Now that Matt Smith is leaving Doctor Who, the internet is abuzz with rumours about his replacement. But this time, let’s go with a Welshman.

If you check Twitter, Doctor Who fans are pretty much in synonymous agreement that Matt Smith has been one of the best Doctors the show has ever had. And it’s going to be hard to find a worthy replacement.

Some fans are clamoring for an established genre actor like Benedict Cumberbatch, Idris Elba, or Damien Lewis, while others hope to see Doctor Who return to older, more serious Doctors like Christopher Lee or John Noble (forget the fact that he’s Australian, he’d be amazing).

Still, others are suggesting more radical options: Rupert Grint. David Tennant (again). A woman. Can you believe it? (Actually yes, we can, but that’s another article for another time.)

However, everyone seems to be overlooking a very significant, important factor: in all his regenerations, the Doctor has been many things… but he has never been Welsh.

Doctor Who has a lot of ties to Wales, of course. It films there, for one thing. The original reboot showrunner Russell T. Davies is Welsh, and had Rose and the Doctor traipsing off to Cardiff every chance they got (and even when they were in London, hey, it was still Cardiff).

Doctor Who is such a thoroughly British institution, it seems preposterous to imagine that it would ever cast a non-Brit in the role of the Doctor (although again, let’s all just think of John Noble’s name at the same time, just to see if that old season 3 mind-magic really works).

And yet, for all its Britishness, the only Doctor who has ever been anything but English was Sylvester McCoy. McCoy got to use his Scottish accent for the part, but in the reboot-era, Scottish actor David Tennant had to put on an English accent.

And that’s a shame. There is a tendency both in Britain and America to standardise accents on film and television, but Britain is so much more than just England. And since we’ve got this huge international hit on our hands, let’s continue this trend of showcasing Britain and the range of Britishness (that isn’t just Englishness) to the world – and move on to Wales!

Ioan Gruffudd

Doctor Who Welsh Ioan Gruffudd

Although Gruffudd (aged 39) has been trying to establish himself in America with Fantastic Four and shows like Ringer and Castle, his Welsh roots run deep. (He played Lancelot in King Arthur, for crying out loud.)

He is a native speaker, and is considered one of Wales’ most prominent actors. The fact that he is so recognizable in the States would hardly hurt either, considering that Doctor Who is rapidly gaining in popularity over there.

Of course Gruffudd is hardly whimsical. But perhaps it’s time to move away from the silly Doctors, considering that he will be transitioning into the Valeyard? Gruffudd might be the man for the job.

Rhys Ifans

Doctor Who Welsh Rhys Ifans

Not only is Ifans Welsh, but he is also ginger! It’s like a two-for-one special! The 45-year-old actor/musician is best known for his roles as Xenophilius Lovegood in Harry Potter and The Lizard in Spider-Man, and we think he’d be a great choice for the Doctor.

Like Gruffudd, Ifans isn’t exactly whimsical – but he can be wide-eyed, crazed and desperate, as we saw in Deathly Hallows, while remaining calm and carefully, intensely controlled. Ifans is a perfect fit for Doctor Who if the show is indeed going to be moving down a darker path next year.

And another great thing about Ifans is that in some ways, he kind of feels like an older era Doctor; we can’t quite explain why, but there’s something about him which reminds us of Tom Baker and/or Peter Davison.

John Rhys-Davies

Doctor Who Welsh John Rhys-Davies

Talk about going back to classic-era Who! John Rhys-Davies (aged 69) is one of the most talented, versatile British actors of our time, with blockbusters such as The Lord of the Rings, James Bond and Indiana Jones under his belt.

Rhys-Davies is one of those big-name British actors whom you would assume had appeared in Doctor Who at some point as a guest star, but he hasn’t yet – maybe because he’s simply too big of a name for the show. But no one is too big to play the Doctor himself, and if Rhys-Davies picked up the mantle, he would just bring so much class to the series.

We think this is one of the few actors who could truly capture the feel of the original Doctor (William Hartnell), while still putting his own very unique and memorable spin on the role. And let’s not forget that Rhys-Davies is funny. Remember Gimli – or Treebeard, for that matter?!

Here’s an actor who’s got the pedigree, the talent, and the comedic timing to pull off such a complex, conflicted character. His Doctor would be at once edgy and serious, yet quirky and maybe a little bumbling. In other words, Rhys-Davies would be pretty close to perfect.

