Rumours have emerged from a top secret “insider” in the Daily Mirror that the next season of Doctor Who will be the last with Jodie Whittaker playing the Time Lord, but the source did not provide any information on who was to replace the 38-year-old actress as the 14th Doctor.
As the first woman to play the role, Whittaker was considered a controversial choice by some fans when she took on the role in 2017, but after three series she has made the role her own and has become a fan favourite. And three series, it seems, is how long most Doctors last in the role, with Peter Capaldi, Matt Smith, David Tennant, Sylvester McCoy, Colin Baker, Peter Davidson, and Patrick Troughton all also moving on after three series runs.
According to the insider quoted by the Mirror, “[Whittaker’s] departure is top secret, but at some point over the coming months the arrival of the 14th Doctor will need to be filmed. It’s very exciting.” So, who do the UK bookmakers predict will replace her?
Michaela Coel – 6/1
According to the bookies, the 33-year-old Michaela Coel is favourite to become the 14th Doctor after winning acclaim for her BAFTA-winning role in Chewing Gum and creating and starring in hit BBC/HBO drama, I May Destroy You. Jessica O’Reilly of Ladbrokes told the Express: “Jodie Whittaker’s shock exit from the Tardis means the betting is wide open, and it’s currently Michaela Coel who punters would love to see become the next Doctor.”
Kris Marshall – 6/1
Kris Marshall joins Michaela Coel as joint favourite to star as the Time Lord for the next series. Marshall is perhaps best known for his roles as DCI Humphrey Goodman in Death in Paradise and Nick Harper in My Family, but becoming the next Doctor could take his career to another level. Marshall was rumoured to have joined the cast as the Doctor in 2017, but perhaps this year will be his turn in the Tardis?
Richard Ayoade – 7/1
Richard Ayoade is one of Britain’s best-loved faces on TV and has already won over the geeky crowd with his BAFTA-winning role as Maurice Moss in the IT Crowd. More recently he has presented prime-time shows such as The Big Fat Quiz of the Year and The Crystal Maze and had a small role in the hit family films Paddington 2.
Michael Sheen – 12/1
Michael Sheen is perhaps one of the most popular actors on British screens today, and with a quirky sense of style and humour seems perhaps perfectly suited to the role of the Time Lord. He is no stranger to sci-fi and fantasy, with recent leading roles in Good Omens and Tron: Legacy, and after starring in the lockdown hit Staged with best friend and former Doctor David Tennant the timing could be right for Sheen to make the Tardis his home.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge – 20/1
After the massive success of Fleabag, Phoebe Waller-Bridge may have her pick of roles today, but a few years as the Doctor could prevent her from being typecast down the line. Many had her as the favourite to become the next Doctor before Whitaker was announced for the role, so could it be that the bookies’ favourite in 2017 finally gets her chance in 2021?