grain-of-salt news: Colin Salmon the new Doctor Who?

Oh, it is gonna be so much fun following the scramble over the next few months. Not the scramble of speculation over who will replace David Tennant on Doctor Who — cuz, really, I do not want to think about that at all — but the scramble by the British press to be the first to announce his replacement.

Now Magazine looks like it wants to win that scramble, even if it’s willing to be wrong a hundred times before it’s right. On Friday, Now was quick to assure us that it looked like Dr. Moon would be regenerating into the Doctor:

Colin Salmon is apparently being lined-up to play the first black Doctor Who.

The actor, who appears in latest James Bond movie Quantum Of Solace, is thought to be in talks to replace David Tennant, 37, when he leaves at the end of 2009.

Colin, 45, has already featured in the BBC series as the character Dr Moon.

‘He made a good impression when he appeared and bosses think the time is right to have the first black Doctor,’ a source tells The Sun.

(Dr. Moon, in case you’ve forgotten, appeared in the two-parter “Silence in the Library”/“Forest of the Dead.”)

Nice of Now to couch this rumor in nondefinitive language — apparently, thought to be. Perhaps it learned its lesson of only three days earlier, when Now announced, in no uncertain terms:

EastEnders star Tom Ellis has been tipped as the 11th Doctor Who.

The actor, married to Tamzin Outhwaite, joined the Albert Square cast for 5 months in 2006 as Dr Oliver Cousins.

Tom, 29, appeared in Doctor Who last year – again in a medical role – as NHS doctor Tom Milligan and now boss Steven Moffat is said to have lined him up for the starring role.

‘Tom is the frontrunner for the job and is very interested,’ a source tells The Daily Mirror.

(Tom Milligan, of course, was Martha’s contact in England in the Master-ruled alternate universe of “Last of the Time Lords,” and was mentioned — but did not appear — as Martha’s fiancé in “The Sontaran Stratagem.”)

Perhaps the lesson we fans should learn from this is that Now will only report potential-Doctor news if the actor involved has previously played another doctor on the show.

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Sat, Nov 08, 2008 3:09pm

And a BBC spokesman had said, “Nope, nothing until early next year. Not going to announce any replacement until then.” And why should they? Tennant’s still got the Christmas Special (which looks highly entertaining) and because the last special with him won’t be aired until around New Year 2010 (which is the current rumor), there’s not even the rush of “oh, we have to film the new regeneration at the end of filming the specials.” They could easily film the new Doctor’s part of the regeneration at the beginning of filming Series 5.

It is going to be entertaining between now and then, won’t it? I expect that by the time I get to England in January (to see the final performance of Hamlet, yay!), the “Who will be the next Doctor?” will have either died down or reached a fevered pitch.

Sat, Nov 08, 2008 3:59pm

If those are the choices, I think “fevered pitch” is more likely. :)

Sat, Nov 08, 2008 6:18pm

Yeah, there’s not point in signing a new Doctor just yet because you are locking someone in to a role for a few years before he actually has to do it.

Which makes me think that David Morrissey is either a fake Doctor or a possible future regeneration because I doubt they would have cast him this early.

Alex Knapp
Sun, Nov 09, 2008 1:54am

Moffat is on the record as preferring older Doctors to young and energetic ones. He has also worked with Stephen Fry on a number of projects. So yes, I am rooting for Stephen Fry as the next Doctor…

Sun, Nov 09, 2008 3:53am

I would be absolutely over the moon if Stephen Fry was the Doctor, he’s the voice of the Guide for me now (a ‘problem’ compounded ever since I bought Little Big Planet, the game he narrates) and he exudes this air of being a mix crazy Uncle you loved to visit because he understands you and lets you get away with stuff your parents wouldn’t and your favourite teacher, the one that made you enthusiastic about something because he loved it too.

Proper Dave
Sun, Nov 09, 2008 3:56am

1) Russell T Davies gave an interview at the National Theatre in London on Friday. He said the new Doctor hasn’t been cast and probably won’t be for months.

2) Colin Salmon isn’t in Quantum of Solace.

Sun, Nov 09, 2008 6:38am

The Steven Moffat quote about his preference for older Doctors is from an interview that’s at least ten years old. He’s lately been quoted (at a British awards show some weeks ago) as saying the Doctor these days has to be played by a person young enough to take on the physical rigours of the role. So, it seems to be a case of which rumour cannibalized from which desperate so-called news source you want to believe.

Kathy A
Kathy A
Mon, Nov 10, 2008 1:38pm

I was a big fan of the idea of Colin Salmon as Bond before they picked Daniel Craig, even though he was already in the series as M’s #2 guy.

He would make a terrific Doctor, though!

Mon, Nov 10, 2008 2:13pm

I personally would love to see Scottish comedian Billy Connolly be given the nod to play Doctor Who. He has the sharp wit and comedic timing I have come to look forward to in the Doctor.

Mon, Nov 10, 2008 3:20pm

Whoever it is, they have to be able to play the silly, humorous side and the deeper dramatic aspects. Many of the names being touted are people who have an eccentric persona and/or who are comedians. Now, these may be possibilities, but they need to be able to demonstrate their range. Billy Connolly was good in “Mrs Brown” but he was playing quite a dour character. I haven’t seen him in any other dramatic roles.

Tom Ellis would be deeply strange casting. Not only has he already appeared in DW, he appeared as a love interest for Martha. What would it say about the Doctor regenerating into that form!?

John Simm, I think, is a non-starter because he doesn’t like to be in the public eye. The Doctor is the most high profile role on British TV by a long way. It regularly reaches the national news headlines!

I’m open minded about Robert Carlyle. He was great as Hamish MacBeth (a favourite show of mine) and certainly has the range required.

I’m still pulling for David Mitchell, if he can cope with the role. I read an interview where he said he’d always wanted to be the Doctor but didn’t think he stood a chance now because the Doctor has to be sexy.

Mon, Nov 10, 2008 3:42pm

Why haven’t I ever heard Mark Gatiss suggested? I think he’d make a great Doctor. And he loves the show–which I think is one of the many reasons David’s portrayal of our favorite Time Lord was so spot on.