Doctor Who News Programme Name: We'll Take Manhattan - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Embargoed for publication until: 17/01/2012 - Picture Shows: Strictly embargoed for use in print or online before January 17th 2012. David Bailey (ANEURIN BARNARD) - (C) Kudos - Photographer: Daniel Krieger

Published on July 9th, 2013 | by Andrew Reynolds

Aneurin Barnard Wants to be 12th Doctor

Someone who would ‘absolutely’ consider taking the role of the Doctor is The White Queen star Aneurin Barnard.

Programme Name: We'll Take Manhattan - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Embargoed for publication until: 17/01/2012 - Picture Shows: Strictly embargoed for use in print or online before January 17th 2012. David Bailey (ANEURIN BARNARD) - (C) Kudos - Photographer: Daniel Krieger

The Welsh actor, who in the past has been touted as a potential James Bond, has said he is a fan of the show and that it seemed ‘like a very good, fun job to be involved in’.

Aneurin, who played David Bailey alongside former Doctor Who companion Karen Gillan in We’ll Take Manhattan, told the Radio Times:

“It’s one of those roles that has lived through time…It’s an endless tale and what’s interesting about Doctor Who is it can go in any direction at any point and every Doctor is taken very differently.”

He added:

“It’s a great piece of storytelling and you can have a lot of fun with that. I’m a fan, too, and I do catch it when I can, and I like all the old stuff.”

A great piece of storytelling it may be, however there are certain corners of the internet crying out for the Doctor to break with that storytelling tradition and, when the time comes for Matt Smith to say goodbye, regenerate into a woman.

One fan who is opposed to such a change is Law and Order: UK star Georgia Taylor.

Programme Name: We'll Take Manhattan - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Embargoed for publication until: 17/01/2012 - Picture Shows: Strictly embargoed for use in print or online before January 17th 2012.L-R Jean Shrimpton (KAREN GILLAN), David Bailey (ANEURIN BARNARD) - (C) Kudos - Photographer: Adam Lerner

Citing the reaction of fans to Dr Watson swapping gender in the recent, superfluous American case book of Sherlock Holmes, Elementary, Georgia said:

“It’s never going to happen. That’s not me doing a disservice to womankind, it is just one of those things.

It’s a bit like when they did Elementary. It wasn’t even Sherlock, it was his assistant, but the outrage that caused.”

As to whether the actress would like to appear on show, she said:

“I don’t think they will ever do it and I think now I am getting too old to even be the Doctor’s assistant.

They are all in their early 20s, and pretty. I think that ship has sailed for me, but I would like to be a Doctor Who baddie.”

So could you see Aneurin as the Doctor? Would changing the Doctor’s sex cause outrage or are you open to such a change?


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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.

18 Responses to Aneurin Barnard Wants to be 12th Doctor

  1. avatar FrancoPabloDiablo says:

    I wish people would stop this constant nonsense about the Doctor becoming a woman. Susan’s Grandfather will always be that – her GRANDFATHER! As for Aneurin Barnard, he’s a very fine actor but I’m hoping they opt for a slightly older actor this time round.

    • avatar Bob James says:

      I have a feeling the rot has already set in, and every time we have a search for a new Doctor, this speculation is going to arise. And it seems to have gathered in intensity this time. It is the most ridiculous discussion/argument I’ve ever heard amongst Who fandom, and it contributes absolutely nothing to the issue of gender equality in Doctor Who. But I don’t think, unfortunately, that it’s going to go away anytime soon. You even have people like Paul Cornell weighing in, trying to appear liberal and opened minded, when it’s just a silly discussion, period. It’s like poking a hornet’s nest though, because the moment you state that you think it’s a male role and should remain so, you’re branded anti-feminist, and/or conservative. I’m neither, and there is simply no rational reason to even be discussing this. I’m all for strong female characters, who are every bit equal to any male characters, and women being involved across the board in production, writing, and directing. But as it has been said, the Doctor is a bloke.

  2. avatar krumstets says:

    What’s wrong with a man changing his sex to a woman?
    Let’s face it , this is the crux of the issue. Some people are uncomfortable with gender reassignment.

    • avatar Bob James says:

      In the real world yes. Gender Dysphoria is a very real issue for some people. But the Doctor has never shown that any such conflict exists within him. He has never displayed, and it has never been remotely suggested that he is convinced that he is a female of his species trapped in a male of his species body. Nor had he ever displayed, nor has it ever been suggested that he believes himself to be transgender. To suddenly drop that in now, to please some misguided feminist notion of equality, or for the sake of being politically correct would be ridiculous. It would simply be patronizing, pandering condescension, with no real dramatic or narrative reason for doing it. Bring on the strong women characters, bring on strong female characters that are every bit the equal of any man, but the Doctor is a male of his species. For the minority that want to see otherwise, they can always read or write fan fiction. There is simply no sense or credibility to going on with this discussion.

