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SYFY WIRE Doctor Who

'Doctor Who': No, Hugh Grant will not be the next Time Lord following Jodie Whittaker exit

He has sort of already played the Time Lord once before.

By Josh Weiss
Hugh Grant Jodie Whittaker Dr. Who GETTY PRESS

With Jodie Whittaker on the verge of exiting Doctor Who as the show's Thirteenth Time Lord, it's only natural for fans to wonder who will be tapped to take her place. One actor we can rule out for certain, however, is Hugh Grant. Responding to a rumor that he was in serious talks to become the next TARDIS adventurer, Grant tweeted: "Nothing against Dr W but I’m not. No idea where the story came from." The funny part is he already played the Doctor already (sort of) in a comedy sketch produced for a charity-based telethon in 1999.

While official casting has yet to be announced, die-hard viewers can rest assured the long-running BBC program is in very good hands. That's because Russell T. Davies — the writer/producer who rebooted the series back in the mid-2000s — will return as showrunner for the upcoming 14th season. 

“I’m beyond excited to be back on my favorite show,” he said last September. “But we’re time-traveling too fast, there’s a whole series of Jodie Whittaker’s brilliant Doctor for me to enjoy, with my friend and hero Chris Chibnall at the helm — I’m still a viewer for now.”

The Grant-related rumor originated with the Daily Mirror (a well-known tabloid in the U.K.), which cited "a TV insider," who alleged that Davies wanted The Man from U.N.C.L.E. star to “bring a fresh feel” to the iconic role of the Doctor. “He offers many attributes – great actor, British, award-winning, Hollywood A-lister and excellent at comedy," claimed the unnamed source. "Conversations are in progress."

Again, none of this is confirmed, but the source also hinted at a plan to start molding the Doctor Who IP into "a Marvel-like product, building franchises around the Doctor and other key characters in his many lives."

Whittaker's tenure as the regenerating character will come to a close this year with the airing of two more specials. Appearing on the BBC Radio 1 in late 2021, Whittaker nominated Lydia West to take her place, while emphasizing her complete lack of who is actually being considered. "We don't know," she said. "We're not in the inner circle."

The next Whittaker-fronted special — "Legend of the Sea Devils" — is scheduled to premiere on Easter Sunday, April 17.

"In 2017 I opened my glorious gift box of size 13 shoes. I could not have guessed the brilliant adventures, worlds and wonders I was to see in them. My heart is so full of love for this show, for the team who make it, for the fans who watch it and for what it has brought to my life," Whittaker said in a statement when news of her Whovian retirement broke last year. "And I cannot thank Chris enough for entrusting me with his incredible stories. We knew that we wanted to ride this wave side by side, and pass on the baton together. So here we are, weeks away from wrapping on the best job I have ever had. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to express what this role has given me. I will carry the Doctor and the lessons I’ve learnt forever."