Doctor Who: Who Should Be The Next Doctor?

It’s now been four years since the premiere of Netflix’s immensely popular and critically acclaimed series, Doctor Who. During that time, the series has grown from a small TV show to a global phenomenon, with over 200 episodes and still counting.

As the show approaches its fifth anniversary, questions have started to arise as to whether or not there should be a Doctor Who reboot. While fans are undoubtedly pumped about the possibility of a fresh start in a new decade, there are many aspects of the show that still call for a change.

The Show Needs A Rebrand

The first and perhaps most obvious reason for a reboot is that the show needs a rebrand. The original Doctor Who had a rather dark theme that carried over into almost all aspects of its storytelling. While it did feature many awesome monster effects and gritty sci-fi set pieces, it often felt more like a horror movie than a traditional Doctor Who narrative.

Since its premiere in 2013, Netflix’s Doctor Who has lightened the overall mood and tone of the show, making it feel more contemporary and approachable for the general public. While some older fans may feel that the show has taken a step back, the new creative team behind the show has definitely upped the ante, with each season feeling more ambitious than the last. This trend was clearly visible in the season 5 premiere, which featured a character called the Silence. The Silence is essentially a mute humanoid creature that only communicates by typing on a keyboard, with no voice acting or lip syncing required.

This is far from the first time that Netflix’s expansive pockets have allowed for experimentation in storytelling and allowed for the opportunity to reinvent the wheel for the modern era. In fact, Netflix has arguably done more to push the boundaries of what is possible in televising original content than anyone else, which is why we should at least give them the benefit of the doubt when considering possible rebrandings for the Doctor Who franchise.

The Show Needs A Fresh Start

Another huge issue with the current iteration of Doctor Who is that it feels rather outdated. Yes, it is still set in the 1960s and, yes, it still follows the same general formula as the original series; however, that alone does not a reboot make. As we’ve established, the world of Doctor Who has changed significantly in the last four years, with many iconic characters from the show’s golden era now entering the Unicode character pool. This certainly makes the show feel a bit more dated, since many of these characters have been around for decades and their outdated design and flat facial animations only serve to bring the series’ time traveling heroes and heroines into a bit of a comedown.

The Show Needs A New Team

When speaking with Entertainment Weekly, the show’s executive producer, Chris Chibnall, stated: “Doctor Who needs a new team… we have some amazing writers and incredible directors but it needs someone at the top to come in and take it in a new direction.”

This team may very well be the legendary J.J. Abrams, who, as we’ve established, has a long history with Netflix and the company’s willingness to back creative endeavours. While Chibnall certainly has plenty of experience working in the TV industry, his only previous credits before Doctor Who are a couple of music videos and an episode of Chuck. So, while Chibnall is no stranger to the task at hand, it’s clear that Abrams could bring a level of expertise that the show so desperately needs.

The Special Effects Are Out Of This World

Let’s not forget that special effects legend, Michael J. Wahl, founded his own company, Wahl FX, back in 1985 to work on the effects for Doctor Who. It was, in fact, Doctor Who that made Wahl the special effects superstar that he is today, as the show’s groundbreaking effects in the 1960s and early 1970s continue to impresses today’s audiences. In particular, the series’ use of stop-motion animation, which was rather crude and clunky in its day, continues to astound viewers in 2019.

The Stories Challenge Fans

A major strength of Netflix’s Doctor Who is its ambitious storytelling, with each season feeling like a complete narrative rather than just a collection of standalone episodes. It is, therefore, no surprise that some fans feel that these stories are the best in the show’s history and that a reboot should be on the cards.

The strength of these stories, which frequently go on for several seasons, is that they challenge fans of the show and encourage them to watch the whole thing from start to finish. While most viewers might not have the time to do this, those who do will be rewarded with some truly epic storytelling and an experience that the older episodes rarely offer.

The Biggest Question: Who Should Come After The Doctor?

The ultimate question that must be asked when considering a possible reboot for Doctor Who is: “Who should come after The Doctor?” It is, of course, a question that has been asked and answered before. In fact, fans of the series have long debated which of the show’s many characters should come next, with many fans wanting to see Peter Capaldi’s The Doctor face off against the villains from the revived series, Scarlet King and the Cybermen. With Netflix’s massive budget and creative freedom, who could possibly resist such an offer?

So, should we see a Scarlet King/Cybermen confrontation? Or maybe Amy Pond, the brilliant and brave daughter of legendary adventurer, Christopher ‘Kit” Pond, who has since become The Doctor’s arch-rival? Or could it be the mysterious and nefarious Time Agent known as The Father? Only time will tell.