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Published on August 2nd, 2013 | by Christian Cawley

CONFIRMED: The Twelfth Doctor Will Be Announced on Sunday!

Who is it? We don’t know, but we’ve got a strong list of hopefuls. All we know is that it isn’t Zoe “Wife of Fatboy Slim” Ball, who will instead be hosting a show called Doctor Who Live in a 30 minute show on Sunday evening (August 4th) from 7pm.

That’s right – the very show the BBC has been advertising as a pre-recorded celebration of Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary is going to be the venue within which the Twelfth Doctor will be unveiled.

In front of thousands of adoring fans, the choice of Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith’s replacement will need to be a strong one – any unusual or left-field choices could be met with a mixed reception…

We’ll have more on this story in the morning…


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About the Author


A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

84 Responses to CONFIRMED: The Twelfth Doctor Will Be Announced on Sunday!

  1. avatar KatKassner says:

    Crossing everything for Ben Miller, or at the very least someone over 35 :-P

    • avatar Lewis Seymour says:

      Most of the rumoured contenders have been “older” – Capaldi is 55, Miller 47, Paterson Joseph 48 I think, Colin Salmon (fingers crossed) 50, Kinnear 35, Ben Daniels 49. While it could easily be some youngster again, I would also hope for someone in this kind of age range.

  2. avatar Ryan says:

    Just caught this on the news. Big risk doing it live. They must be confident with their choice

    • avatar Lewis Seymour says:

      Can’t see them making any stunning leftfield choices – the curtain parting to reveal black female followed by stunned silence and sound of tumbleweeds blowing through the studio…

  3. avatar TimeChaser says:

    At long last, our prayers to the scifi gods are answered! I have no idea who it will be. I’m sticking with Ben Miller, but who in the past has correctly guessed who the Doctor would be.

    • avatar Ryan says:

      And the BBC have put out a teaser trailery thing

  4. avatar Drew says:

    How ironic would it be if it really does turn out to be…John Hurt?!

    • avatar Nick Kitchen says:

      Not likely considering Hurt has recently signed on for FX’s vampire show, The Strain.

    • avatar TonyS says:

      That I would like to see

  5. avatar Wayne says:

    I read somewhere today that it will be a scottish guy…..Craig Ferguson for Doctor Who anyone?

    • avatar Lewis Seymour says:

      Peter Capaldi’s Scottish – have you not been reading Kasterborous?

    • avatar authorman94 says:

      Well, we’ve already had two Scottish blokes to play the Doctor, Sylvester McCoy and David Tennant, who’s to say he isn’t a Scotsman? All I just ask is the new actor/actress is as good as the last eleven to play the part.

  6. avatar Bob James says:

    At least after Sunday we won’t have to have the annoying “flavor of the moment” debate about the next Doctor “should be a woman” argument for at least another 3-4 years……….

    • avatar Andrew says:

      If it’s been happening since 1981 it’s hardly ‘flavour of the moment’. It also suggests that there’s a real argument to be had about the issue. The only thing stopping a female lead being cast is inertia and precedent. Neither of these is a good reason not to do it.

      • There was no such discussion in 1996. It doesn’t suggest “there’s a real argument to be had”, it suggests that PR people will do anything to keep Doctor Who in the news when it is off air.

        To be honest, I’ve been surprised by the number of female fans who have come out against the move.

        I mean come on, changing the Doctor’s gender would be pretty crass, reducing any arguments for gender equality into a point scoring “look what we did!” while singularly failing, Iron Lady style, to be reflected in wider society.

        Doctor Who is a TV show, not a design for life.

        • avatar Lozzer says:

          When Moffat was asked to describe the Doctor at comic con recently he consitantly used the word ‘he’. That gives me hope.

          • avatar Lewis Seymour says:

            He also says he lies about the show…

            I’m telling you, it’s going to be Zoe Ball!

          • avatar Andrew says:

            As if he’d let us know beforehand…

        • avatar Andrew says:

          The reason there was no discussion is because the show had been canned and no one really expected it to come back. It’s not PR people asking the question, it’s Doctor Who fans and actually non-fans too. It’s not point scoring if you cast a good actor who does what the lead actor has always done. That proves the point that the gender of the role is irrelevant.

          • avatar Lewis Seymour says:

            I want a good actor. I have little interest in whether they are male, female, gay, black or purple with yellow polka dots – they just have to be good!

            But, as I have said before, if we have a female Doctor the writing for female characters will have to step up considerably – it just isn’t good enough at the moment (River Song, a proto female Doctor if there ever was one, was horribly written).