Iwan Rheon

Doctor Who Welsh Iwan Rheon

Let’s not forget to consider the younger generation of Welsh actors, too. 28-year-old Iwan Rheon is best known for his role on Misfits, although Game of Thrones fans will shudder at the mention of his name considering he currently plays Theon’s ruthless (and so far nameless) torturer.

Rheon may be younger than the other candidates mentioned so far, but he is no less intense. In many of his roles, you’ll find him desperate, wild-eyed and borderline mad, and it is always a shock when you see him do an interview and realise that he’s not really like that at all. He just pulls off that tortured, imbalanced insanity really well.

In fact, Rheon reminds us a little bit of Matt Smith in his ability to take his character to truly dark, disturbing places one moment, and then turning light-hearted and innocent the next.

This resemblance in acting styles might not be a bad thing, considering how badly fans are taking the news of Smith’s departure. Add to this that Rheon also somewhat physically resembles Smith, and he might be the perfect replacement if the executives decide that they don’t want to scare Who fans off with a completely different type of actor.

If the story is going to continue along the same lines as during Smith’s reign as the Doctor, Rheon would be a good choice to keep a similar feel and tone. And at the same time, in terms of amping up the intensity, Rheon would be more than up for the challenge.

Alexander Vlahos

Doctor Who Welsh Alexander Vlahos

Our youngest choice on the list, Alex Vlahos (aged 24) would usher in a whole new era of Doctor Who. Plus, Vlahos actually wants the part!

Despite his recent roles on Merlin (where he played Mordred), Privates and The Indian Doctor, Vlahos is still a relative unknown, forging his path as an actor.

We like the idea of the new Doctor being someone whom the audience can watch build his character’s identity from scratch, rather than being associated with past roles from the get-go.

Considering that John Hurt will appear as “The Doctor” (whether it’s a past or a future regeneration) in the 50th Anniversary Special, the stark contrast between him and a Doctor as young as Vlahos would be jarring – but not necessarily in a bad way.

Some fans might argue that Vlahos’ Doctor would be much too young considering the dark days ahead, but here’s a counter-argument: maybe the darker storyline actually requires a Doctor who has never felt older, yet has never looked younger.

Vlahos is certainly one of the most promising and talented young Welsh actors around, and if the role of the Doctor is going to go to someone in his age range, he’d be our top choice (Welsh or otherwise).

Michael Sheen

Doctor Who Welsh Michael Sheen

Now we’re getting wild! 44-year-old Michael Sheen (no relation to Charlie) can boast a packed resume which spans pretty much every genre, from Twilight to Henry V.

Sheen is best known for playing politicians and crooks; he’s got a knack for playing ominous, almost sleazy villains, and because the majority of Doctor Who‘s adult viewers would recognize him from one or more of these roles, we’d suddenly have a very different kind of Doctor on our hands: one we might not instinctively trust.

This would certainly be an interesting approach to the character, and open up the story in new and exciting ways. One of the Doctor’s most consistent qualities across all of his regenerations is his ability to make people do what he says. He appears somewhere in time or on a random planet, says something along the lines of, “Trust me, I’m the Doctor,” and people usually do.

But what if they didn’t? What if potential companions weren’t falling over themselves to follow him into the TARDIS? What if past allies turned against him, because he suddenly looked and felt like someone who maybe didn’t have their best interest at heart?

Michael Sheen is a brilliant, versatile actor, who could turn the anger and frustration the Doctor would feel after such experiences into something gripping and intense – and before you knew it, we’d be at Trenzalore. The story practically writes itself.

Anthony Hopkins

Doctor Who Welsh Anthony Hopkins

You knew we had to go there. 75-year-old superstar (can we call him that? We just really want to) Anthony Hopkins should already have played the Doctor 10 times over if the role went to iconic British actors.

Hopkins is of course best known for playing Hannibal Lecter in the Hannibal movies (he won an Oscar for his performance in The Silence of the Lambs), but we can’t forget his quually memorable roles in adventure classics such as The Mask of Zorro, Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Legends of the Fall.

Anthony Hopkins as Doctor Who? Now that would make headlines. Would he ever agree to it? Unlikely. But just for fun, let’s say that he did. Say he contacted the BBC and went, “Hey guys, mind if I take a spin in the TARDIS?” Not even Steven Moffat could overrule that.

