50 Actors Who Could Play the Next Doctor on Doctor Who

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Maggie Smith, looking appropriately judgy as the Dowager Countess. (Photo: Courtesy of Nick Briggs/Carnival Film & Television Limited 2015 for MASTERPIECE)

Maggie Smith

Given that some of the folks behind-the-scenes at Doctor Who seem to think that current Doctor Peter Capaldi is too old for the role, this little bit of dream casting would clearly never happen. But just take a minute and try to imagine Dame Maggie Smith in the TARDIS. Dame Maggie wielding a sonic screwdriver. The Dowager Countess going toe-to-toe with a Dalek. Ah, such stuff as dreams are made of, right?

These days, Smith is probably best known for two things: Zinging everyone with great one-liners on Downton Abbey, and playing Minerva McGonagall in the Harry Potter films. But her professional resume is long and varied, extending all the way back to the 1960s. And she’s done everything from Shakespeare to Sister Act along the way. A handful of her other notable roles include Gosford Park, Tea with Mussolini, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, A Room with a View and lots, lots more. She’s been nominated for a ton of awards, and these days makes a point to never attend the ceremonies. Dame Maggie Smith is life goals, y’all.

And she would be a fantastic Doctor. Smith is a tremendously talented actress, able to play everything from steel to sensitivity easily. Her imperious nature screams Time Lord. And we could probably just start calling her “The Oncoming Storm” in real life right now. Plus, who better to finally usher in the long-awaited moment where the Doctor regenerates as a woman? Who is going to take less crap from irritated fanboys that Who made a progressive casting decision? Leave it to Dame Maggie. She’d have it handled quicker than Olivia Pope.