Just a few days ago, Peter Capaldi announced that he will be stepping down from the titular role in BBC’s Doctor Who at the end of the year.
Since then, speculation has been rife as to who will step in and take control of the Tardis next. And, while Billie Piper doesn’t know who will be cast, she has some advice for TV bosses – it’s time for a woman to take on the role of the famous Time Lord.
Piper, who played companion Rose Tyler in previous series, says it would “feel like a snub” if a the role doesn’t go to a woman.
“I’ve always supported the original format,” she tells the BBC. “But I don’t know where they can go from here.
“I think it would be great [to have a female Doctor] given the spirit of the world at the moment. I think it would be timely.”
Much like James Bond, the role of the Doctor has been taken on by a number of actors over the years, including Matt Smith, John Hurt, David Tennant and Christopher Eccleston.
As each actor comes to the end of his time on the show, the Doctor usually succumbs to a mortal injury and is forced to ‘regenerate’ – leading to a new face, personality and even fashion sense.
Overall, 13 actors have played the character, but with all having been white men, many think it’s time for a change. Names in the running have included Freema Agyeman, Cush Jumbo, and Olivia Colman.
Former showrunner Steven Moffatt previously revealing that gender is “fluid” to residents of Gallifrey (the Doctor’s home world).
Speaking to SFX , he added: “There easily could be a female Doctor. I think the next time might be a female Doctor. I don't see why not. I think it's good to do that.”
However, that was back in 2014. And we’re all still waiting for our female Doctor to emerge.
While Piper is keen for a woman to take the role, she was reluctant to admit whether she herself would consider tasking on the job.
“I don't know,” she said. “It's a lot of work. It would be a lot of time in Cardiff.”
Capaldi, meanwhile, knows exactly who he wants to replace him.
Speaking to The Mirror, he said: “The time felt right to bow out, to let somebody else play this wonderful role and I would like Frances de la Tour to be first female doctor.”
Only time will tell, we guess…
Images: Rex pictures / BBC One