5 plausible candidates for a female Doctor in ‘Doctor Who’

Last weekend Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat discussed the idea of one day having a female Doctor, saying that “the more often it’s talked about, the more often it is likely to happen some day”, in a soundbite that had fans eager to pass the time waiting for Asylum of the Daleks rushing to their keyboards.

It’s not a new conversation by any means; Whovians have been obsessing over the possibility for years, and while we know not all of you are sold on the idea of a female Doctor, there’s no reason it couldn’t be done.

If it’s good enough for the Corsair, it’s good enough for our favourite Time Lord. Technically it’s already been explored twice: in Comic Relief’s The Curse of the Fatal Death and Big Finish’s Exile. All we’d need is the right actress to make it work.

So which actresses would be best to put the gal in Gallifreyan? In no particular order we’ve picked out five plausible candidates (sorry folks, no Winslets or Mirrens here)…


Ruth Wilson


Known as Jane Eyre and more recently as Idris Elba’s adversary in Luther, Wilson is the most popular choice whenever the possibility of a female Doctor is discussed, and it’s easy to see why.

With a magnetism and confidence beyond her years, she’s relatively young but feels like an old soul, which is exactly what you want for the Doctor. That, and she has a blue-eyed stare that could stop a Cyberfleet in its tracks.


Tamsin Greig

Tamsin Greig

A brilliant British actress (who appeared what feels like a lifetime ago in Series 1’s The Long Game), and equally adept at comedy and drama, Tamsin Greig is certainly the all-round actress you’d require for the Doctor.

She’s lively and quirky in an early Doctor sort of way, but she can sell ‘I’m the last of the Time Lords’ seriousness as well. She’d also be able to bring a more motherly quality to a female Doctor, which we think you’d agree would be an interesting new aspect to the character.


Lara Pulver

Sherlock Irene Adler Lara Pulver

Another name that gets pulled in when talk turns to Time Ladies, probably because of Pulver’s memorable performance as Irene Adler in Moffat’s Sherlock. Her short stint in Spooks also means it’s easy to imagine her running down the fiery corridor of an explodey-wodey alien ship.

Could she pull off the innate eccentricity of the Doctor as well as some of the others on this list? That’s an untested quantity, but we can imagine she’d bring out the tomboyish, swashbuckling nature that might help uncertain fans transition to a female lead.


Suranne Jones

Scott and Bailey Suranne Jones

Okay, yes, she was already the human incarnation of the TARDIS, but Karen Gillan was also a Pompeiian soothsayer before she was Amy Pond and Freema Agyeman played Martha’s short-lived cousin.

It’s a big universe, anything’s possible. And certainly in her role as a big wooden box Jones demonstrated the emotional range necessary to play an incredibly old, incredibly kind being: everything from madness, to sorrow, to childish excitement. Sound like anyone we know in the Whoniverse?


Vicky McClure


Primarily known for gritty dramatic roles in This is England and Line of Duty, Vicky McClure would make for a perfect darker version of the Time Lord – think a female spin on Christopher Ecclestone’s Ninth Doctor – while still able to keep the emotional vulnerability of the character that’s prominent in Nu-Who.

Can’t you just imagine her staring down a Dalek eyestalk and giving it a Northern ultimatum? Ooh the very thought of it gives us shivers…


Who would you like to play a female Doctor? Let us know below…

  • stephanie

    Don’t forget that, although he is a he, Peter Capaldi was also in an adventure as a pretty prominent character during David Tennant’s run, and he is now the Doctor! I think Suranne Jones woulf be a brilliant Doctor.

  • David Farmbrough

    I can’t think of any of those actresses being suitable much as I love some of them. Why not an eccentric elderly actress like Margaret Rutherford?

  • realsmartmom

    The beautiful, multi-talented Wilson would be a marvelous choice…..and she’s GINGER!!!! 🙂

  • zumojuice

    Olivia Coleman. Job done

  • Christine Cantin

    Emma Thompson

  • fangirl

    Hermione Norris.

  • fangirl

    Hermione Norris, like Ruth Wilson, is compelling to look at, but not conventionally pretty, so there would be no temptation to reduce her to a “girl” Doctor. Her smile is gorgeous but she can play a steely, scarey Eccleston-esque Doctor without falling into any of the cute Doctor nonsense we’ve been putting up with recently. I love everything I’ve seen her do. She’s doing an upcoming guest spot, but I’d love to see her as a bad-ass doctor.

  • Joel Mole

    I think Lara Pulver would make a better Missy than the Doctor

    • Bo

      I saw the picture and actually thought it was Michelle Gomez.

  • Joe Cogan

    Judi Dench would be brilliant.

  • Penny

    I would love to see Suranne Jones as the Doctor! I thought so as soon as I saw her as the TARDIS! She would be amazing and could totally pull off the part!

  • Elizabeth Kerner Ewing

    Taraji P. Henson would be great, so would Tamala Jones or Susan Sullivan.

  • Mike Young

    None of them. I would like the doctor to stay male.

  • Jami

    I realize she’d be expensive, though some actresses/actors give price breaks for love projects, and some whiners will say she’s too old – but I’d love to see Dame Judi Dench as The Doctor – pair her up with Dame Maggie Smith as Missy and it’s a dream team! Even if it’s only for one season or a tv movie.

  • Stephen Powell

    I’ve been a Dr Who fan all my life. Almost as long as the Doctor has run and I’m pretty old school in that he should remain a male. However if the powers that be decided to go with a female I think someone like Claire Forlani would be the perfect choice. Beauty and brains all in one package.

  • Ox

    I prefer him as a male, but if the role went to a female, I’d like Hayley Atwell.

  • LB130

    Vicky McClure best actress in Britain.

  • Lindsey Allsop

    To be honest as long as it’s someone with a nice big pair of tits I don’t mind.

  • Johnathan Ashby

    for me, if the Doctor were to become female, the only person I would consider is Katherine Parkinson (The IT Crowd, Humans). She can play serious or funny, looks great and is ginger…….nuff said