So, come Sunday, the world will at long last know — finally! — who has been tasked with manning the TARDIS following Matt Smith's departure from Doctor Who. Indeed, the British sci-fi institution is preparing for a regeneration of the Doctor (that human-looking alien with a penchant for catchphrases, sonic screwdrivers, and jam-filled cookies), which means a new actor will take over one of the most highly coveted and beloved roles on television.
And while the Internet may have churned itself into a frenzy with hypotheticals and vaguely framed sources who may or may not have a clue, there are certain truths that remain evident. It's not so much about the man (or woman?) themselves, but what new dimension of the Doctor's personality can be dissected, and that they not try to simply fill Smith's truly dynamic shoes. With 11 other actors having taken the seat before him or her — affectionately dubbed as Twelve by fans — it's safe to say that there are no rules as to what can and cannot be done.
But that's not to say that there shouldn't be some holdover, because while we love the Doctor for all that he's been, there are some attributes that — man, woman, Ood, or otherwise — our favorite renegade Timelord should take to heart(s).
1) The Doctor Must Move On
This is rule No. 1 for a reason. No doubt the Doctor is plagued by grief: lost loved ones, an eternity wandering alone, and the decisions that have brought him to this point. But, the show and the actor following Matt Smith must continue its forward momentum: dwelling on his past 900 - 1,200 years (it really does depend on the day. Shit gets timey-wimey) will get him or her nowhere. So even though fans love to wax nostalgic, dreaming of cameos and potential pairings, the Doctor should never rely too heavily on the past to create the future. A tortured edge only works when it's an edge. Which is to say that...
2) Be Yourself!
Regardless of which man or woman is at the helm of the Doctor's blue box, it's a role that's unlike any other because it can be remade every time. There's no set formula to how the Doctor acts because each regeneration has its own personality and way of looking at the world. The build-up to the 50th anniversary has been a long time coming, and it's safe to assume that following the events of that special, all bets will be off and the game will have been changed for The Doctor. Which means there's ample room for Twelve to do it their way.
3) Don't Dawdle
There's no getting around this one: Time moves quickly, and so should the Doctor. Verbally, physically, emotionally, and mentally. We cannot have the newest Timelord or lady perseverating on the answers to questions or taking up too much of our precious screen time faffing about — the show moves fast, and the Doctor should always move faster. Time to strap on the metaphorical jetpack. Allonsy, geronimo, etc... Basically: RUN!
4) It's Never That Serious
I mean, sure, when the Daleks are on the attack and the world is seconds away from total obliteration, yeah, sure: Then shit is serious. But still! The Doctor is an alien of incredible intelligence and ability, but nobody likes a Mr. or Mrs. Perma-Smartypants. All work and no play makes for a dull day and blah blah blah, you get the picture. So while the newest Doctor doesn't have to be as childlike as Smith, a wee wink and a nod every now and then should be a requirement. Get silly, Doctor! You can travel through the whole of space and time. You could revisit the '70s knowing full well that the '80s are en route: Might as well have a laugh about it.
5) Get Along Gangbusters with Jenna Coleman
Because WE love Jenna Coleman, and we're not alone. Seriously, Clara is one of the best and most beloved new companions this series has seen thus far, and if they can't roll with Soufflé Girl, then we want nothing to do with them. It doesn't have to be love (and we're not entirely sure it should be, either), but it definitely has to be, to use her words, something awesome.
Now run you clever boy (or girl), and remember these things. With this rudimentary outline, you're sure to go far.