We know what you’re thinking… yet ANOTHER speculative, unfounded article on the next Doctor? Really, RadioTimes.com? Yes, really – because if you give us just a moment of your attention, we’ll give you five very plausible reasons why Ben Daniels could be unveiled as the new Doctor on Sunday’s special one-off live show.
1. He’s already a frontrunner. Ever since Matt Smith announced his imminent departure, Ben Daniels has been one of the names dominating the rumour mill. At one point he was hot favourite with his odds falling as low as 7/4 and while the hysteria has now moved on to Peter Capaldi (we’re told the market moved because of just a few small bets for the Thick of It actor, by the way), the Cutting It star is still very much in the mix.
2. RadioTimes.com had the pleasure of running into Mr Daniels recently and he was VERY coy when questioned about his potential involvement in the sci-fi series. Lots of giggling, lots of eyebrow raising, NO denial – all signs of a man who could be hiding a time-and-space-shattering secret, perhaps?
3. Further to the above, many of those names thrown into the speculative hat have already spoken out to deny any connection with the role. Rory Kinnear, Russell Tovey, Ben Whishaw, even Olivia Colman have all poo-pooed any rumours suggesting they will become Matt Smith’s successor, but Daniels has offered no such denial.
4. With the growing popularity of Doctor Who stateside, RadioTimes.com understands that BBC bosses may be keen to cast an actor already known to audiences across the pond. Enter Ben Daniels. We may know him in Blighty for his roles in BBC drama Cutting It and ITV’s Law and Order UK, but Daniels has also made a name for himself in the US, starring with Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright in Emmy-nominated Netflix series House of Cards. He also played Fumm in Nicholas Hoult’s recent remake Jack the Giant Slayer, although you’d be hard pushed to recognise him under all that CGI…
5. We’ve done some in-depth analysis of Ben Stephenson’s statement yesterday on the imminent announcement of the 12th Doctor. According to the controller of BBC drama commissioning, “even those working with the new Doctor on other projects at the moment have no idea they are in the presence of the 12th incarnation,” suggesting that their next leading man already has a busy filming schedule. Ben has two high profile projects in the works – Ian Hislop’s The Wipers Times with Michael Palin and BBC’s period drama shopping extravaganza The Paradise. Coincidence? Maybe not…