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Why that ‘Doctor Who’ dream casting probably won’t happen

It’s a beautiful dream, Maisie. But it’s not likely.


Michelle Jaworski


Peter Capaldi isn’t leaving the TARDIS anytime soon, but a one-time Doctor Who actor has expressed some interest at taking on the role once Capaldi is ready to hang up his coat.

Maisie Williams, who appeared in four episodes in Doctor Who’s ninth season, attended the Evening Standard British Film Awards Sunday night where she was asked if she would be interested in becoming the next Doctor.

And while she said she would take on the role, there’s someone she’d like to see in it first.

“Yes it would be cool, but right now I’m locked into some other things,” Williams told The Evening Standard. “I think a female Doctor would be incredible. I think a black Doctor would be incredible. I’m all for Idris Elba—but if not I’ll take it for the team and do it!”

Williams’s previous role in Doctor Who doesn’t automatically rule her out for Doctor Who. Capaldi previously appeared in season 4’s “The Fires of Pompeii,” a fact that didn’t go unnoticed by fans, and was later incorporated into the show’s overarching plot. The same could be done for Williams, if she’s ever approached for the role.

But for now, her schedule rules her out. She’ll be starring in an adaptation of The Forest of Hands and Teeth and the indie drama Arrivals in the coming months. And that’s not to mention her role as Arya Stark in Game of Thrones for the foreseeable future, which will be on TV for at least three more seasons (assuming Arya survives that long).

The same goes for Elba, who’s a fan favorite candidate for the Doctor, James Bond, and other casting rumors. He’s been celebrated for his portrayal of John Luther in Luther, and he has six films scheduled to come out some time this year. Plus those Dark Tower movie rumors have even more credit after Stephen King recently confirmed them. Elba himself once said he’d “look silly in a bow tie” when asked if he’d be the next Doctor, but that was probably more a comment on Matt Smith’s costume at the time than an objection to the role itself.

Simply put, our potential Doctor darlings probably have too much on their plates to commit several years to one of the U.K.’s staple TV roles.

Still, casting Williams or Elba as the Doctor would be revolutionary, especially considering the role has only ever been held by white men. Outgoing showrunner Steven Moffat has been historically resistant to a female Doctor, though he’s recently became publicly open to the idea. (The latest season finale, “Hell Bent,” made a Time Lord being able to change gender and race after a regeneration in the new series canon.) That decision, if Capaldi stays until Moffat’s impending exist, would fall with new showrunner Chris Chibnall. Even if Williams or Elba aren’t available, it’s a move fans would still love to see.

H/T Nerdist | Photo via Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)

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