Luke Treadaway is “in the race” to become the next Doctor Who

As decision day looms, it looks like Kris Marshall may not necessarily be getting the keys to the Tardis after all...

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The hunt for the Thirteenth Doctor has thrown up an interesting late candidate: Luke Treadaway.

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The Fortitude star is said to be “in the race” for the role, according to a source on the show, who adds that he is a leading name in a field which also includes actor Sacha Dhawan.

Treadaway is said to have interested the Doctor Who production team thanks to his work as young scientist Vincent Rattrey in Sky Atlantic’s gory thriller Fortitude. He has also drawn acclaim and charmed audiences with his big screen role as busker James in British film A Street Cat Named Bob.

The movie was adapted from James Bowen’s book about his time begging and busking on the streets of London with a charismatic ginger tom that refused to leave his side and gave him a new lease of life. 

Another lauded performance of Treadaway’s came in the stage adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, in which his role as the autistic teenage protagonist won him a 2013 Olivier Award. 

Also still in the race to be named the next incarnation of the Time Lord is Dhawan who has already had a taste of the Doctor Who world after appearing in Mark Gatiss’s drama about the genesis of the show, An Adventure in Space and Time, playing director Waris Hussein (pictured below, alongside Jessica Raine as Verity Lambert).

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Dhawan has made no secret that he’d be up for the job. “Oh my God, I’d absolutely love to,” he told RadioTimes.com when asked if he would like to play the Doctor. “I SO would love to.”

This means that Kris Marshall, the former Death in Paradise star, is no longer a shoe-in for the role despite claims that the 44-year-old has already been chosen as the Thirteenth Doctor, a suggestion which divided fans.

It also looks as if Doctor Who bosses are not going to plump for a woman for the role. According to sources, the idea was seriously considered earlier in the casting stages but has now been ruled out.

Female candidates for the role are said to have included Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Tilda Swinton and Miranda Hart.

The new Doctor is likely to be announced soon, although it is not yet clear whether he will regenerate in the current series or the Christmas special.

The moment when the Twelfth Doctor hands over to the Thirteenth is of course still shrouded in secrecy but the indications are that Capaldi will go out in style.

“Just because we have done it one way in the past doesn’t mean we will do it the same way again,” said a source on the show.

The new Doctor will be chosen by incoming showrunner Chris Chibnall and new executive producer Matt Strevens, who will both be working more closely than anyone with the actor.

Also involved in the decision-making are BBC drama boss Piers Wenger and director of content Charlotte Moore who have to rubber stamp the choice.

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The BBC declined to comment on any of the speculation and a spokesperson confirmed that no decision had been reached on who will be getting the role.