In 2017 actress Jodie Whittaker made history as the first-ever female Doctor Who. Now, after five successful years, she has decided to step down as the Time Lord.
Her departure was predicted in late 2020 – on average previous Doctors have had a three-year lifespan – and filming of her final series was complete in autumn 2021. Since then, betting on the identity of the next Doctor Who has been frenetic.
Doctor Who has a massive following, around five million viewers per episode in the UK and the classic sci-fi series with its cult following is broadcast in 50-plus countries around the world.
Where there are TV viewers there are punters and bookmakers have been very keen to cater for them with ‘Who will be the next Doctor Who?’ special TV betting markets.
David Tennant & Lydia West the Current Favourites
Currently, around 50 names are listed (see below) but only around 30 actors boast the credentials Doctor Who’s producers are likely to be looking for. And there is no certainty the new Time Lord will be even amongst them.
Jodie Whittaker was not listed with any bookmaker until days before being announced as the next Time Lord in July 2017.
The bookmaker’s recent favourite and now 7/2 second favourite is Lydia West. The actress has previously worked with showrunner Russell T Davies on It’s A Sin and Years and Years. That CV makes her a good fit and the outgoing Doctor declared West to be her candidate of choice in a recent BBC Radio 1 interview.
But there have been a number of other short-priced candidates that have fallen by the wayside in recent months.
– Kris Marshall was an early forerunner. The 47-year-old actor, who is best known for roles in My Family, Love Actually and the lead detective role in Death in Paradise, is now 25/1.
– Maxine Peake, famous for her role in Shameless between 2004-07 and a leading role in the BBC’s The Village is another big drifter. She can now be backed at 25/1.
– Michaela Coel, a 33 Londoner with a Ghanaian background – best known for creating and starring in the 2015-17 sitcom Chewing Gum and comedy-drama series I May Destroy You – was the initial favourite at 4/1. She has been busy on shows such as Black Mirror, Black Earth Rising and the film Been So Long. Nevertheless, the actress has now drifted out to 10/1.
So which actors represent betting value to come through the castings that are currently ongoing?
Richard Ayoade has become known as the TV commercial face of HSBC and a voice-over artist following presenting duties of the Crystal Maze and The Travel Man. His zany persona does fit with the traditional Doctor Who profile and that makes him a contender at 16/1.
Years and Years singer Olly Alexander is currently 11/2 fourth favourite and he has a number of strong form pointers going for him.
In a recent interview on a daytime TV show, Lorraine, the 31-year-old skirted around the suggestion he will be the next Time Lord after the host pointed out the plaudits he received for his acting role in the 2021 mini-series It’s a Sin. It has to be noted the award-winning show – that highlighted the aids crisis of the late 1980s – was written and created by Russell T Davies. A reminder he is the person who will be calling the shots on Doctor Who’s direction in 2022.
A Word of Warning
To cloud this entire market is the rumour, originating from credible sources, that David Tennant – the Doctor between 2005-2010 – will play the 14th Doctor for three specials.
This stint would include a special 60th-anniversary episode where a new doctor will take over the keys to the Tardis.
If you subscribe to this theory, 6/4 is now the best price you will get about the 50-year-old actor who last appeared in the 2020-2021 BBC series, Staged.