Dear BBC and Steve Moffat, do not take me too seriously. Now that Matt Smith is leaving Doctor Who, fans are making their suggestions/predictions for a new Doctor. My daughter is in the camp that wants the first girl Doctor. She is also adamant that if it's "someone old" she will stop watching. I explained to her that she loved Chris Eccleston, and then David Tennant, and then Matt Smith--and she will come to like the 12th Doctor as well, whoever it may be. Give 'em a chance. All the same, she's still saying "no geezers allowed."
Doctor Who is a great show because it is fearlessly odd and imaginative. I want to be surprised, and confused, and amazed every time I watch. Whovians don't think outside the box; they envision the box as being infinitely bigger on the inside. So if anything is possible, I have a few thoughts on the next Doctor to surprise, confuse, and amaze fans who have come to expect anything.
1. Alex Kingston. As River Song, she was a divisive character, but I've always enjoyed watching her. River Song gave the Doctor all her regenerations (episode: "Let's Kill Hitler"). I think he owes her. Wouldn't it be wonderfully bizarre if the Doctor could rescue River from the library's computer by allowing his wife to embody his next regeneration? (Two shall become one?) Let's tone down the catchphrases. I think we're done with "sweetie" and "spoilers" for a while. Instead, the new Doctor will be an amalgam of both personas. Others may want this character to finally be put to rest; I'd love to see more.
2. Paul McGann. Yes, he already played the 8th Doctor in the 1996 television movie. But why not return to the past? After all, the story is about time travel. Let's revisit the unseen adventures of the 8th Doctor for a season--a wonderful detour before returning to the actual 12th Doctor.
3. Saoirse Ronan. My daughter wants a girl Doctor. Let's also make her Irish and really young while we're at it. Ronan was such a bad ass in Hanna, an alien of sorts. I have no clue how she would play the Doctor. And it would drive some fans insane. I'm all for it.
4. Idris Elba. His name has been floated around quite a bit for the role. Actually, this one would not be too crazy. He is the kind of actor who could do anything, play anything, and I would watch it. Many would expect him to play up his strong build and tough presence, a sexy action-hero Doctor (?), which makes me want him to go in the other direction. Bookish, peaceful, gentle.
5. No Doctor. You heard it here first. The Doctor stepped into his own timestream and is lost forever. Goodbye. Now Strax, Madame Vastra, and Jenny pilot the TARDIS, trying to fill his shoes. Maybe by season nine, the Doctor will return.