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Published on June 12th, 2013 | by Andrew Reynolds

Fans Want British Male as Twelfth Doctor Who

The people have spoken!

In a recent YouGov poll the great unwashed were quizzed about whether or not they were interested in Doctor Who and of those that were half wanted the Twelfth Doctor to be ‘male’, ‘British’ and a ‘character actor’.

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Of the traits listed by the Poll under the question: Which do you think it’s important that the next Doctor Who should be? Both the majority of Men and Women surveyed want the next Doctor to be male at 55% and 49% respectively.

‘British’ scored highly too with 58% of men and 49% of woman agreeing that the Doctor should be from these fair isles while 31% of men and 25% of women wanted that person to be a ‘character actor’.

Other appealing characteristics that scored highly were ‘attractive’ with 21% of women and 9% of men wanting a sexy Doctor, ‘Under 40’ with 20% of women and 18% of men wanting an actor who’s life hasn’t begun yet and ‘English’ with 25% of men and 19% of woman wanting a home grown Doctor.

The survey, conducted on Monday and Tuesday quizzed 1974 British adults on whether or not they were interested in the series. The 31% who expressed an interest were then asked various questions about their favourite Doctors, their political opinions and what sort of actor they would like to see cast as the Twelfth Doctor.

Unsurprisingly David Tennant was the favourite by a considerable margin – 43% of those who expressed an interest in the series choose him as their favourite with Tom Baker in second place with 16%.

Tennant was also the most popular choice with supporters of the four political parties noted in the survey – Conservatives, Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the UK Independence Party.

Tennant for PM!

The full break down of how the general public like their Doctors is available via YouGov.



About the Author


Everyone has a favourite Doctor and mine - just for his honesty, his fairness and his ability to not notice the Master's awful, awful disguises/anagrams (Sir Gilles Estram!?!) - has to be the Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison. The stories didn’t serve him as well as his acting served those stories.

30 Responses to Fans Want British Male as Twelfth Doctor Who

  1. avatar David says:

    Interesting. I must have missed this poll.

    I’m not opposed to a non-white Doctor. I’m also not opposed to a woman Doctor. Nor am I opposed to a non-British Doctor. (Though I would pick Hugh Laurie as 12, as a personal favorite.)

  2. avatar TonyS says:

    If I read this right, 1974 people voted. May be a high number as opinion polls go. But not high as a proportion of viewers/fans.

    • avatar Elder Wraith says:

      I’m not sure that it was a “vote”, at least not as we who often see Internet polls might understand it. YouGov don’t give any information on how the people surveyed were selected, not even in the detailed data which is embedded somewhere within the link that Andrew gave.

      As far as I know, a sample size of 1000-2000 is commonplace in the opinion research world. It may not be high as a proportion of viewers/fans, but it’s even less high as a proportion of the millions who vote in general elections, yet the polls in that context are quite accurate a lot of the time (I think the margin of error that’s usually acknowledged in political polls is plus or minus three per cent).

      • avatar TonyS says:

        Also the questions were separated. A number of people voted for a male Doctor. A number voted for a British Doctor etc. I couldn’t find any analysis of people who voted male AND British AND white. As you say, though, it’s not a vote.

  3. avatar lozzer says:

    Just make him a woman – get it over with so I don’t have to watch or care anymore – please, I’m serious, I’m so sick of all this nonsense that it’s genuinely putting me off the show.

    • avatar Craig says:

      Perhaps you should stop reading all the “nonsense”… just sayin. Out of my 40 years of Life, Ive watched doctor who for 35 of them. Personal opinion, stay with tradition. The doctor has always been a Caucasian English male (or played an English male). This isnt a sexist or racist comment… more a purist one.

      • avatar heikoc says:

        Doctor # 7 had a scottish accent.

      • avatar Daniel Taylor says:

        Whether we intend it or not, “stick with tradition” will always lead to sexist or racist _results_, because equality is a _new_ idea. Women weren’t equal on TV in the 1960s (and are closer but not there yet now), so the “traditional” lead will always be male. The “traditional” lead will always be white, because we used to be racist as hell.

        It’s not enough to not want racism or sexism; you have to actively work to get rid of the bits that are still lying around… or they’ll be lying around forever.

        (I mean, if Doctor Who of all shows can’t change tradition in the name of justice, what the hell will? That show breaks it’s traditions every ten minutes, to great effect. We all know what the Doctor would say…)

    • It’s terrible when people hold a gun to your head and force you to watch the show and comment about it online, isn’t it?

