The soul of a time machine called the TARDIS may have called her pilot “Thief,” but now the time traveler’s face is changing. The author of “The Doctor’s Wife” — Neil Gaiman himself — has weighed in on his choices for possible faces for the next incarnation of the titular Time Lord on Doctor Who.
Peter Capaldi’s announcement that he would be leaving the role of the 12th Doctor behind, forcing a regeneration for Season 11, sparked the usual scramble to guess who would be taking the TARDIS controls next. Calls for the first female Doctor have been more overwhelming than ever before. Now, Gaiman, the writer of Season 6’s “The Doctor’s Wife,” has thrown his thoughts into the ring, telling Radio 5Live that his top picks are Sue Perkins, Gillian Anderson, and Helen Mirren.
Gaiman thinks “the time is absolutely right” for a female Time Lord at the Doctor Who helm. “Needless to say I’d love to see a woman Doctor,” Gaiman said. “I don’t think there’s anything Gillian can’t do … If we have to go for an older Doctor, it would be Helen Mirren.”
Perkins, an English comedian and actor, is best known as a presenter on the popular The Great British Bake Off. She’s quirky, fast-talking, and just odd enough to really pull off a fantastic Doctor. Anderson has most recently worked on the crime drama The Fall, but is perhaps most recognized as Agent Scully from The X-Files, which gave her plenty of experience in the sci-fi genre. Then, of course, there’s Dame Helen Mirren, who Doctor Who couldn’t afford in a million years and who would never take the role. But — wow — wouldn’t she be a wonderful Doctor?
Gaiman, who penned “The Doctor’s Wife” and the Season 7 debacle “Nightmare in Silver,” might not be frequent in his Who involvement, but he is an expert in the fantastical. As a fantastic character creator and award-winning author, Gaiman has a good idea of what makes a character truly special.