimilar to a few stories Doctor Who has attempted. She was stuck in the middle of wiping out terrorists armed with explosives but killing an innocent child too, or saving the child and risking letting the terrorists go. She played the character wonderfully well and it’s that sort of performance I’d like to see her replicate if she is handed the keys to the TARDIS.
1 – Ruth Wilson
If I had to choose on actress to play the Doctor, I’d pick Ruth Wilson. The Doctor is a character that is built on fifty three years worth of mystery. There have been over eight hundred episodes of Doctor Who, and yet we still don’t really know who he is. In Luther, Wilson’s character, Alice was someone who intrigued Luther himself, along with the show’s viewers. There was always an aura around her and if Wilson brought that to Doctor Who then I think she would add some more depth to the Doctor. Not only that, she would excel in action scenes too. Like Matt Smith, she is a young face with the ability to play a character a lot older than she looks. This is important with the Doctor, you have to believe that the character is actually two thousand years old. I think Wilson could carry this off in more serious moments and she has a lot of important traits to be a good Doctor.
The three actresses I’ve picked out are all pretty different, but they could all mould their own versions of the Doctor pretty well. The one thing I’m hesitant about with casting a female is the show taking a romantic twist. The tenth Doctor and Rose’s relationship was spoiled by their romance, and River Song was a character who become irritating because of constant innuendo being forced into the script. All three actresses have more than enough ability to carry the role without falling in love with a man to do all the dirty work. Although none of them would be my first pick to play the next Doctor, if the character does change gender, I hope one of them is cast to carry on the story.