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’?

Bonnie remains one of very few non-blood suckers on The Vampire Diaries, but she has still made her way through the supernatural catalog. We’re taking a look at her best, and worst, supernatural identities.

You may think that one of the Salvatore brothers has the most diverse life experiences amongst The Vampire Diaries characters, since they’re each older than the rest of the characters combined, but you’d be wrong! It’s actually the mortal Bonnie Bennett that is really getting the full look at what this life (and death) has to offer. From human, to witch, to anchor, to more than her fair share of deaths, she’s tried on almost every supernatural hat available.

No matter what supernatural box she’s checking on her driver’s license at any given time, Bonnie is an integral part of the Mystic Falls crew, and has saved the lives of our other heroes countless times! She is a great friend, and girlfriend, and can usually be counted on for a witty remark. That being said, she has definitely gone through her ups and downs, and some of her supernatural titles have fit her way better than others. We’ve ranked all of Bonnie’s supernatural identities, from the ones she could stick with, to the ones that she should never, ever go back to.

1. Witch — season 1 to early season 4, mid season 6 to late season 7

the vampire diaries, bonnie bennett

Of course, Bonnie’s best role is the one she was born to play. Ever since she learned she was a witch, she has only grown stronger in her powers and better at wielding them. Salvatore and co. truly would be nowhere without her magic, which is evidenced by the number of times “Call Bonnie!” is yelled at the TV screen when the gang is in trouble on The Vampire Diaries (it can’t just be me).

Bonnie is at her strongest and happiest when she is a witch, but that’s not the only reason we’ve chosen this as her best supernatural identity. Bonnie Bennett’s witchiness has always been one of the coolest parts of The Vampire Diaries mythology, and has led to some of the most exciting and entertaining storylines on the show.

2. Human — her life before ‘The Vampire Diaries’

the vampire diaries, bonnie bennett

When we first met the young Bonnie Bennett, she was just beginning her deep dive into the magical realm. She had discovered that her ancestors were from Salem, and that the women in her family were supposedly witches, but she still thought she was just some sort of psychic.

Before she had even heard of a Bennett witch, she was just a normal, happy, high school student, whose only concern was figuring out who the new cute boy in school was! Her powers definitely helped her come into a strength that she hadn’t known before, and gave her endless opportunities to save the people that she loves, but they’ve also led her into a lot of darkness. Just because we imagine her as being much less burdened as a human, we’ve ranked this one pretty high!

3. The Anchor — mid to late season 5

the vampire diaries, bonnie bennett

The anchor to the other side was perhaps Bonnie’s strangest supernatural title, and that’s really saying something. Bonnie had to endure a lot of pain during her time as the anchor, but after an extended period of being dead, she was just happy to talk to people that weren’t Jeremy again (we’d get sick of all that teen angst, too).

Her ability to interact with the dead supernatural beings allowed us some amazing glimpses of characters that we had loved and lost, and it was also interesting to explore Bonnie’s character without her magical abilities. Even though we’re still angry that she didn’t realize earlier that Katherine wasn’t dead, we’re putting this one among the best of Bonnie’s supernatural identities for its uniqueness.

4. The Huntress — late season 7 to undetermined

the vampire diaries, bonnie bennett

This one goes in the middle because we’re still not quite sure what to expect from it, but we’re really excited for it! Rayna got a bad reputation because she was trying to kill everyone we cared about on The Vampire Diaries, but her mythology was interesting and it’ll be cool to see Bonnie try to figure it out.

Her relationships with literally everyone she knows will surely be tested when she attempts to kill them, but it’s nothing Miss Bennett can’t work through. On top of all the cool huntress stuff that we saw in Rayna, Bonnie will be bringing her magic to the table as well, which will make things even more entertaining.

5. Dead — late season 4 to mid season 5

the vampire diaries, bonnie bennett

You may think this one should be at the bottom of the list, but in our opinion, Bonnie has faced some things that were much darker than death. That’s especially true because Bonnie looked pretty damn good for a corpse, as evidenced by the above picture of her in this state. We still got to see Bonnie on The Vampire Diaries through Jeremy’s eyes, since he gained the power of seeing ghosts the first time Bonnie brought him back to life. You know what they say: the couple that resurrects together, stays together.

Strangely, Bonnie’s awkward dead phase wasn’t the most hopeless that we’ve seen her. She died for something that she believed in, and mostly remained optimistic that she would get to come back, somehow. Also, Bonnie’s death was kept from the bottom of the list because we got Bonnie’s funeral during this time, which is still one of the most beautiful scenes ever on The Vampire Diaries.

6. Expressionist — season 4

the vampire diaries, bonnie bennett

This is the term we’re using for the time that Bonnie was under the influence of the magic known as “expression.” When creepy Professor Shane helped/forced her to tap into this magic after she had lost her powers, Bonnie made some of the worst decisions that she ever has on The Vampire Diaries.

