On Saturday night the Doctor Who fandom were thrown into disarray as it was announced that Matt Smith was set to leave his role as the Eleventh Doctor in this year's Christmas special. Following the 50th anniversary special in November, Smith will step into the Tardis one last time after four years on the hit BBC One show, before the Doctor regenerates into his Twelth incarnation in the festive special. The bow-tie wearing, fez-reinventing, geronimo-shouting Doctor that Smith created has become hugely popular amongst new and old 'Whovians' alike, ridiculing initial doubts over his appointment as David Tennant's replacement as the Doctor in 2010. With over six months before Smith and the Eleventh Doctor bow out, speculation will now inevitably be rife about who will step into the shoes of the Doctor and take the reigns of the Tardis. Despite the storied history of the Doctor, his casting has always followed a similar template. Could that be about to change? Here are 5 left-field options for the new Doctor.
5. The Female Doctor
A debate that reared its head once David Tennant had announced that his tenure as the Tenth Doctor was to come to an end was whether the Doctor could be a woman. Of course Matt Smith was eventually given the role, continuing the line of eleven gents who have played the Doctor. Yet there is nothing in Doctor Who folklore to say that the Doctor cannot be a woman. Indeed Stephen Moffat, Doctor Who showrunner, has dropped some heavy hints himself that he would be tempted to cast a woman in the spot. At the Edinburgh Television Festival in 2012 he asked "How many people would continue watching quite happily and believe it was the same person if the Doctor turned into a woman?" He went on to say that Time Lord lore itself states that the switch from male to female can happen, and that he put the reference in The Doctor's Wife episode to highlight that. Was he preparing us for the move from Time Lord to Time Lady? If we are to see a woman step into the role of the Doctor, there are a number of candidates who could take on the role. One name leaps out for me, and that is Olivia Colman. Colman has been on a roll lately, picking up two Baftas at this year's awards. She has shown she has the acting chops for the job, with starring roles in the likes of Broadchurch and Accussed, that have bristled with emotional intensity. She also the comedic timing and guile from her time as Soph in Peep Show, that would make her perfect for the wise-cracking Doctor. Colman is very much in vogue at present in the TV world, and what better way to capitalise on that than to step into one of the most acclaimed and loved roles in television history, while also taking a huge step forward and changing the direction of the show for good. One female who has also been tipped for the role is comedienne Miranda Hart. What a crushing error that would be. The thought of Miranda slapsticking her way around the Universe, tripping over the wires of the Tardis and giggling at double entendres with Cybermen is enough to turn the stomach. If the Doctor is to be a woman, give it to someone with the credibility of Colman.