James Bond might still be demonstrably white after the franchise threw money at Daniel Craig till he caved, but the UK‘s other long-running franchise with an ever-changing lead – ‘Dr Who‘ – might be actually be in for a shake up.

Yesterday Peter Capaldi, the show’s current Time Lord, announced he’d be leaving after the 2017 Christmas special, during which the 13th Doctor would be reincarnated.

It coincides with the departure of longtime showrunner Steven Moffat, giving a real chance for incoming showrunning, ‘Broadchurch‘ writer Chris Chibnall, to breathe fresh life into a series that’s seen it’s last season dip in the ratings.

And fans are calling out for Chibnall to cast a black or female actor in the iconic role.

Olivia Coleman
(‘Peep Show‘) and Richard Ayoade (my dream journal) are the two frontrunners – as far as the fanbase goes – but David Harewood (‘Supergirl‘) and Ben Whishaw (neither black nor female, but an adorable Q in the Bond films) are also in the mix.

Bookies are favouring Whishaw to step into the Tardis, with Richard Ayoade a close second, Rory Kinnear (that guy you know from everything, including the determined detective in ‘Imitation Game‘) in third, and Miranda Hart (‘Call the Midwife‘) sliding in fourth place to be the favourite female contender.

Fan favourite Coleman – who has previously starred in Doctor Who as herself – doesn’t even get a look in until #10 place, after Helena Bonham Carter.

‘Dr Who’ Fans Are Gunning For The Next Time Lord To Be Black Or Female

Billie Piper, who played companion Rose Tylerruled herself out of contention, but said it would “feel like a snub” if the role didn’t go to a woman and that “it would be great given the spirit of the world at the moment.”

Moffat – who said he had previously offered the role to a black actor, but “for various reasons, it didn’t work out” – said it would be “amazing” for the show to have two non-white leads (this season debuts Pearl Mackie, whose father is from the West Indies, as the new companion).

However, founder of mega fansite Doctor Who Online, Sebastian J Brook, told The Guardian that while most fans support the idea of a non-white Doctor, a female doctor would change the dynamic of the show and that it should only happen “for the right reason”

He also made a strong push on Twitter for the show to hire more female writers and directors, which he says it’s been severely lacking.

Nothing will be firmed up till later in the year, so there’s plenty of time to make your opinions incessantly known on the line. 

‘Dr Who’ Fans Are Gunning For The Next Time Lord To Be Black Or Female

Photo: Getty / David M. Bennett; Karwai Tang; Mike Marsland.