Since the announcement that he’s quit Death in Paradise, Kris Marshall’s name has been linked to Doctor Who – and speculation has never been more rife, since bookmakers suspending betting on the actor playing the Thirteenth Doctor.
This is despite claims that upcoming showrunner, Chris Chibnall hasn’t even started work on his era of the show. Mind you, a large section of fandom believes that to be a lie anyway…
Marshall became bookies’ new favourite, beating previous suggestions like Olivia Colman (The Eleventh Hour), Tilda Swindon (Doctor Strange), and Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Broadchurch) – which could hint that someone has insider information. Or equally, it’s a punt. Ladbrokes spokesman, Alex Donohue says:
“A surge of punters have backed Marshall so we’ve had no choice but to close the book. If he does get the gig, the bookies will be exterminated first.”
The DWC generally isn’t getting drawn into the speculation, but this feels significant as, back in 2013, shortly before the official reveal, odds were suspended on Peter Capaldi becoming the Twelfth Doctor. And look how that turned out.
Then again, William Hill is still accepting bets on Marshall, though the odds have been slashed to 3-1. William Hill’s Rupert Adams says:
“We don’t think that the decision has been made and for now we are happy to continue accepting bets. That said, the gamble is a clear indication that Kris is very much in the running to be the next Doctor.”
It does seem a fair call: Kris (My Family; Love, Actually) was said to have quit Death in Paradise as he wanted to spend more time with his family; playing the next incarnation of the Time Lord would give him chance to see his family while also maintaining regular work. Similarly, he proved massively popular in Death in Paradise, where his character replaced that of Ben Miller’s (who was unceremoniously killed off in the opening episode of Series 3), and, more importantly to the BBC, bankable – the show’s viewing figures generally rose to about 8 to 9 million. Marshall would potentially give Doctor Who some stability: he stuck around on Death in Paradise between Series 3 and 6, starring in 30 episodes in total (screened between January 2014 and February 2017).
His DI. Humphrey Goodman also had certain Doctorly qualities too, which only strengthen rumours.
Audiences react very well to Marshall in general, which would be good for the show, good for fandom, and good for the BBC.
Nonetheless, some sections of viewers – and indeed, those who don’t watch Doctor Who but still like a moan – won’t be happy should he get the role. I already hear cries of, “Another white, middle-class male!” Somebody save me…
Personally, there are three people I think would make good Doctors right now: yes, Kris Marshall (I love Death in Paradise), but also Sacha Dhawan (An Adventure in Space and Time) and Josh O’Connor (Cold War, though you’ll know him best from The Durrells).
So what do you think? Kris Marshall: yay or nay?