The first month of 2017 has been quite a ride for Doctor Who fans, and the past few days have not only told us when we can finally expect to see Peter Capaldi return as the Twelfth Doctor, but also that Peter Capaldi would not be returning as the Twelfth Doctor after Season 10. And even though it's still ridiculously early, the Time Lord isn't worried about such things, there is apparently already a frontrunner in the odds of who will lead Doctor Who through Season 11 and beyond: actor Ben Whishaw, perhaps better known as James Bond's most recent Q.
Ben Whishaw's name isn't one that came from the mouths of current Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat, nor its future showrunner, nor the BBC. Rather, it's the British bookies William Hill and their odds-making that have placed the English actor atop the heap, with a 6/1 shot of him taking over the TARDIS as Peter Capaldi's successor. Sounds silly, perhaps, but William Hill can offer some pretty insightful data at times.
The list is indeed filled with names of popular British actors, according to Bleeding Cool, but Ben Whishaw pulled it out, and he would definitely make for an interesting choice. At 37 years old, he would definitely be a younger Doctor than the 58-year-old Peter Capaldi, and the character's age had been a source of reported contention behind the scenes of Doctor Who in the weeks and months of speculation over Capaldi's future with the long-running series.
And Ben Whishaw has all the requirements needed to take on such an iconic British role, at least in terms of acting. As stated before, he's in the James Bond universe with Skyfall and Spectre, and he's also played Keith Richards, King Richard II, and voiced Paddington. Not to mention his work in the Shakespeare adaptation The Tempest, Brideshead Revisited and an upcoming role in Mary Poppins Returns. Throw in Doctor Who and a Harry Potter role, and Whishaw can retire early. (That's how retirement works, right?)
Though he's a solid choice as a frontrunner for the Thirteenth Doctor, Ben Whishaw is atop lots of other really talented people also with decent odds of heading up Doctor Who for Season 11. Just under Whishaw, with 8/1 odds, are the stellar trio of IT Crowd's Richard Ayoade, Penny Dreadful's Rory Kinnear and Harry Potter's Rupert Grint. The Exorcist's Ben Daniels and X-Men: First Class' Jason Flyming are next up, and the list even accounts for returns of Matt Smith, Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant, along with fan-favorite actors like Idris Elba and Daniel Craig. All of those later folks have far higher odds stacked against them, though.
Announced earlier today, Doctor Who will return to BBC America on Saturday, April 15, and we probably won't hear anything concrete about the next Time Lord until long after that, though the new Doctor will reportedly appear via regeneration in this year's Christmas special. Head to our midseason premiere schedule to see everything else coming to the small screen in the coming months.