Doctor Who Star Believes Series Could Choose Woman of Color as Next Doctor

Current Doctor Who companion Mandip Gill has added her voice to those who think the next Doctor could be a woman of color. Echoing sentiment from former Doctor Who star Sylvester McCoy, Gill told BBC Radio 4 that she believes forward-thinking people run the show and that they'd be receptive to the idea of a woman of color if and when Jodie Whittaker finishes her run as the Thirteenth Doctor. "I think there's a long way to go but there's definitely room for change. And actually, I think at the BBC and at Doctor Who they are very open and forward-thinking, so yes," Gill said.

In February, McCoy said he'd been pleasantly surprised by the BBC's choices to play the Doctor in the "New Who" era. He hopes that pattern continues.

"I'm always surprised by who they pick," McCoy told RadioTimes. "It has to be someone with lots of character. It can't be someone bland and beautiful, rather handsome and characterful. I was surprised when they got Matt Smith. He looked about 12, and yet he was brilliant! One minute he looks 12, the next he looks 125. He has the perfect Doctor Who face. So, a surprise. A person of color would be great."

Doctor Who introduced its first person of color to play the Doctor in the twelfth season episode "Fugitive of the Judoon," revealing Jo Martin as a previously unknown incarnation of the Doctor hiding out on Earth. That revelation led to a retcon of the Doctor's and the Time Lords' origins in the season finale episode, "The Timeless Children." Martin's introduction helps open the door to a woman of color taking over the franchise's lead role.

Whoopi Goldberg is eager to take over the role, which would make her the first American to lead the British series. However, while there have been rumors about Whittaker departing after next season, the BBC has only said that "We won't be commenting on any speculation around Jodie's future on the show." In a recent interview, Whittaker suggested that she hadn't been thinking past the show's next season.

"As far as I'm concerned, right now, I'm the Doctor and that's taking up everything of me, as an actor," Whittaker told Entertainment Weekly. "And to think something beyond that, I can't put my head there, and I don't want to."

Who do you think should play the next Doctor? Let us know what you think about it in the comments section.

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Doctor Who is now streaming on HBO Max. Get started with our binge guide. The show is currently filming its thirteenth season.