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Baseless Speculation: On Sunday, The 13th Doctor Will Finally Be Revealed... To Be Olivia Colman

By Tori Preston | TV | July 14, 2017 |

By Tori Preston | TV | July 14, 2017 |

Earlier today BBC America sent out the tweet we’ve all been waiting for since we heard Peter Capaldi would be stepping down from his role as the Twelfth Doctor back in January. No, they didn’t announce who the next star of Doctor Who would be. But they did announce when we would find out…

SUNDAY! We will find out SUNDAY JULY 16th, as in 2 days from now — after the Wimbledon Men’s Final, for whatever reason. Well, it might have something to do with that big Hall H panel Doctor Who has planned at San Diego Comic Con on July 23rd. If they wanted to use that time to talk about the transition from Steven Moffat to new showrunner Chris Chibnall, they might also want to talk about the new Doctor as well… and if any spoilery footage were to be shown…

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Look, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that, after months of speculation, we’ll finally be able to stop arguing about who should or shouldn’t slip into some ridiculous outfit and parade around the galaxy in the TARDIS as the Thirteenth Doctor (we can tell it will be the Thirteenth because the entire teaser video is literally just the number “13” popping up everywhere — apparently the BBC doesn’t care about people suffering from Triskaidekaphobia…)

Granted, it would have been nice to find out the identity of the new Doctor during Capaldi’s last episode, the upcoming Doctor Who Christmas Special. We could sit in anticipation as that yellow regeneration glow fades to reveal a glimpse of the new actor, and then BOOM — the episode ends. But since keeping it a secret would be almost impossible, it’s better to have it revealed in a big BBC hoopla rather than a grainy photo from a bystander anyway.

So let’s make the most of our final hours in blissful ignorance, and have one last hurrah speculating about who they’ll announce on Sunday… and then argue about it. Ready? I’ll start.

It’s gonna be Olivia Colman. I want it to be Olivia Colman. Which isn’t to say I wouldn’t be downright delighted to see the role go to Hayley Atwell or Phoebe Waller-Bridge or Idris freakin’ Elba (#CASTIDRISINEVERYTHING) or any of the other non-white and/or non-male options. And it has nothing to do with David Tennant saying she’d be a “magnificent choice” or the fact that she’s already worked with Chibnall on three heart-rending seasons of Broadchurch.

It’s because she’s marvelous. She has the comedy chops and the dramatic range to do the part justice. Look at her in The Night Manager. Look at her in Peep Show and Fleabag and Flowers. Look at her in Hot Fuzz even! Or wait for her to steal the whole damn train out from under the other stars of Murder on the Orient Express later this year. She just deserves all the good things in life. I want to see her more, and if it means handing over the reins of a huge sci-fi property then fuck it, here’s the TARDIS key. Happy trails, you fabulous woman you.

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We know already having popped up in an episode of Doctor Who doesn’t matter, because Capaldi was in “The Fires of Pompeii” and they justified making him the Doctor anyway! So we figure Colman popping up in Matt Smith’s first episode, “The Eleventh Hour”, shouldn’t have a huge impact. Frankly, I don’t care if she’s out of the running, or if she turned down the part because she’s smart enough not to want to upend her whole existence to be a part of the insane Doctor Who production and promotions schedule. The heart wants what the heart wants.

Sure, it probably won’t be Colman. But for these last few hours, let me dream big. What do you guys think? Place your bets now!

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Tori Preston is the managing editor of Pajiba. She tweets here. You can also listen to her weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.