Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Sweet Dreams Are Made of This.

As discussed in my previous post, the titular role in Doctor Who is up for grabs yet again, and I'm pleased to say that the current front-runner with the bookies* is female:  Tilda Swinton, with odds of 7:2 in her favour.   Other female favourites are Olivia Colman (5:1, but a Doctor Who veteran, which may work against her), Maxine Peake at 8:1, Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Who? 12:1, regardless) and the intriguing long shot of Gwendoline Christie at 20:1.

No ill will, but I actually don't want Ms. Swinton to get the part. She's certainly a talented actress with lots of genre credibility, but I feel that every time someone wants to cast an unusual female character, her name is the first one on the list, and it would be interesting to look past that sort of obvious casting choice. I also can't help but feel that her performance would be somewhat predictable - again, no ill will, but having seen her in a number of roles, she does tend toward a somewhat uniform delivery.

So let's think outside the box for a minute. Scottish actors have been popular, and of course we want the person playing the Doctor to have a strong personality.  A couple of the actresses on the list have a touch of androgynous appeal to their look, and there's some feeling that the Doctor should have a certain maturity - Helen Mirren isn't on the odds sheet, but her name has come up in the past as an ideal candidate for the first female Doctor.

Our survey says?  Annie Lennox.

Yes, I know, not an actress as such, but think about it!  I mean, just look at that face, that fabulous combination of humour, strength, experience and insight.  And she's overtly Scottish, what a fun piece of continuity.  I can easily imagine what her Doctor would be like, a far more restrained and low-key presentation than Smith or Capaldi, but with hidden depth and passion - earnest, committed, caring, and powerful.

Do I expect her to get the role?  Of course not, I sincerely doubt that the BBC has even momentarily considered scheduling Annie Lennox for an audition. The purpose of this exercise is simply to demonstrate that an unexpected replacement for Peter Capaldi might well bring a new dimension to the part.  Hopefully new show-runner Chris Chibnall will be equally willing to consider the benefits of a surprising choice when the time comes.

- Sid

* Odds are courtesy of The Independent.  For a full list of candidates and their chances, visit their web site.  I have no idea where you would place your wagers, but, as per the BC Lottery Corporation, The Infinite Revolution requests that you gamble responsibly.

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