As much as I would have Peter Capaldi stay on as the last Doctor Who ever, he has decided to retire. But who is the new Doctor?
It’s been four years since the last time we sat down at the height of summer while the BBC drew out a one sentence announcement with 30 minutes of filler. This year, perhaps recognizing that absent the 50th anniversary, Doctor Who interest now needs a ratings lead in, the announcement is timed to air post Wimbledon Men’s championship game. (The BBC was probably hoping for Murray in the final. Instead, Federer’s continuing his record-shattering run after taking time off will have to do.)
In the end, the odds seemed to have come down to two candidates. The first we’ve known about for months, Kris Marshall. The Death in Paradise actor has been a bookie favorite since early spring. He’s also the safe choice. Young, white, non pot stirrer type. It won’t take the BBC ratings back to the David Tennant years. (Nothing will.) But choosing him would prevent a GamerGate type fan uproar of white boys with hurt feels having hysterics that the 21st has come to their fandom.
It would also, it should be noted, be a huge disappointment to legions of fans who are outside of that small but vitriolic fanbase. Personally, if they were going to go with safe, they should have gone really David Tennant level and paid whatever money it would have required to make Ben Whishaw to say yes.
But while Marshall has steadily stayed at the top, there seems to have always been a second choice, and nearly always female. Whether this is simply fans hoping against hope? (Let’s face it, it probably is. What we should hope it is not is the BBC stringing fans along.) The slot has been held by actresses from Olivia Colman of Broadchurch to Phoebe Waller-Bridge of Fleabag. Currently neck and neck with Marshall this morning, as the announcement looms is Jodie Whittaker, also best known in the states for Broadchurch.
So who will it be? Will the BBC pull a fast one and surprise us? Or will it be disappoint the fans no matter what they do day?
IT’S JODIE WHITTAKER. OMG OMG OMG OMG.