Like with John Rhys-Davies, Hopkins as an older Doctor would bring us back to the good old days of classic Who. We’d have someone commanding, frail yet strong-willed, hardened from battle, and maybe a little bit tired of it all.

Don’t forget River Song’s words in season 5, upon seeing Eleven for the first time (for him): “It’s so strange when you go all baby-face.” Unless she was referring to John Hurt’s Doctor (or… unless this line means nothing because we’ll never see River again, but we refuse to accept the possibility), this strongly indicates that we will indeed see an older Doctor. So why not dream big?

As you can see, there is plenty of talented Welsh actors who would make great Doctors in future Doctor Who series. If the BBC’s stealthy publicity team has their way, we probably won’t learn the face of Twelve until Christmas 2013, so until then, we’ll have to keep speculating!

Which Welsh actor could you see as the next ‘Doctor Who’?

The Harry Potter play Cursed Child opens in a week, and we’ve just got our first look at Ginny Potter née Weasley. But not everyone is impressed.

Harry Potter fans have long ago resigned themselves to the fact that Ginny Weasley, badass Quidditch superstar and Voldemort possession survivor, is doomed to exist on the fringes of the story.

Despite her undiluted badassery, Ginny floated on the edge of canon throughout the Harry Potter book series, and for this reason, there are unfortunately many fans who simply don’t see Ginny as anything other than Harry’s only heterosexual ticket into the OBHWF.

But while Hermione Granger (rightfully) takes up most of the spotlight as far as female representation is concerned, J.K. Rowling actually created an equally important female character in Ginny Weasley, despite — or maybe because — of her absence from Harry’s part of the story.

Related: 9 reasons why Ginny Weasley’s cooler than the movies give her credit for

Reading the book saga closely will reveal that Ginny Weasley was actually better than everyone (and she knew it). And the fact that she got to be such a quietly confident BAMF, without Harry ever being consciously aware of it (though clearly it made an impression!), definitely meant a lot to me as a young girl growing up Potter.

Ginny may not have been the Chosen One, or the Chosen One’s best friend, but she kicked ass — and continued to kick ass — whether or not anyone gave her credit for it.

Let’s recap the awesomeness of Ginny Weasley:

  • Ron may have been Harry’s best friend, but his little sister was the seventh Weasley child and the first girl in seven generations. Talk about your magic number!
  • By all accounts, she was an immensely powerful witch: Growing up with six brothers made her resilient and hard-working, and she seemed to have the same extraordinary raw talent as Fred and George (but she applied herself more).
  • She was possessed by Voldemort in her first year at Hogwarts, literally making her the only person even remotely qualified to understand what Harry was going through. This came to a head in Order of the Phoenix, when it was Ginny of all people who stood up to Harry and told him that he was being stupid.
  • She overcame her crush on Harry and went on to have a rich and interesting social life which didn’t involve him. When Harry finally noticed and fell in love with her, she didn’t let that slow her down.
  • She stood up for both Neville and Luna, clearly cool and self-confident enough not to care what anyone thought of her companions (unlike Harry, who was far more judgemental towards both Luna and Neville).
  • She was a professional Quidditch player, even taking Harry’s place as Seeker for a while before landing a spot as Chaser while still at Hogwarts.

For all this, Ginny never really amounted to the ‘fourth member of the trio’ fans might have hoped for ahead of Deathly Hallows. She didn’t join Harry, Ron and Hermione on the Horcrux hunt (solely because Harry wanted to ‘protect’ her), and yet her badassery continued to assert itself behind the scenes, as she joined Dumbledore’s Army at Hogwarts and fought in the ensuing battle.

To me, it always felt like the essence of Ginny, the soul of this character, simply would not be repressed no matter how much J.K. Rowling tried to bench her (and the benching in itself was not an issue; Ginny was never meant to be a main character, and as laid out above, it actually worked to her benefit).

Ginny Harry 2

But unfortunately, the Harry Potter movies have done a lot to undo the subtle ways in which Rowling empowered Ginny between the lines. With Ginny’s value in the story mostly inferred rather than expressly stated, it clearly became as easy of a subplot to trim away as Nearly Headless Nick’s deathday party.

Ginny had hardly any presence in the movies at all, peaking in Chamber of Secrets (because they couldn’t completely ignore her in that one) and otherwise having only a few scattered, out-of-context moments of empowerment that still paled in comparison to the material given to characters like Fred and George, Draco, Luna, and Neville. Heck, even made-up character Nigel had more of a presence in the movies than Ginny did.

