Over the last year the rumour mill has been in overdrive trying to find out if Jodie Whittaker will be leaving Doctor Who. She's onto her third series playing the legendary character but if and when she does leave, who is going to be the next Doctor Who? It’s no small role to fill and the Radio Times reports that if Whittaker leaves and the Doctor regenerates again it may follow a common pattern with Doctor’s in years gone by. There seems to be one actor who has taken top positions in the polls to be the next occupant of the tardis.
Rumours that Whittaker would leave the show began in Dec. 2020, reported the Independent. A "show insider" told the Mirror, "It's all very hush-hush but it is known on set that Jodie is leaving and they are gearing up for a regeneration." At the time the BBC said it wouldn’t “be commenting on any speculation around Jodie's future on the show” beyond the next season. However, that hasn’t stopped fans guessing. John Hill from betting site Coral told Metro, “Kris Marshall has recently been shining on Death In Paradise but this series could be his last in Saint Marie as he is the favourite to replace Jodie Whittaker as the next Doctor Who.”
It’s likely you’ll recognise Kris Marshall from Love, Actually, Citizen Khan, and Sanditon. He isn’t a totally random prediction for the next Doctor. Back in 2017, the Sun reported that Marshall was speculated to replace Peter Capaldi before Whittaker took on the role. One fan wrote on Twitter, “Kris Marshall comic genius and I couldn’t think of anyone better suited for the role” while others noted that Marshall has had his name attached to the show as a potential lead for years.
Marshall isn’t the only actor that has been hinted as taking on the role of the Doctor. The Express reported that bookmakers Ladbrokes have put Michaela Coel and Richard Ayoade alongside Marshall as potential future Time Lords.
A spokesperson, Alex Apati said, "The odds suggest it might be a three-horse race between Michaela Coel, Kris Marshall, and Richard Ayoade to play Doctor Who next. But there are a handful of surprising names sitting in and among the frontrunners to replace Jodie Whittaker." The Guardian also listed Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Paapa Essiedu, Ben Whishaw, Michael Sheen, and Camille Cottin as good regenerations of the Doctor.
The BBC is yet to comment on when Whittaker will be leaving the show and who will be stepping into the pretty big shoes of the Doctor when she does.