      • avatar lozzer says:

        Mike Tutu, at which point did I say I felt like I had to watch the show – The point I was making is that my enjoyment of the show is diminishing – and it’s not because of the actual show itself. At this point in time what is really annoying me are the ‘so called’ fans who want to change 50 years of history for the sake of ‘political correctness’. The point I was making, is that if they want to piss all over the integrity of the character and bring about the eventual decline of the series, then they can go ahead – If the character changes sex I’ll simple turn it off – that was my point. So no one is holding a gun to my head, that’s the kind of thing only a moron would say who likes to try and shoot people down. There’s better shows out there, Game Of Thrones being one of them, so I’ll say it again, go ahead, ruin the show, I’ve been watching since 1975, so I had the best years of it anyway.

  4. avatar John Watson says:

    It should be Tennant!

  5. “The great unwashed”, hmm? That’s supposed to be funny, is it? Maybe it’s not the smartest idea to be writing for a fan-site if you’re going to openly insult people.

    • avatar Spider-pope says:

      It’s a traditional way to refer to the common man, it’s not a commentary on personal hygiene.

      • avatar Elder Wraith says:

        In its original usage, it was indeed a comment on personal hygiene, albeit perhaps an ironic one:-

        “He is certainly a man who bathes and ‘lives cleanly’, (two especial charges preferred against him by Messrs. the Great Unwashed)”.

        (Edward Bulwer-Lytton, “Paul Clifford” (1830 novel))

  6. avatar Lewis Seymour says:

    Most surprising thing here is that of almost two thousand people only 31% expressed an interest in DW. Hardly suggests DW impinges greatly on the consciousness of the British people – it’s very definitely a minority interest, clearly.

  7. avatar Geoff says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. They can cast anyone, male, female, black, white just as long as they get their priorities right and keep the face in the opening credits. 7 years, 7 long years! I don’t want to loose the face now!

  8. avatar Barry says:

    Explain the 49% majority thing to me again

  9. avatar Barry Pape says:

    Maybe if there was a female doctor the number of people interested would increase.

  10. avatar TonyS says:

    “The great unwashed” isn’t an insult. It is a traditional way of referring to the general public. I agree that there are more flattering expressions. But I don’t feel offended by it.

  11. avatar heikoc says:

    Where is the “white” part from the headline quoted in the text? Maybe I don’t see it. Or is it implied that all british males are white? o.O

  12. avatar Jon Roberts says:

    I think the majority of fans like myself would welcome a Doctor of any ethnic background, its the actor that makes a difference, cast the right man and the rest is easy.

  13. avatar heikoc says:

    Whomever they choose should be able to act. I’m open to everything else and will continue watching the show either way.

  14. avatar Hyncharas says:

    When fans fail at bets, polls intercede…

    I don’t care what the 12th Doctor will be; as long as they follow the basic facial rules associated with regeneration.

  15. avatar Jeff G says:

    I have been watching DW for 36 years and agree the Doctor should continue to be Caucasion, British and a dude. It’s worked for 50 years. I however think he needs to be late 30′s and in great physical shape. A contract for 5 years minimum as well as I’m tired of changes right when you start to really like them.

  16. avatar Andrew G. Dick says:

    However many regenerations he has left, that’s the way it should stay.

  17. avatar Monkey says:

    Crap survey or crap interpretation. Most people want,, is 55% and 49%… its barely more than half.. You could just as easily said “barely half” want that.
    But i sure do, i want a male, brit, clever and a bit sexy doctor, thx. Like always! Lets keep something the same. Changing the character is pretty stupid he has barely enough time per episode to win agin the baddies let alone contemplate his or her personage and relevance in todays society blah blah.

  18. avatar dr jon says:

    What ever the wisdom of the bbc I hope they keep the dr with the same morals and values,justice for the underdogs,a sense of adventure and fun. An eccentric person who is clumsy and brave and will help his freinds at what ever the cost to himself. These are the things that make a good dr. And a great show.

  19. avatar Alan says:

    If they cast a woman as the Doctor, then to hell with the show. The Doctor is male, period! Let a man be a man. Sheesh.

  20. avatar David says:

    How can a black person to behave like The Doctor?

    I mean, it is easy to imagine Jesus to be a white male which has handsome look. But hard to think him to be in other sex/race.

  21. avatar melanie says:

    The Doctor has to be white, male, and British…why muck up something that’s worked for years?

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