Some spoilers below for those not all caught up on Doctor Who's TV show and rumor mill.
Hot on the heels of the revelation that a beloved Doctor Who actress could be returning to the series, the word is out that another famed British actress, already rumored to be in line for the Doctor role upon Peter Capaldi's exit, inadvertently fueled a lot more speculation. That's right, we said actress, and we're talking about Phoebe Waller-Bridge, creator of the hilarious BBC (and Amazon) comedy Fleabag.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who folks may also know from Broadchurch and/or Crashing, has been a betting favorite for taking over to play the Thirteenth Doctor. During a recent interview on the YouTube channel GoldDerby (that was shared by BBC Newsnight below, Waller-Bridge was directly asked about her Who potential, and she took slightly too long in balking before claiming she couldn't speak of it one way or the other. And within that momentary silence, the hopes and dreams of myriad Doctor Who fans spawned, hoping for the actress' future arrival in the sci-fi franchise. Check out the clip below to see for yourself.
The odds seem rather slim that The BBC is actively attempting to sabotage a well-guarded secret within their company by sharing a clip that could even potentially spoil the new addition. That said, news is news ,and who better than The BBC to report on the topic if someone within the company provided a hot tip? Some people are definitely in the know regarding who the new Doctor is, so could that pesky insider that's spoiled some elements of Season 10 be at it again?
It's worth mentioning that Peter Capaldi was somewhere between being the fourth and sixth favorite on betting sites before he was announced as Doctor Who's lead, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge is already well above that in the top spot. Fan interest and fervor, as well as that semi-mysterious Skype interview, clearly did something to help those odds, but there's also evidence that Waller-Bridge will NOT be the new Doctor. For example, here's a tweet from the theater company that she co-runs.
Is that just damage control, or are Doctor Who fans simply guilty of believing in and hoping for something that's not true? The past two Doctor predictions have not gone on to become the favorite on betting sites, and The BBC does have a history of publishing stories to potentially throw fans off the trail. Back when David Tennant stepped down, the news organization published an interview with actor Patterson Joseph touting him as a top favorite for the series. Coincidentally (or not), Joseph also just happened to have a BBC TV show on his plate at the time, just like Phoebe Waller-Bridge does now.
Will the world see the first female Doctor on Doctor Who during the Christmas special and/or beyond? With Phoebe Waller-Bridge's rumored chances being joined by those of Natalie Dormer and Tilda Swinton, it would appear that the fans are ready for it. Of course, there's another popular actress fans have clamored for, who's indicated she's team Waller-Bridge at the moment, not to mention the familiar male actor who keeps turning the show down each time he's asked to join.
Anyone tired of guessing who the next Doctor may be should visit our summer premiere guide to find something to tide them over until Christmas.