          • Of course it’s point scoring. 50 years of a male Doctor, to be changed to female in supposedly “enlightened” times (hint: we don’t live in enlightened times, only times that are different)?

            The vast majority of fans want a male Doctor, according to various polls. Changing gender would be nothing more than sickening tokenism that detracts from the issue it is supposedly highlighting in order to placate right-on sensibilities.

            It might be nice and interesting to change the Doctor’s gender, but what does it achieve, really? What’s the point?

          • avatar Andrew says:

            I can’t reply to any further below this, so I’ll have to commit the faux pas of replying to myself. Why does a female actor in the role have to be written ‘better’ than a male one? Is it the ‘dog walking on its hind legs’ effect? i.e. not that it’s done well, that it’s done at all. If you have a good actor and good script, gender becomes irrelevant. No gimmicks, no cheap jokes about periods and mini-skirts (that’s for the Sun journalists, as if the showrunner would) just the Doctor doing what the Doctor does.

          • avatar Andrew says:

            It’s not ‘tokenism’ if the casting is treated in the same manner as we would a male actor. It’s not being right-on, because women aren’t inherently ‘right on’. The same applies to all areas of life where women are excluded. To achieve the same rights as men is painted as gaining privilege, which is simply not true.

          • It might not be true, but in our society it is a reality.

            My point about Thatcher below, for instance. She ruled the country for 13 years, and what did that do for women in the workplace? Did women suddenly break through the glass ceiling in the management structure of big companies? Not really, that didn’t start happening until about 10 years ago and was more to do with equality laws than anything to do with Thatcher. And then we have the queen. Same story.

            It doesn’t matter whether changing the Doctor’s gender is a gimmick or not, if it is perceived to be one, that’s when we hit dangerous territory.

          • avatar Lewis Seymour says:

            I don’t want the female characters to be written better than males – I want the writing to be better than they are at the moment. In other words, the female characters are basically badly written.

            By the way, you are now managing to argue with someone who essentially agreed with you, you know that, don’t you?

        • avatar Bob James says:

          Well said, Christian. As for Andrew above with the statement “If it’s been happening since 1981″, well, it was pretty evident then that Tom Baker was winding things up. This is Tom Baker we’re talking about, taking the piss. It was a joke then, the very notion of it, and it still is now. As to the “real life” ramifications of such a drastic change, I feel it’s more of an insult than anything else, to any feminist, or anyone from the LGBT community to suggest that they are so lacking in creativity and imagination that they need to start gender swapping established characters instead of creating their own.

          • avatar Alan says:


          • avatar Lewis Seymour says:

            No need to shout.

  7. avatar Geoff says:

    And there I was poo pooing Chiristians other post saying they’ll never do a live reveal on prime time! I’ve never been more happy and excited to be wrong! Role on Sunday!!!!

  8. avatar Geoff says:

    Of course now we and Steven Moffat have to hope that some idiot at the BBC doesn’t accidentally blast out a PDF of the new Doctors contract to “all users” on an email….again.

    • avatar Lewis Seymour says:

      Moffat’s probably unplugged the email server at the BBC.

  9. avatar Lewis Seymour says:

    I rather long for the old days when they’d just have a press call and the new Doctor would lean against the Tardis with a golfing umbrella for the photo shoot…

  10. avatar Geoff says:

    And it would only be covered on page 9 of the Sun… I don’t miss those days actually! I’ve been reading a few other sites re this news (well what else am I to do at 5am after a nightshift when I need to be up at 7 anyway?). I do wonder if a big primetime announcement means they have cast an existing name, especially as they are doing an interactive piece between him (oh come on of course it’s a “him”) and the audience. Then I read a quote on BBC news which said this is so secret that even other actors working on other projects with the actor rift now don’t know they are in the presence of the 12th Doctor, which suggests to me he’s a person who’s known. Also, and this is no reflection on the simply brilliant Matt Smith the show has had a bit if a battering over the last couple of years and perhaps they think an established name will shore things up a bit, internally with the BBC if nothing else. Different times but I believe that if Peter Davison had stayed on then the 1985 cancellation wouldn’t have happened because to the powers that be he is a shorthand for success, so they’ll leave him and his shows alone…you see this all the time in TV and film too actually.

    • avatar Andrew says:

      As I remember it, Matt Smith was almost universally praised and welcomed right after ‘The Eleventh Hour’ was broadcast, so I don’t think his low profile was a problem. Tennant was always a hard act to follow, but the show hasn’t taken a battering at all. It’s experienced the same change in viewing habits as all television. Elsewhere in the world new audiences have also been opening up for the show.

      • avatar Lewis Seymour says:

        Also Smith has been nominated for a BAFTA, the only Doctor ever to have this. Surely the problems with the series recently have more to do with crappy scheduling and production crew issues than the lead actor?

