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Jodie Whittaker's time as the Thirteenth Doctor on the long-running BBC sci-fi classic Doctor Who is not quite over yet. Though she's wrapped up her final serial as the character, the six-part series Flux, Whittaker's Doctor will stick around for three new specials running throughout 2022. Still, we already known the end of her time in the TARDIS is approaching, and that means casting speculation over who might replace Whittaker has ramped up.
So, who will be the next Doctor? It's something we might not know for several more months, or perhaps even longer, but Whittaker already has some ideas. The actress appeared with her Doctor Who co-star Mandip Gill (Yaz) on BBC Radio 1 last week to promote the upcoming New Year's special, "Eve of the Daleks," and fielded questions from kids about Doctor Who, Christmas films, bloopers, and more. One brave young Who fan decided to go for broke, and ask Whittaker and Gill "Who is going to be the next Doctor, and do you have the power to choose?"
"We don't know," Whittaker said. "We're not in the inner circle."
Gill decided to take the question one step further, and asked Whittaker who she might pick if she had the power to choose. Whittaker deferred to Gill, who named self-professed Doctor Who fan Whoopi Goldberg as her choice. When it was Whittaker's turn, she pulled out a very interesting name.
"I'm gonna pick an actress who I think is really exciting, and I think would be phenomenal, is Lydia West," she said.
Though she's not a household name yet, you may recognize the 28-year-old West from her role as Bethany on Years & Years and her role as Jill on It's a Sin. She also appeared as Lucy Westenra in former Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat's adaptation of Dracula, and performed in the Doctor Who audio adventure The Sorcerer of Albion. She's an up-and-coming talent with loads of potential and energy, and would make a fascinating Doctor if given the opportunity.
Of course, as Whittaker emphasized, she doesn't actually have any casting power when it comes to naming her successor. When her tenure is up as The Doctor next year, she'll be departing alongside the showrunner who cast her, Chris Chibnall, who announced earlier this year that he's leaving Doctor Who behind after the upcoming specials. He'll be replaced by Russell T. Davies, the showrunner responsible for reviving Doctor Who in 2005 and for casting both Ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston and Tenth Doctor David Tennant. At this point, we've got no idea exactly what Davies is planning, but he'll be the man in charge of putting a new face in the TARDIS. Maybe he'll take Whittaker's advice along the way.
The Doctor Who New Year's special, "Eve of the Daleks," arrives Saturday.