Sci-fi success Doctor Who is an iconic series and one of the BBC’s most successful franchises. It has become a global phenomenon, especially since its return to TV screens in 2005 with Christopher Ecclestone in the titular role.

Over the years since some remarkable actors have entered the T.A.R.D.I.S. including David Tennant and Matt Smith, but just as many have been rumored to someday pass through those blue doors. Here are 10 of the greatest casting rumors that have not yet come to fruition, but we really wish had.


As the title of this article suggests, comedy star Richard Ayoade has been long rumored to one day take on the role of the Doctor. The character will be put into comics, books and of course the series; with so many appearances, an actor requires a certain charisma.

Ayoade possesses the quirky characteristics of some of the great actors that have portrayed the Doctor in the past. Although he’d be an out of the box pick, he certainly has the acting credits and experiences to back up this casting choice.


Off of the back of Fleabag Phoebe Waller-Bridge has been one of the biggest stars to come out of Britain. Her writing experience has lead her to Killing Eve and even James Bond and her acting abilities have landed her big roles in the likes of Solo: A Star Wars Story. 

All of this talent would be perfect for anyone taking on the role of a Time Lady. Waller-Bridge was one of the many female names that were in contention for the part and although Jodie Whittaker is excellent, Waller-Bridge would have made for an interesting pick.


Every actor that has entered the role of the Doctor so far has been British. However, there are always casting rumors that look to talent from oversees. One gentleman in particular consistently arises, perhaps because of his crossover appeal in Britain.

Tim Minchin is an Australian writer, comedian, singer, and songwriter, who has produced incredible comedy routines and amazing musicals like Matilda. This is another out of the box choice, but at least the Doctor would finally be ginger!


Ben Whishaw is one of the finest actors to be exported from England and he’s already embodied some of Britain’s most famous roles. Not only has he had a supporting role in the James Bond franchise as Q, he’s also the beloved voice of Paddington Bear.

Ben Whishaw is a name that surfaces every time a new actor is going to be cast in this iconic sci-fi role. He’s even appeared on high profile betting websites, always supporting the notion that there’s a real possibility Whishaw could one day wield the sonic screwdriver.


For those that know their Doctor Who continuity well, they’ll know that David Harewood has actually appeared in the show in the past. This wouldn’t stop him from being cast as the lead though; Peter Capaldi had previously appeared as a Roman before becoming the Doctor.

While his schedule is now very full due to his commitments to Supergirl, there’s every chance Harewood could take on the role in the future. A fan of the genre, Harewood has always been the pick for the first black actor in the role, aside from Idris Elba.


Very few black actresses have been up for the role of the Doctor so far, however Michaela Coel was once the media front runner for the part. In fact, it was reported on for some time that Coel could even be the favorite for the role.

With a background in theatre, Coel has all the right credentials to play the Doctor. The Chewing Gum star has taken on big franchises such as Black Mirror and Star Wars and has the right charm and energy to bring a completely fresh take on the time traveler.


The former Harry Potter actor has been taking on a variety of roles since finishing his stint as Ron Weasley. Grint’s star shines bright but he’s been known to take on smaller projects that he’s more passionate about.

However, a role in Doctor Who would bring with it a level of attention that the Potter franchise had previously. He certainly has the star power and acting ability to pull off the part, but whether he’d enter the public sphere again in such a way remains to be seen.


Luke Treadaway may not be a familiar name overseas, but he’s well known as a very capable actor. He’s taken on a variety of theatre projects as many Who actors have before him and has also become well known for key roles in Fortitude and Attack the Block. 

Treadaway would take the character back to the days of David Tennant, with dashing heroism brought to the Doctor. He’s frenetic and unique in his delivery and would remind fans of the show of some of the characteristics of previous Doctors.


Bill Nighy might seem like too big a star to take on the role, but at one point in time, he was actually heavily rumored to be portraying the Ninth Doctor. However, this, of course, turned out not to be the case because he turned down the part.

Nighy has somewhat fulfilled the prophecy of being cast in the massive British show however, after briefly portraying a gallery curator in a previous episode based around the life of Van Gogh. There’s every possibility he could return one day though.


Catherine Zeta-Jones also seems like a name that’s a bit too big for this list. Before there was ever the possibility of Jodie Whittaker entering the role, Zeta-Jones was actually a favorite to take on K9 and the T.A.R.D.I.S.

In fact, previous showrunner Russell T. Davis wanted Zeta-Jones to replace David Tennant when his time was up. This never came to be though with Matt Smith taking over from a departing Tennant. Nevertheless this would have been an astounding piece of casting.