Casting changes in iconic film and TV roles are big business for UK-based betting firms, as any James Bond fan can tell you. Now that we know 2017 will be Peter Capaldi's last ride in the TARDIS as the star of Doctor Who, fans are placing bets on who will be his replacement ... and oddsmakers are increasingly favoring a woman to be the 13th Doctor.
Whovians have been campaigning for a woman to take on the title role for years, but enthusiasm was particularly high in 2013, before Capaldi was ultimately announced as the new Doctor. More than a few fans were put off by the choice, not because of Capaldi himself, but because hope of a more progressive casting choice was snuffed out. Now, with a female Master and the canonical fact that The Doctor can change gender fresh in fans' minds, the idea is gaining traction again and oddsmakers have named a new frontrunner for the role: Tilda Swinton.
According to Metro, gambling firm Ladbrokes has seen an uptick in bets on Swinton to take over the role from Capaldi, and as a result they've upped the Oscar winner's odds from 10/1 to 7/2, making her the favorite among the top contenders. Swinton's chameleonic acting prowess and predilection for challenging genre roles make her a very interesting choice, and she's already gained plenty of endorsements from fans and even Eighth Doctor Paul McGann.
It's important to note that betting odds don't necessarily give us an indication of what's going on behind closed doors at the BBC, but a big chunk of the public is now in Swinton's corner.
Although she's definitely not the only woman fans are betting on. Broadchurch star Olivia Colman, another fan favorite, is in third place with 5/1 odds, while Shameless star Maxine Peake is pulling 8/1 odds and Fleabag star Phoebe Waller-Bridge is set at 12/1 odds.
Other contenders include Death In Paradise's Kris Marshall (4/1), The IT Crowd star Richard Ayoade (10/1) and James Bond co-star Ben Whishaw (10/1).
Again, this is all betting speculation, and it might be quite some time before we hear any concrete casting news. Still, it's looking more and more like 2017 might finally be the year for a female Doctor.