Neil Gaiman explains why the new Doctor shouldn't be someone famous

Illustration for article titled Neil Gaiman explains why the new Doctor shouldn't be someone famous

After Matt Smith announced he would be retiring his bow tie on Doctor Who, the internet has been in a tizzy speculating who the new Time Lord will be. Names like Helen Mirren, Sir Ian McKellen, Chiwetel Ejiofor and even Maurice Moss (brilliant!) have all been tossed around.


We'd be thrilled to have any of those already established names as the next Doctor, but Neil Gaiman (novelist and two-time Doctor Who script-writer) says the Doctor should be someone unknown. Here's why:

After being asked if he would back Sir Ian McKellen as the next Doctor, Gaiman took to his site to express his desire for an unknown Time Lord:

I actually like it when The Doctor is a relatively unknown actor, or one without one huge role that made them famous. A star, like Sir Ian, brings all the other roles they’ve ever played to the table when they act. Seeing John Hurt as the (Spoiler) at the end of the Name of the Doctor, meant that this was a certain type of part with a certain amount of gravitas, and you understood that John Hurt was bringing everything with it (including being John Hurt), just as Derek Jacobi did as the Master.

But I like to see The Doctor as The Doctor, and an actor who doesn’t bring baggage is a grand sort of thing. A star waiting to happen. So I don’t want to see Helen Mirren or Sir Ian McKellen or Chiwetel Ejiofor, or any of the famous names people are suggesting.

I want to see The Doctor. I want to be taken by surprise. I want to squint at a photo of the person online and go “but how can that be The Doctor?”. Then I want to be amazingly, delightedly, completely proven wrong, and, six episodes in, I want to wonder how I could have been so blind. Because this is the Doctor. Of course it is.

Read the whole entry over at Neil Gaiman's tumblr.


I used to be the world's biggest Gaiman supporter, but I can't take him seriously at all anymore. I feel like he has totally lost his perspective because of the whole deal with his ladyfriend.