A friend of mine said that, in the wake of Matt Smith leaving Doctor Who, we might as well refer to the Internet as, “That place where everyone spends the next six months speculating who the next Doctor will be.” He’s pretty much correct. The speculation has began and the bookies are offering odds.
As usual with something like this, there’s speculation that the new Doctor might be female. Helen Mirren is apparently emerging as an odds-on favorite for a female Doctor, and Slate published an article saying that the next Doctor should be a woman. I respectfully disagree.
I think that making the Doctor a woman for the sake of making the Doctor a woman is a bad idea. It would be like making the Doctor black just so they could have a black person playing the Doctor. I dislike that sort of affirmative action.
That said, I can understand the desire to have a female Doctor, and I can even see certain advantages from a storytelling perspective. If nothing else, it would remove much of the “damsel in distress” vibe that the series frequently has, and it might mean that, for balance, we’d get an attractive young male companion, and I’d be entirely in favor of that.
But that said, what I want is the best actor the series can get for the role. If that is Helen Miirren, great! I’d be 100% in favor of her being the Doctor. I’d absolutely love to see her take on the role. If it happened to be Idris Elba, I’d be insanely pleased, since he’s a fantastic actor, and no doubt would be great as the Doctor. I’d be even more pleased if it were my personal favorite choice, Alexander Siddig. But you know what? If the actor were a white male I’d never heard of, but was also a great actor, I’d be pleased at that, too.
Should the next Doctor be female? Should the next Doctor be black? As long as the next Doctor is played by a great actor, I don’t really care about the other stuff.