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new ‘Doctor Who’ star announcement to come on Saturday

I guess they weren’t kidding: David Tennant really is leaving Doctor Who after this year, and someone else really is replacing him.

Tomorrow, the BBC will announce who that replacement is in a special episode of Doctor Who Confidential to air on BBC1 at 5:35pm Greenwich Time tomorrow. Which means 12:35pm Eastern, which means I’ll be hovering over the BBC News and BBC Doctor Who sites early tomorrow afternoon. The special will reportedly include an interview with the show’s new star.
BBC News quotes Piers Wenger, head of drama at BBC Wales, as saying:

We believe the actor is going to bring something very special to the role and will make it absolutely their own.

The Guardian says:

It is understood that those hoping for the first female doctor will be disappointed. Doctor Who’s new executive producers, Coupling creator Steven Moffat and BBC Wales head of drama Piers Wenger are said to have stuck with tradition and cast a man in the role.

However, Moffat and Wenger are thought to have steered away from the more obvious names that have been linked to the role.

Who were some of those “obvious names”? Teletext reminds us:

Bookmakers have tipped several well-known names as the next actor (or actress) to step into the Tardis.

Murphy’s Law star James Nesbitt emerged as one of the favourites, along with John Simm and David Morrissey – who appeared in the 2008 Christmas special.

Paterson Joseph, another favourite, who appeared in two Doctor Who episodes in 2005, has said “any actor would love the challenge” of playing the Doctor.

The Guardian also mentions Chiwetel Ejiofor and Ben Wishaw as actors whose names have been bandied about.

So if it’s not any of them, who will it be? How much wild speculation about who the new Doctor will be can we cram into 24 hours?

More tidbits, from the BBC:

The casting was confirmed over Christmas and filming for the 2010 series begins in the summer.

Tennant is due to begin shooting the first of his four specials this month, just weeks after surgery on his back.

The last of these episodes is expected to run in early 2010.

Not till early 2010? Now they’re really just torturing us because they can, aren’t they?

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