David Tennant remains the bookmaker’s favourite to take over from Jodie Whittaker as the next Doctor in BBC sci-fi series Doctor Who, despite having played the part already between 2005 and 2010 as the Tenth incarnation of the Timelord and having starred in many of the best Doctor Who episodes of the modern era.
The Scottish actor, who neither confirmed or denied the rumour that he may be about to make a sensational return to the TARDIS when Russell T Davies takes over as showrunner from Chris Chibnall, did describe the concept as “pretty weird” when asked about it on stage at a Comic Con event in Germany last weekend. And with no firm denial, the bookies have kept Tennant as the frontrunner for one of the most high-profile roles in British television and sci-fi across the globe. At time of writing William Hill have Tennant at 4/5 odds on to be announced as the next Doctor after Jodie Whittaker.
Lydia West is second on the list, with the British actress who has starred in Years and Years and It’s A Sin at 7/2 to be handed the keys to the TARDIS. The 28 year-old has been rumoured in connection with the role for a while now, and having starred in several Russell T Davies shows in the last few years, she certainly is known by the incoming showrunner as a serious talent if he chooses to continue with a female lead after Whittaker.
Michael Sheen, who has worked closely with David Tennant on a number of projects in the last few years including Good Omens and Staged, is next on the bookmaker’s shortlist at 6/1. A fan favourite who many have suggested may be a good fit for the iconic role in the past, Sheen also lives in Wales where much of Doctor Who is filmed – so perhaps it would be a convenient commute for him if Davies were keen to talk to him about the role!
Also at 6/1, the bookies have Omari Douglas, the 28 year-old star of It’s A Sin, who worked opposite Lydia West in Russell T Davies’ hugely acclaimed show about the devastating Aids epidemic in London in the 1980s. Once again, it’s hard to know if the bookies are just going for people that have recently worked with the new showrunner, or if Douglas is in serious contention for the role at this stage.
Another name that continue to lead the bookies odds is Olly Alexander, the actor and singer who performs as Years & Years – and you guessed it, also starred in Russell T Davies’ latest show It’s A Sin. His name has been connected with the role for some time and was for a period was one of the favourites to step into the TARDIS, but an interview in January with the Guardian poured cold water on this idea when he said: “I definitely am not Doctor Who, and I’m not going to be Doctor Who. Promise!” Now that sounds fairly conclusive, however that hasn’t stopped the bookmakers from keeping him in the top five for the role at 8/1.
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Other names that continue to be mentioned in conjunction with the role include Lenny Henry (9/1), Michaela Coel (10/1), Matthew Lewis (12/1) and T’Nia Miller(12/1).
Talk of Hugh Grant becoming the next Doctor reached fever pitch earlier in 2022, but almost as soon as the idea of the Four Weddings and a Funeral star regenerating into a Timelord began the story was dashed by the man himself.
Taking to Twitter, Grant wrote: “Nothing against Dr W but I’m not. No idea where the story came from.” Once again, the bookies seem to still think he’s in with a shout of the role, remaining at just 12/1 in the current odds.
There’s a fairly extensive and long tail of names associated with the role once you get beyond Grant in the odds, including other people who have been mentioned in connection with the show before.
EastEnder Danny Dyer (20/1), Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge (25/1) and This is Going to Hurt star Ben Whishaw (25/1) are all big names that continue to linked to role.
But for now, we still don’t know who the next star of Doctor Who will be, and the guessing games continue. And when and how we will be told who the next Doctor is by the BBC remains as much of a secret as the identity of the star themselves.
Whether the actor’s name is already on the bookies list, or Russell T Davies will instead opt for someone unknown or completely different – well, at the moment, only time (and space) will tell.