If anybody is a moral compass on the show, it’s Bonnie. She is always trying to help her friends, and do the right thing, even if it leads to her death (and it seems like it usually does). She made many questionable choices and participated in some very dark events during her time using expression.

7. Citizen of 1994, population: 3 — early to mid season 6

the vampire diaries, bonnie bennett

So yes, technically, she was dead in 1994, too, but it was such a different death experience that we thought it deserved a separate category. Sure, it was all fun and vampire pancakes when Damon was there, but things got pretty depressing for BonBon after he returned to the land of the living.

We thought things were bad for her when she was being used by the sadistic siphon, Kai, but things got much worse when the extreme loneliness and hopelessness set in. The days leading up to Bonnie’s eventual rescue were by far her darkest on the series, and it was extremely difficult to watch her go through that much pain.

What was Bonnie’s best supernatural identity on ‘The Vampire Diaries’?

Your number is up. It’s time you started watching Person of Interest.

Person of Interest season 5, the show’s final season, premieres tonight at 10:00 p.m. on CBS. It’s hard to imagine why CBS, a network with a flare for running procedurals well into double digit seasons, is not paying attention to Person of Interest. First, the episode order was cut, then months of radio silence on when the show would fit into CBS’s calendar. Finally, word emerged that the show’s final season would air two episodes per week and disappear from CBS’s lineup as quickly as possible. The behind the scenes network drama should not deter from Person of Interest’s growth from standard case-of-the-week procedural to serialized ASI war drama that, at its core, asks a particularly pertinent question, “How okay are we with being watched?”

Person of Interest premiered pre-Snowden. Why is that important? For those unfamiliar with the show, the opening title sequence begins with, “You are being watched. The government has a secret system, a machine that spies on you every hour of everyday.” Coming into the show today a new viewer would think, “Uh, duh!” But at the time of Person of Interest’s premiere the idea that the government was making use of the nation’s surveillance systems and listening in on calls to prevent terrorist acts was a cloudy idea. Something that might be happening, but probably would not affect our lives. Enter Person of Interest to unpack the “what if” scenario with the tale of ASI, or artificial super intelligence, and what that technology could be capable of placed in the right hands.

Person of Interest season 5 finch numbers

The ASI, or as its creator Harold Finch (Lost‘s Michael Emerson) prefers to refer to it, The Machine, is a super system that learns patterns in people’s behaviors. Its objective is to seek out potential danger and identify the perpetrators to the authorities. Finch, way back in 2006, sold the machine to the government to do just that. But when he learned that the government would assess and deploy prevention tactics only to stop major crimes and acts of terror, Finch created a back door and took the cases considered “irrelevant” into his own hands. Enter John Reese, a former CIA operative. Finch works with the brains of the operations, Reese provides the muscle.

Say hello to the perfect procedural ingredients. Each week The Machine would provide a new number (the social security number of a person who was either in danger or about to cause harm to someone else), Reese and Finch work to identify the person through surveillance and electronic records, the NYPD contacts provide assistance in acquiring case histories and diverting police vehicles, and bing, bang, boom by episode’s end the photo pinned on the wall would be taken down. That is, however, until season 3. Lurking in the background of seasons 1 and 2 were the big mob bosses of the five boroughs. They provided assistance or disruption time and again with Carl Elias heading up the organized crime unit steering the ship and contributed to the long form stories Person of Interest wove into the mix.

Person of Interest season 5 root finch

But by season 3, when a rival ASI began to take on a life of its own, so did the long form story. Numbers, belonging to victims and perpetrators still trickled out here and there, but a larger war began pushing them out of the limelight. And honestly, the show became better for it. Other procedurals across the networks tend to operate in the same way season 1 and 2 unfolded. Elementary reserves their B storyline for planting seeds across a season in order to open up three episodes at the end to a serialized story. NCIS and all its spinoffs, also tell narratives across episodes, typically focusing on one or two characters. Person of Interest decidedly turned the show on its head, even changing the opening credits to reflect a greater power taking over their world. Another being inside the show was here to shake things up and the only way to tell its story was to let Samaritan win for a while.

Samaritan, the rival AI built from the scraps of work Harold Finch previously discarded, brought with it a new method of storytelling. In season 3 Person of Interest slowly shifted to a more serialized show, ending a season-long battle against an organization known as Vigilance. Fighting for the right to electronic privacy, Vigilance’s visual leader, played brilliantly by pre-Hamilton superstar Leslie Odom Jr., took the show from Number of the Week into uncharted territory, a serialized drama sci-fi that tackles a war between the underdog ASI – The Machine – against the Super Intelligence and big bad – Samaritan. And that is where season 4 subsequently continued. Once Samaritan went live, there was no kill switch.