  3. avatar TimeChaser says:

    Personally, when I watched Elementary in the beginning, I wasn’t outraged that they cast a woman as Watson. I think their mistake was casting Lucy Lui, who in my opinion really can’t convey a whole lot of emotion. I know comparing a man to a woman’s performance is like apples to oranges, but on pure performance alone, Martin Freeman is a much more dynamic and entertaining Watson.

    • avatar FrancoPabloDiablo says:

      Elemental is a completely different entity and still doesn’t deviate from the fact the the Doctor is a male and always will be – as is the way it should be.

    • avatar lewis seymour says:

      Didn’t Liu produce it? So she was going to be either Watson or Holmes and it’s probably lucky she ended up as the sidekick!

      • avatar FrancoPabloDiablo says:

        No, Lucy Liu did not produce Elementary in any capacity. Even if she had done I’m not aware of any rule stating that if you are a producer on a show you must also star in it. In fact the majority of producers out there are not even actors.

      • There is such a thing as vanity credits, perhaps she has this written into her contract…

        • avatar FrancoPabloDiablo says:

          I agree, but to my knowledge she wasn’t even ‘credited’. Just checked IMDB and no mention of a producer credit for her there either. Kind of wandering off topic now though eh :)

    • avatar Bob James says:

      Elementary presents a clear case of the sort of pandering that is being inadvertently suggested when these discussions suggesting the Doctor become a woman go around. There is no narrative or dramatic reason for Watson to become a woman. Doyle created the character as a male partner for Holmes. I don’t consider Elementary to actually be Sherlock Holmes, it’s just an often well written (the few I’ve seen), well made detective police procedural that just happens to have someone named Sherlock Holmes in it. Watson’s becoming a woman is an example of a patronizing, pandering, condescending way of thinking. And mark my words, it won’t end well. I’d be surprised if the producers don’t give in to the trend of the male and female leads ending up in bed together. Start to tamper with Doctor Who on that level and pretty soon it won’t be Doctor Who anymore. You don’t change a very positive, well balanced, multi faceted male character like the Doctor just to suit the latest demands of misconstrued feminism, and the latest whims of those aspiring to be politically correct. In the interests of being open minded, one shouldn’t go to the extreme that their brains fall out.

  4. avatar lewis seymour says:

    Just to get back to the point… Barnard, whose work I have not seen, is once again far too similar to Smith in look – we need someone, and will in all likelihood have someone, markedly different to MS, as this is always the way it has been. It would be nice to have a Welsh Doctor – but not, at this time anyway, this Welsh Doctor!

    • avatar Bob James says:

      I’d like to believe that someone is going to come in and just take it, like Matt did. That it’s going to be someone very different from Matt is a foregone conclusion. Anyone that walks in and tries to do a Matt Smith impersonation isn’t going to get very far. I’ve always regarded the Doctor’s incarnations as amplifications of different aspects of a far more vast single personality. In each incarnation, some aspects come to the fore and some retreat, but he’s always the Doctor, the same man displaying different aspects and facets, and so at the same time different than before. Where that goes always seems to be a collaboration of the writing and where the actor begins to take the character, and through that process, the writers and actor find the specific incarnations “voice”.

  5. avatar Ian says:

    He looks about six.

  6. avatar STLShawn says:

    So, there has already been the filming of the 50th, no word on the filming of the Xmas episode (that i am aware of), and Matt Smith busy as a man slathered in fish oil and tossed into a sea lion tank.

    I’m of the mind that the regeneration scene is filmed. The doctor regenerates after 50 into an actor who is under strict confidentiality rules. There may only be a handful of people who know the identity. On a slow news day, it may be announced.

  7. avatar Castiel says:

    I’d like it though he lloks like a good actor.

  8. avatar Ang says:

    So, I’m not completely against a woman doctor, though for me, the lucky lady would have to do an incredibly good, outstanding job and even then, she would get a lot of crap. Personally, I don’t think the Doctor should be a girl because to me, he will always be a grandfather/father/brother figure.

  9. avatar Layni Bee says:

    I wouldn’t care what gender the doctor is, as long as the writing and acting are both excellent. It irritates me to see people saying “it should never happen”. The fact that they won’t even entertain the idea is very closed minded. I was really surprised when they cast a woman as ‘M’ in the James Bond movies but it was absolutely seamless.

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