The casting of Jodie Whittaker as the next Doctor continues to resonate with the announcement that she’s topped the Radio Times TV 100 list. Chosen by a panel of leading lights in the TV industry (including outgoing showrunner, Steven Moffat), the list celebrates the ‘hottest talents on television today’ in the words of the magazine or, as they put it a little more colourfully, “Which stars do the broadcasters scrabble to sign, knowing that harnessing their talents to a show will make it fly?”
There’s certainly no denying that Whittaker has had a remarkable year. Aside from being cast as the Thirteenth Doctor, she returned to her role as bereaved mother Beth Latimer in the acclaimed final series of Broadchurch and more recently showed she can carry a leading role in a major drama in Trust Me playing Cath Hardacre, a nurse who takes the fateful decision to pass herself off as a doctor in an A&E department.
The list is notable for a couple of recent Doctor Who alumni in its upper reaches as well: Pearl Mackie makes number 10 following her performance as Bill Potts in the most recent series and Jenna Coleman, these days appearing as as the lead in ITV’s Victoria, also graces the top 20 in 14th place.
Steven Moffat, as well as playing a role in drawing up the list, is one of a number of television writers and producers who appear in the top 100 (24 in his case), having overseen his final year of Doctor Who as well as a fourth series of Sherlock (his partner in crime Mark Gatiss appears at 78). As if to symbolise the passing of the torch in the Doctor Who production office, Chris Chibnall is creeping up behind his predecessor at 33.
Other Time Lords Peter Capaldi (59) and Matt Smith (64) also appear, although strangely there’s no place for David Tennant, an oversight which appears more glaring given his Broadchurch co-star, Olivia Colman (83) does feature.
Another factor which will leap out at any Doctor Who fan reading the list is the number of high-profile actors (besides Colman) with guest credits on our favourite show who appear: Love & Monsters‘ Peter Kay (5); Time Heist‘s Keeley Hawes (54); Gridlock‘s Ardal O’Hanlon (55); The Doctor’s Wife star, Suranne Jones (68); Partners in Crime‘s Sarah Lancashire (73)… Proof, if it were needed, of the series’ ability to attract some of Britain’s most high-profile acting talent.
But the real headline from the TV 100 list is all about Jodie Whittaker, whose casting as the Doctor is surely responsible for her place at number 1. Now a couple of months on from the announcement, Chris Chibnall’s first major decision as series showrunner is one that continues to attract attention and comment and places the show at the centre of attention in British television.
Read the full TV 100 list at the Radio Times.