Hold on to your sonic screwdrivers: a new Doctor Who could be stepping out of the Tardis in the not-too-distant future.
Jodie Whittaker is coming to the end of her run as the 13th (and first female) Doctor, with what’s been described as an ‘epic blockbuster feature-length special’ to air in autumn 2022 as part of the BBC’s Centenary celebrations.
The series was expected to take a break for a few years, but then rumours surfaced that none other than Hugh Grant was ‘in talks’ with returning showrunner Russell T Davies to be the 14th Doctor.
It would be quite the glow-up for the show, recruiting a bona fide Hollywood star. But Doctor Who ultras (known as Whovians) are divided.
Hugh has become best-known for playing the bad guy, from Daniel Cleaver to Paddington 2’s brilliant pantomime villain. Doctor Who is known for wide-eyed optimism and an almost childish sense of fun. Could Hugh pull that off?
At 61 years old, he’d be the oldest Doctor yet. By comparison, Paul McGann, who played the Doctor over 25 years ago, is only a year older. It would also mean a return to a straight white man, after the refreshing change of Jodie Whittaker’s Time Lord.
Russell T Davies has promised to give the show a ‘Marvel-style makeover’ but, on a BBC budget, it seems unlikely to rival Doctor Strange in the special effects stakes. Anyway, the joy of Doctor Who is the shonky sets and wobbly Daleks, surely?
Meanwhile, Hugh himself has quelled speculation by tweeting: ‘Nothing against Dr W but I’m not. No idea where the story came from.’ So it looks like the race to be the 14th Doctor Who is wide open… unless he’s double bluffing of course, which would be a very Doctor Who thing to do.
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