The public are (im)patiently looking at the clock and tapping their fingers on their coffee tables, because tonight, at 7pm, the new Doctor Who star will be announced in a special live episode of Doctor Who Confidential.
It has been the saga to end all sagas, it seems like almost every actor in the UK has been mentioned in the same sentence as “Doctor Who” in the last few months, ever since Matt Smith announced his departure from the hit show in June.
But one thing’s for certain, the prevailing feeling today is that
Malcolm Tucker Peter Capaldi will be the twelfth Doctor. Bookies suspended betting after a flurry of bets for the man who played foul-mouthed press relations guru Malcolm Tucker in BBC’s The Thick of It.
For some fans of the show, something doesn’t quite ring true about the rumours. Show runner Steven Moffat is the king of concealment, and if he claims that only 10 people know the identity of the next Doctor Who star, then that’s the end of it, only 10 people know.
So it doesn’t make sense that so many people seem to be so certain that Capaldi is the next Doctor that they have taken their wallets down to the bookies and tried to cash-in on this knowledge.
Moffat isn’t just a double-bluffer, he’s a triple-bluffer; the press are fond of him and they rarely manage to get hold of information he doesn’t want them to get hold of.
Capaldi would be a “classic Doctor”, there’s no doubt about that, one to rival the likes of Tom Baker and Peter Davison, but would he fit in with the current Doctor Who audience?
GALLERY: Five alternatives to Peter Capaldi
Part of Matt Smith and David Tennant’s success was their ability to juggle family-friendly slapstick acting with a geeky sex appeal, pulling in young female viewers from America in their millions.
Capaldi, who would surely cut a dark and brooding figure as the Doctor, a real acting heavyweight with subtlety and class, would inherit an audience spoon-fed on silliness and eccentricity.
Of course, the sort of silliness and eccentricity dealt out by Doctor Who is the sort of silliness and eccentricity that simply cannot be matched by any other show, so would Capaldi get on board with it, or would he bring a different sort of humour to the show and risk alienating some of the existing audience?
These are all questions to be answered if Capaldi IS announced as the Doctor tonight, but what if he isn’t? Who are the alternatives?
Funnily enough, one of the favourites is Daniel Rigby… the bloke off of the BT adverts. He impressed in Black Mirror, and has recently pulled out of the BT adverts. Given that Doctors of the Time Lord persuasion are not allowed to appear in adverts, this could well be a sign.
If the producers want to go for a “name”, they could well go for Stephen Mangan, the star of Green Wing and Adrian Mole. He has a proven pedigree when it comes to comic timing, and has more recently reignited his stage career winning plaudits from the press.
More likely though is Ben Daniels, who would bring a dark edge to the role, the 49 year old would be the oldest man to take on the role since the show’s reboot in 2005.
Daniels has a glittering CV, with major roles in House of Cards, Merlin, The Virgin Queen and The Passion.
It’s about time for a Welsh Doctor though. Aneurin Barnard would be a young but able Doctor, with strong performances in The White Queen and having recently filmed with Michael Sheen in upcoming film Mariah Mundi and the Midas Box, he has similar credentials to a young Matt Smith.
If we are to see the first ever female Doctor, smart money would be on Sally Hawkins who has Doctor Who potential in droves.
Only problem is that she’s filming next year’s Godzilla film at the moment, so would she have finished in time to dart over to Cardiff and film her regeneration for the Christmas episode?
Time will tell!