And of course it didn’t help that Bonnie Wright (who is a talented actress — check out After the Dark and see for yourself) had no chemistry with Dan Radcliffe, and that they gave the best Harry/Ginny moment of the series to Ron/Lavender for some inexplicable reason.

But still she married Harry, and still they had three kids (all of whom were named after people important to Harry, but alright). The One Big Happy Weasley Family prophecy came true, and all was well…

Until now. (Dun dun dunnn.)

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opens for previews in London next week, and everyone’s excited for the trio and their kids to return. Once again Ginny is getting second billing, not being announced as part of the main cast, but rather revealed a week before the show opens, along with a photograph of Poppy Miller in character:


There’s also a family portrait of Ginny, Harry and their son Albus, with Ginny holding on to her youngest son protectively (there’s that mother’s love again), kicking us in the feels because it’s pretty much exactly what Harry saw when he looked into the Mirror of Erised:

l-r Harry Potter (Jamie Parker), Albus Potter (Sam Clemmett), Ginny Potter (Poppy Miller)

And I actually love this. I love that Ginny is included (especially since, um, Harry’s other two kids are nowhere to be seen), front and center by Harry’s side.

As far as her clothes go, no, I’m not a fan. They remind me too much of movie-Ginny’s getup in the epilogue, and it’s just not what I’d imagine she’d wear. But it’s just an outfit; it doesn’t actually tell us anything about Ginny’s role in the play, so I’m not too worried about that.

What I am worried about is the fact that she’d be revealed here as part of Harry’s Erised fantasy. It’s doubtless we’ll see more character reveals over the coming days, and Harry will likely factor into more constellations (notably the Ron-Hermione-Harry group photo we’re all waiting for). Ginny probably won’t.

I’m worried that Ginny’s role in this story will amount to being Harry’s wife and Albus’ mom. Not that J.K. Rowling hasn’t full well established that The Power of Motherhood pretty much overrules everything else, but that’s not what Ginny is — or, rather, that’s not all she is. As much as I love Molly Weasley, Ginny represented a different kind of female character. I hope the play stays true to that.


As a long-time Ginny fan used to everyone overlooking and under-utilizing this fantastic character, I’m just desperately hoping now that the eighth Harry Potter story will give us the Ginny we know from the books, rather than her inferior on-screen counterpart. While Cursed Child isn’t and shouldn’t be about her, I’m hoping this is Ginny’s chance to reclaim some of the agency the movies robbed her of.

And call me an optimist, but I’m hopeful that this is exactly what Cursed Child is gonna give us. I trust that J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany don’t let the movies’ depiction of Ginny influence what is supposed to be the next installment of the book series.

In J.K. Rowling’s own words on Pottermore, Poppy Miller’s Ginny will be, “Kind and cool, exactly as I imagined her.” It’s not the bat-bogey hexing firecracker we know and love, but hey, everyone grows up, right? So even if we get just a couple of scenes with Ginny, let’s presume she’ll be her badass, Quidditch player self, and that she’ll be given space to exist in her own right, rather than as a prop in Harry’s perfect family.

She may not have been the most important character in Harry Potter, but she was my favorite, and Cursed Child has an opportunity to undo the damage the movies did to this fantastic, empowering heroine. Let’s hope they take it.

Are you looking forward to seeing Ginny Potter in ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’?

Ever since ABC canceled Agent Carter, fans have been fighting to bring it back. Now, Hayley Atwell has joined the fight as well.

Agent Carter‘s cancellation left its fans devastated, but — just like Peggy Carter herself — they’re not about to give up without a fight.

ABC’s decision to cut ties with the ailing show, as well as choosing not to pick up Marvel’s Most Wanted, allegedly came as part of a programming overhaul led by new entertainment chief Channing Dungey. According to ScreenRant, Dungey wants to move away from serialized programming in favor of “close-ended episodic procedurals.”

But Agent Carter doesn’t need ABC. Agent Carter needs fan support, a new home, and some goodwill from Marvel.

It’s definitely got plenty of fans fighting for its renewal, with the petition Save Agent Carter having amassed over 110,000 signatures to date, and many other fan projects in the works to spread awareness for the show.

And, during a panel at MegaCon in Orlando over the weekend, star Hayley Atwell confirmed that she’d be down to reprise her role if the opportunity arose.

