Even though the decision has been made and all speculation has been put to rest until the next time a New Doctor is needed, the whole process of speculating on the varied possibilities is still quite an interesting exercise in “What Could Be” or perhaps “Who Could It Be Now?” would be more apt. Granted, from the viewpoint of a Yank who only received the early Doctors beginning with Tom Baker’s Fourth incarnation (until numerous PBS stations began playing various adventures from the previous three as well), the whole business of being a Whovian is at best a hit or miss proposition.
However, with the advent of DVD’s we have seen more and more adventures of all of the previous Doctors being released and even though there are still many that have been lost to the various purges within the BBC tape archives over the decades, thankfully we still have at least somewhat of a representation of all of the previous Time Lords. Still and all, if one wishes to garner a rudimentary education in Who lore it is possible to do so and therefore, even though we may not reside within the fabled shores of the British Isles we can still have a fair to middling understanding of who and what a Tine Lord should be.
For one thing, there had been a great deal of speculation as to whether or not the Doctor should be a person of color. Pish and Tosh! The Bloke is an alien (half alien and half Earth human if the 1996 Fox Network television film is considered canon, which I cannot see how it can not be since the Seventh Doctor, played by Sylvester McCoy appeared at the beginning) and so how do we know exactly what is and is not possible during one of their regenerations? In fact, now that we have broached the concept of such unearthly deviations, what is there to suggest that his every regeneration must, in fact, be male?
Take for example the most recent Series in which David Tennant’s Doctor has a cell sample taken and a clone is quickly grown from it. The entity is a female and is quickly considered to be his daughter by Donna, the then current companion. Wouldn’t this Daughter, in fact, really be the Doctor himself, albeit his clone? And, this being the case, wouldn’t it be just as reasonable to assume that, in some future regeneration (and let us not forget that we are also coming uncomfortably close to his final regeneration since it was stipulated that Time Lords only do so twelve times) he might just as easily emerge from whatever current special effects are being utilized as a. . .drum roll please. . .female? So much has been speculated and argued over his being too young or too old (and for my money if I were a Time Lord I most definitely would prefer to come out of a regeneration as being younger than when I began, otherwise, what’s the point?) and to some degree whether or not the viewing public is prepared for him being slightly heavier in pigment than usual. Why not really shake up the status quo and have him regenerate into a young adult female of color? This is the twenty-first century after all!
Many fans, mostly I admit from the British side of the Big Pond, had been bandying about all manner of names for the next successor of the Doctor prior to young Matt Smith being chosen for the coveted role and I must admit that, for the most part (okay, okay, completely!) I do not recognize any of the actors’ names that they have mentioned, including Smith. However, one name that I did hear mentioned sounded like it might have had more than a little promise. This was Sean Pertwee, son of the late Jon Pertwee who wore the mantle of the Doctor from 1971 to 1974. Now, I must admit that, although I have not so much as seen a head shot of Pertwee the younger, the very idea of progeny carrying on in such a famous role appeals to me. After all, how could a young actor not be precisely the right “type” to portray a regenerated version of the same character that his own father once depicted. This said, in the future when the twelfth doctor is being cast wouldn’t it make sense (in light of all the gender and racial tinkering I have already suggested) that the young woman who has already portrayed the tenth Doctor’s clone or Daughter during the Fourth Series might very well be the ideal choice since her actual real life father, Peter Davison was, in fact the Fifth Doctor. Tends to make one actually consider Fate and or Kismet as a viable concept, doesn’t it?
One final point: other than the fact that the show was created, filmed and cast in Britain, was there ever any reason for why the Doctor (and will we ever be told his real name since we know he has one because the mysterious River Song from his own personal future whispered it to him during the episode “Forest Of The Dead”?) has a British accent? Granted, there is more than enough controversy over the fact that there might be an American companion/assistant in our favorite Time Lord’s near future, so perhaps the idea of his accent becoming more global or universal is best left alone.
For the most part I for one am simply grateful that it appears that he will still be hanging around for at least a few more years. Regardless of the face he, or she, is presenting.