Fleabag star Phoebe Waller-Bridge has led the bookies’ odds for the past few months, with the likes of Chewing Gum actress Michaela Coel, Game of Thrones’ Natalie Dormer and British Hollywood royalty Tilda Swinton also constantly associated with the role.
Wait, can a Time Lord even become a Time Lady?
Yes. A precedent for that was set in series 9 finale Hell Bent, when a white male Gallifreyan regenerated into a black female, answering two questions in one (but also raising another – where did her immaculate eye make-up come from?).
So has the Doctor ever been played by a woman?
Sort of. Absolutely Fabulous star Joanna Lumley played a non-canonical fictional Doctor in a 1999 Comic Relief special called The Curse of Fatal Death – it was written by current showrunner Steven Moffat. There was also an unofficial audio incarnation of the Third Doctor played by Arabella Weir in a 2003 radio play, Exile.
That was ages ago, and was non-canon. Why is this news again today?
Well, the man who’ll be at the heart of the decision making process has been more guarded. Although he says “nothing is ruled out” he tempers his remarks by insisting “I don’t want the casting to be a gimmick.”