Doctor Who fans have found themselves in a veritable tizzy upon the news that Eleven himself, a.k.a. Matt Smith, would be hanging up his bowtie and fez after the upcoming Christmas special of the series. A regeneration is in our midsts, so, naturally, everyone has an opinion on it. The cries were heard from around the world as millions of fans voiced opinions on the nearly 50-year-old beloved British television stalwart: "It should be a person of color because everyone is racist!" "It should be a woman because patriarchy!" "It should be a man because tradition!" "It should be a giant fez that runs around saying allons-y and wearing a leather jacket because jokes!" "It should be an American because USA! USA! USA!"
As a woman I would, of course, love to see some ass-kicking lady come into the fold and exterminate some Daleks, take out a few Cybermen, and really give it to those Weeping Angels. Imagine being a young girl watching Doctor Who with a female Doctor zipping around the universe, stopping the bad, uplifting the good, and bucking stereotypes left and right: What a treat that would be! How inspirational that would be for little ladies sitting at home.
But I also know that there are many, many other types of people, many different races and upbringings out there who could also use as visible a role model as the Doctor. Personally, I just want someone really dynamic, fun, and mostly unknown to come into the role and really make it their own, regardless of gender, sex, race, creed, or affinity for bowties. The beauty of there being a new regeneration every so often is that it allows for a new era, a new tone, a new definition of what Who can be, and who it can next champion. As long as it's not some sort of chatty amoeba, I'll probably be on board.
That said — man, there are some really swell, kick-ass ladies out there who would totally fill the void to be left by the truly dynamic Matt Smith. Like David Tennant before him, Smith embodied the spirit of the Doctor in an unimaginably inventive and all-encompassing way: curious, wildly intelligent, an emotional tidal wave vacillating between the humanity he loves and the alien with two hearts that he is. And while I'm the first to applaud Doctor Who on its inclusiveness in some aspects, in others, it could use some work. Now, I love the Ponds, but the terribly one-dimensional damsel-y ladies we've seen pop up frequently in new Who are a bit frustrating. (Donna Noble, I miss you so.) So, why not remedy it with one of these wonderful and talented British ladies?
Love me some Natalie Dormer, you guys. This snappy and sassy Brit is already a Moffat gal (she's appearing in Sherlock's upcoming season), and has proven her gumption as the determined, caring, yet politically minded Margaery Tyrell on Game of Thrones, which may make her a bit too well-known to tackle the TARDIS. That said, the chemistry between her and current companion Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman) would totally be electric. Two badass ladies running through the universe. I dig.
Naomie Harris is a strong, dynamic performer. She was seen in 2012's Skyfall, so you know she can handle a bit of action. Anyone strong enough to handle James Bond can certainly handle a few Slitheen or Zygon. Plus, she is a great character actress, which personally, I think is everything when you're playing the Doctor — gotta have that larger-than-life personality.
Ruth Wilson is truly a delightful performer to watch and she can do it all: comedies, action thrillers, dramas, westerns. You name it, she can handle it. As Alice Morgan on BBC's Luther, she delightfully dances around her character's many sides — intelligent, quirky, devious — with aplomb. She has a theater background which means she'd be a true master of emotional evocation. Some might even say her creative range is bigger on the inside.
If you're looking for an emotionally vulnerable, cool young powerhouse to kick the Doctor up a notch, why not Misfits' Antonia Thomas? Coming from a show as controversial and boundary-pushing as that would no doubt be helpful to cultivating an image of a new, strong, female Doctor. She's another character actress, which I personally am drawn to for the part, and has already captivated audiences with her ability to truly encapsulate the characters she portrays.
Knowing her, Swinton is probably/actually the original Time Lord. Also I know that this would never, ever happen but hey — a gal can dream. And seriously, do you blame me? If loving the idea of Swinton as the Doctor is wrong, I don't ever want to be right.