        • avatar Geoff says:

          I agree with you, hence my comment: no reflection on the brilliant Matt Smith. I didn’t mean that an unknown actor couldn’t do a good job, after all every famous name had their breakout role somewhere but it’s that shorthand for success thing I was talking about. I think the battering is entirely down to the reasons you say.

    • avatar Lewis Seymour says:

      “this is so secret that even other actors working on other projects with the actor rift now don’t know they are in the presence of the 12th Doctor, which suggests to me he’s a person who’s known”

      No, it just means they are working.

      • avatar Geoff says:

        Just saying its a possibility, this is all unfounded guesswork, just like all the other comments we all make!

    • avatar TonyS says:

      I think the reason for the announcement is that we were all expecting Countryfile or Mastermind and they wanted to be sure we would be watching.

  11. avatar Andrew says:

    Well that’s me told. Still think it’s a bad idea: hype *about* hype.

    • Couldn’t agree more. Pop culture has well and truly eaten itself…

      • avatar Andrew says:

        I’m going to sound like a right old man, but I just know what this show will be like. An audience intermittently screaming, viewed through a series of swooping crane shots.

        • avatar Lewis Seymour says:

          Actually, they BBC have missed a trick here – they could have done a search for the Doctor type prog, like they did with the Blue Peter presenter and had the audience at home vote!

          • avatar TonyS says:

            Thank goodness they didn’t! I shudder to think who we would end up with that way.

          • avatar Lewis Seymour says:

            After I wrote that I remembered ITV did this to find a family of characters for Emmerdale, didn’t they? So it’s not without real precedent.

    • avatar TonyS says:

      Ordinarliy I would find an announcement that an announcement is going to be made hilarious. But I can see why they did it on this occasion.

  12. avatar Lozzer says:

    Andrew Scott please

  13. avatar TonyS says:

    “Codename Houdini” hmmm? Anthony Stewart Head played escapologist Adam Klaus in the pilot episode of “Jonathan Creek”…

    • Hmmm….

    • avatar Lewis Seymour says:

      If we’re looking at the Buffyverse I’d rather have James Marsters…

      • avatar TonyS says:

        I may be reading too much into it but Anthony Stewart Head has been mentioned. Yes I know that everyone with an Equity card (and several without) has been mentioned, but… And Houdini was famously played on screen by Tony Curtis.

        • I don’t think it will be him…

          • avatar TonyS says:

            Maybe it is me after all… You’d think I’d have heard though.

          • avatar Bob James says:

            It would be quite amazing, Christian, if it were Tony Curtis. Maybe the role of the Doctor would just be too good of a role to pass over even if you’re dead………

        • avatar Lewis Seymour says:

          I think the “Houdini” reference had more to do with it being pronounced “Whodini”!!!

          • avatar TonyS says:

            Unless it’s an anagram like Panic Moon was

          • avatar TonyS says:

            Is there an actor called Don Ihui?

          • avatar Lewis Seymour says:

            Probably in GoT – everyone else appears to be…

  14. avatar authorman94 says:

    No matter who’s cast, even if they’re not my choice for the Doctor, I’m going to say this right now: Your life is going to change irreversibly. You’ll become a hero to at least one segment of this fandom, and you’re stepping into the footsteps of eleven fantastic actors, so I’m confident you’ll be as good as the rest of them. So, be prepared to become an icon in the eyes of millions, even if it takes time to appreciate your Doctor. Welcome to Doctor Who, whoever lucky actor you are.

    • avatar TonyS says:

      Well said, authorman94

  15. avatar Lewis Seymour says:

    Amused by TV Cream’s piece on Keith Miller’s book on the original DW Fan Club and this in particular:

    “Sarah [Newman, Barry Letts' secretary] …shares her frustrations at the rise of the Super Fan as Peter Capaldi – that Peter Capaldi – and pals proceed to make themselves pests to the Doctor Who production team, and commence on a grubby quest for Whovian power. There’s even a terrific bit where Keith frets that Sarah’s serious when she suggests he pops over to Glasgow to duff up the proto Malcolm Tucker”

    Kids, eh?

    • Indeed – it’s a great read, I was planning on quoting from it myself should he be the worst kept secret…

  16. avatar Dr Hula Hoop says:


    • avatar TonyS says:

      My thoughts exactly Dr Hula Hoop! Does anyone know whether he is in the UK atm? Could be a live video link I suppose.

  17. avatar Lewis Seymour says:

    Now there’s been a surge of betting on Daniel Rigby. Last time this happened, on the eve of Smiths announcement it gave a clue as to who had been cast, but now it has happened to two different actors in the space of a week. Could someone be doing this to throw everyone off the real name?

