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No One Knows Who the Next Doctor Is, But We Do Have Polling Data

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | June 10, 2013 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | June 10, 2013 |

There were a bunch of reports fueled more by the herd mentality of hope than by proper journalistic things like leaks or sources, that the new Doctor would be announced over the weekend. This led to a second wave of completely unsubstantiated articles insisting that one actor or another had in fact been offered the role. I deny any part in this process, and argue that there are many people who might find it humorous to forge email headers and mask their IP addresses whilst sending false press announcements to editors rabid for news late on a Saturday night. DANCE MY PUPPETS!

Ahem. I mean, such people might yell something like that while doing the Buffalo Bill dance in circles around their cat. Hypothetically.

The Telegraph is insisting that the BBC has offered the job to Rory Kinnear. Or rather a single writer who likes to talk in the third person about his own column (“The Mandrake can report…”) despite the fact that nowhere on the page is that column title actually used, so you can only figure out that he’s talking about his own column through induction. I’m totally going to start doing that on these pages. Oh, and go peruse the comment section over there if you have any faith in humanity left. The Mandrake assures you, that can be fixed.

A few other places have made similar different announcements. I’m not recounting them here, because they’re all lies, and we have statistics to look at, which are the best kind of lie. Here are the tabulated results of a poll done in Great Britain last week, specifically about “Doctor Who”.

First off, you’ll see that 68% of respondents were either “not very interested” or “not at all interested” in “Doctor Who”. At first glance that makes me very sad, but on second thought, how terribly excited would you be if you heard that 1 in 3 Americans cared about “Doctor Who”? The Mandrake can confirm the niftiness of that.

But the really neat part of the poll is on the second page, where it asks what attributes of the actor playing the next Doctor are really important, and then breaks up the responses along political affiliation, age, region, and something called social grade, which I can only assume is how the British decide who to feed to the aliens first.

The leading attributes that the British voting public cares about are that the Doctor be British (but that 54% is a surprisingly low proportion here), and that he be male (52%). Being white only comes in at being important to 23% of interested viewers, while only 19% care that he’s under 40 years of age.

Wonderfully, as a complete aside, in the section where they polled who the favorite Doctors were, Eccleston actually underperformed in the North relative to other regions. We’ll let you know if the BBC actually makes an announcement, or if Nate Silver steps in and just tells us the future.

And the Mandrake can neither confirm nor deny at this time whether Nate Silver will in fact be the next Doctor.

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Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.