50 Actors Who Could Play the Next Doctor on Doctor Who

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Martin Freeman as John Watson in “Sherlock” Seaason 4. (Photo: Courtesy of Hartswood Films 2016 and MASTERPIECE)

Martin Freeman

File this casting suggestion under extreme wish fulfillment, as it’s probably worth noting that Martin Freeman would likely never take on the role of the Doctor. He starred in several major film franchises over the years, with a recent – and increasingly prominent – role in the Marvel movie universe. (You’ll next see him in Black Panther.) But Freeman would be so good at being Thirteen that it’s impossible to put together a list of this size and not mention him. These days, he’s probably best known as the stoic sidekick to Benedict Cumberbatch’s mercurial Holmes on Sherlock. And, of course, since that show’s also run by Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat, fans have been clamoring forever for the two shows to cross over in some way. Casting John Watson as the Doctor might be the closest we’d ever come to that moment. (And just think of the fanfic!)

Freeman’s actually had a ton of other great roles besides just John Watson. He played Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy. He also had leading roles in FX’s Fargo and the original British version of The Office. You might not know this if your only exposure to him as an actor is as the straight man to Cumberbatch’s dramatic…well, everything, but he’s quite funny, and great at humor. (Don’t believe it? Watch The Office.)

Plus, he’s ridiculously good at playing a regular, sort of “everyman” character type, so if your secret wish is to make the Doctor more human and less alien, he’d be a perfect fit. Perhaps that might make the character a bit more relatable for new audiences, which is something we all know the BBC is hoping to attract. And if there any Sherlock fans who somehow aren’t watching Doctor Who already? This would definitely get them to tune in.