    • avatar TonyS says:

      The little…Dalek!

  18. avatar TonyS says:

    As I doubt I will get the chance after the weekend, can I repeat my suggestion? Amanda Abbington.

    • avatar Lewis Seymour says:

      Don’t really know her work, so can’t comment.

      • avatar TonyS says:

        She played a vampire in series 4 of Being Human. She is one of the girls in the maltesers ads (the one who isn’t Katherine Parkinson). She was in a Nick Lyndhurst comedy called After You’re Gone. She is the partner of Martin Freeman

        • avatar Lozzer says:

          I’m looking forward to having 3 to 4 years without listening to people trying to make a male character female.

          • avatar Lewis Seymour says:

            You could have 3 or 4 years of listening to people trying to make a female character male again…

            (Though I think it unlikely)

          • avatar Lozzer says:

            I’d have given up caring Lewis if that was the case and wouldn’t be logging on to sites like this. I’d be just as up in arms if a new series of Buffy was announced and they cast a male to play ‘her’.

          • avatar Bob James says:

            Hey, why couldn’t Buffy come back as a guy? Ashton Kutcher could play Buffy. And they could even remake “Thelma and Louise” with Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson cast in the title roles. Why not? It would just be sexist not to consider these possibilities.

        • avatar Lewis Seymour says:

          “The one who isn’t Katherine Parkinson” doesn’t really help…

          However, I do know who you mean – I looked her up and remembered that she actively put her name out for consideration via Twitter. I wonder if any of those – Sam West and David Harewood for example – who went out of their way to say they were interested were ever actually spoken to, let alone auditioned, by the Production Team or whether they had their own ideas and pursued them regardless?

          • avatar TonyS says:

            Sam West woulkd also be an interesting choice

          • avatar TonyS says:

            Yeah sorry. “Not Katherine Parkinson” doesn’t help. I’m rubbish at descriptions. I imagine the Production Team have always had their own ideas. I believe they did last time until young Mr Gr… oops I mean Smith breezed into the audition room.

  19. avatar Spider-pope says:

    I’m simultaneously dreading the announcement and looking forward to it. Looking forward because it’ll be the herald of an exciting time – what will his costume be? Will he get a new TARDIS control room? A new Sonic Screwdriver?
    But dreading it because it’ll make Matt Smith’s departure all the more real, something i am almost as unhappy about as i was David Tennant’s.

  20. avatar Gareth says:

    An actor I have seen recently that I think would be a good candidate is Jules Knight. Don’t know him? Watch Holby City his character is Harry. He is 31 and has a Doctorish arrogance about him.

    Either that or a more famous established older actor. Ben Miller or Peter Capaldi will be good choices.

  21. avatar Geoff says:

    Matt King, aka Superhans from
    Peepshow. I’ve seen him doing straight stuff too and he’s got a lot of charisma, not to mention that unsettling mad Baker T. look in his eye. Trouble is he’s called Matt and is another skinny dark haired bloke, just like the last two.

  22. avatar TonyS says:

    Ever since he left the programme, Tom Baker has been the Doctor to the general public. Just look at the way the media latch onto Chris Addison because of a photo of him in a hat and a long scarf. Mr Moffat please please please do not go for someone so self-consciously “wacky” as Tom Baker! Sorry. That should have been “Do not have gone for”.

  23. avatar Lewis Seymour says:

    Ben Daniels has been on this list pretty much from day one. No one appears to have asked him if its true, and he has never denied it. He wasn’t an obvious name, so was there/is there any truth in this? We’ll know tomorrow night, of course, one way or the other, but it would not be a major surprise if he walks out from the Tardis (you just know that is how they will do it, don’t you?!)

    • avatar TonyS says:

      I have only seen Ben Daniels in an episode of Marple. He certainly can act, which should be the main criterion.

      • avatar Lewis Seymour says:

        I remembered him from that as well, not being familiar with most of his other work. It should be said that all of the main names put forward (beyond the obvious tabloid rubbish like Paris Jackson) have been good actors. If it really is any of them, we’ll be fortunate.

  24. avatar Lewis Seymour says:

    This is a nice quote from an article in the Telegraph online today

    “The moral core of a show born the day after JFK was gunned down in Dallas is that might is never right. For all the futuristic special effects, impenetrable discourses about temporal paradoxes and tentative sexualisation of the main character, at the Doctor’s heart – or rather, hearts – his show will remain as seductively old-fashioned as it was when Hartnell first encountered those mutant Nazi pepperpots on the planet Skaro.”

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