“YES. 100%. I love Peggy. I love the people working on this project. [It would be] a privilege and an honor to bring her back to the fans,” said Atwell, as quoted on Twitter. “I’d shoot on the weekends. Blue serum. Whatever it takes.”

Atwell isn’t the only star lending their voice to the movement. Bridget Regan (Dottie Underwood) RT’d the aforementioned petition on Twitter, and also wrote this short but important message:

Meanwhile Lotte Verbeek (Anna Jarvis) and Dominic Cooper (Howard Stark) both attended the MCM London Comic-Con, and both had heartening words for Agent Carter fans.

Via Comic Book Resources, Verbeek told panel attendees, “You guys were just amazing supporting it and I’m sorry it got canceled. I feel like we’re kinda letting you guys down — but it wasn’t my decision, unfortunately.”

Cooper, arguably the most ‘unavailable’ of the bunch, has also confirmed that not only would he be down to reprise his role as Howard Stark, but he also sees “hope” for the cancelled series.

“There may be more story to tell, and what’s wonderful about streaming sites is that while it may have been the end of the road, now there’s hope that it might not be,” Cooper said during MCM (as quoted by CBR).

“I know James [D’Arcy] and Hayley, the fact that people have gotten behind it and want to see it return means a huge amount to them … I’m well up for doing more Howard Stark and I know they’re up for doing more of their characters, so fingers crossed.”

Related: Thank you, Agent Carter

But actor goodwill aside, the question still remains: Will a streaming site, whether it be Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime, actually pick up Agent Carter?

It seems to us that, if nothing else, a one-off special (similar to the 2013 short that landed Peggy her TV series in the first place) or a limited series wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility — if Marvel actually acknowledges Peggy’s continued importance to the MCU, even after her canonical death in Captain America: Civil War.

Saving Agent Carer would be fan service in the most positive sense of the words, giving us the wrap-up Peggy’s story deserves and proving that Marvel, if not ABC, knows her value.

Here’s to more Agent Carter! Make it happen, TPTB!

Dan Aykroyd loves the new ‘Ghostbusters’ movie

As the "originator of the original," let's listen to him.

6:31 am EDT, May 31, 2016

Dan Aykroyd, star and creator of the original Ghostbusters, has seen the 2016 reboot. And he liked it.

“As originator of the original: Saw test screening of new movie. Apart from brilliant, genuine performances from the cast both female and male, it has more laughs and more scares than the first 2 films plus Bill Murray is in it! As one of millions of man-fans and Ray Stantz, I’m paying to see that and bringing all my friends!”

This is what Dan Aykroyd wrote on his Facebook page. Evidently, he is very pleased with Paul Feig’s re-imagining of his 1980s comedy classic.

And this isn’t the first time he’s offered endorsement of the contentious reboot (which Aykroyd is also producing and cameoing in). Earlier this year, he wrote on Twitter:

Despite everyone and their father already having made up their minds about this particular reboot, all we’ve actually had to go on so far have been a few trailers, Paul Feig and the cast’s infectious enthusiasm, and generalized opinions about Hollywood reboots/the cast.

But now that test screenings are beginning to roll out, we can finally begin to get a real sense of what this movie is actually gonna be like.

And if anyone’s opinion should hold some clout, it’s Dan Aykroyd’s. He not only starred as one of the original Ghostbusters, but came up with the concept and co-wrote both of the previous films.

Of course his comments haven’t gone over well with everyone. When he says it has “more laughs and more scares” than Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters 2 combined, many people have taken that to mean that he thinks the new one is better than the original — but it’s worth noting that that’s not actually what he said.

Related: New Ghostbusters trailer updates the title to Ghostbusters: Answer the Call

The original Ghostbusters (if not its sequel) was a masterpiece, and Aykroyd isn’t suggesting anything different. He’s merely suggesting that there’s a higher quantity of funny and scary scenes in the reboot. Which, knowing Paul Feig (who blew us away with Bridesmaids and Spy), makes a lot of sense.

The important takeaway here is that Aykroyd seems to genuinely enjoy the new Ghostbusters movie. Regardless of your feelings on the original, the new one can still be fantastic, and if anyone would know, it’d be Aykroyd.

At the end of the day, the new movie really is a win-win for fans — it’s an excuse to dust off our old merchandise, and we’ll get to see an exciting new team take on the iconic monsters. July can’t come soon enough!

‘Ghostbusters’ premieres July 15, 2016