Person of Interest season 5 gang

So, why should you watch Person of Interest now? Even though CBS sees Person of Interest as an Irrelevant, I see it as being one of the most “Relevant” shows on television. Across the seasons there are episodes that I feel comfortable enough calling some of the best I’ve seen on TV. Not only is the topic eerily relevant to the current technological climate, but the show has some of the strongest actors and performances week in and week out. “The Devil’s Share,” is one of the best explorations of grief and revenge. Watch the cold open to the episode below, but be warned that it does reveal a major character’s death. The slow burn of the more personal stories and skeletons lurking in Reese, Finch, Shaw, and Root’s closet makes for some of the most compelling narratives on TV.

Seeing as the premiere picks up moments after the conclusion of the season 4 finale, I highly recommended that you load up “YHWY” on Netflix before heading into “B.S.O.D.” Person of Interest is certainly worth adding to your TV lexicon, but if you do not have time for every single case, there is an incredible guide that will catch you up without watching all 90 episodes.

The first few episodes of this season (I have seen four) maintain the feel of the previous seasons while also kicking off the final chapter in Person of Interest‘s story.

Watch Person of Interest season 5, episode 1, “B.S.O.D.” tonight at 10:00 p.m. ET on CBS.

On May 2, 2016, J.K. Rowling commemorated the anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts by apologizing for killing Lupin, and telling us that the Grim Reaper almost chose Arthur instead.

Father figures have always been an important aspect of the Harry Potter series, and Rowling always knew that a few of them (RIP Sirius, Dumbledore, Lupin) would have to be killed during the Chosen One’s seven-year journey. Interestingly, Rowling revealed this week that Lupin could’ve been alive today if it weren’t for the fact that Arthur Weasley made it through Order of the Phoenix. As the author explains it:

This is a hard pill to swallow, and the first time we’re explicitly hearing that Arthur living meant Lupin dying. So, we thought we should debate this topic. Did J.K. Rowling make the right choice when she chose to kill Remus Lupin over Arthur Weasley? We asked two of our writers to each defend a position.

Selina: Yes, killing Lupin was the right choice


Let’s journey back in time. The year is 2003, and you’ve been up for 72 hours straight, ploughing through the overwhelmingly long Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It’s been a bumpy ride, Harry’s fifth year being decidedly unpleasant, and you’re emotionally exhausted. Then you get to the Department of Mysteries, and here we are: Sirius is dead. Just like that, the man who could have been Harry’s adoptive father, his way out of the hellish Dursley household, is gone.

Now imagine you going through all that, except Arthur Weasley had also died in the middle of the book. You wouldn’t have been able to take it.

Ultimately we might argue that J.K. Rowling should just have kept them both alive, but at the end of the day, it was important for her to kill off one of the series’ two fathers, to achieve the symmetry of leaving a child without its parent(s) like Harry had been.

Not only did killing both Lupin and Tonks leave baby Teddy an orphan, perfectly mirroring Harry’s own experience, but it was also — arguably — an act of mercy to kill Lupin rather than Arthur. Teddy Lupin would still get to grow up with people who loved him, knowing that his parents died heroes, while Harry and the Weasleys (who’d already lost Fred) would get to keep their family intact. Considering the lengths J.K. Rowling went to to effectively end Harry’s childhood (killing Sirius, Dumbledore, and Hedwig), leaving both Weasley parents alive allowed us to end the series on a hopeful note. The parents don’t always have to die in order for the children to grow up.

I’m not glad that Lupin died. But if the choice was between him and Arthur, I think Jo made the right call. Knowing that Harry and his friends could still visit the Burrow after the Battle of Hogwarts — and that even if the place was a lot less bright without Fred, it still felt like a safe, loving home — is a great comfort, especially knowing how much Harry valued the Weasleys and the surrogate family they formed around him.

Laura: Killing Lupin was wrong, she sacrificed the last of the Marauders and the keys to the past


Let’s revise the top of this article, shall we? His name is Remus Lupin, not just Lupin, the best Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher that Harry and company ever had. Without Remus Lupin the trio would have been dead: no Expecto Patronum, no recognizing Bogarts, no practical experience with Grindylows, Red Caps, or Hinkypunks. Harry and every student in his year was left with a substandard skill set thanks to Quirrell and Lockhart. Without question, Remus Lupin laid the groundwork for the success that was later achieved by Dumbledore’s Army. He made up for lost time, in a positive and uplifting manner, and was the friendly guidance the students needed.

This week is National Teacher Appreciation Week, and what better fictional teacher to appreciate than Remus Lupin. He never underestimated his students, he challenged them to do more than they ever thought possible. He didn’t just spend time with shining stars like Hermione, but he made time for people that no one else cared to. Would Neville Longbottom have ever had the confidence to succeed in leading Hogwarts without Harry, Ron, and Hermione without Remus Lupin having taken a personal interest? Every other teacher wrote Neville off as either incompetent, a fool, or both.

The one thing Remus Lupin provided to Harry that Arthur Wesley couldn’t was insight into Harry’s past. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not hating on Arthur, but it’s not a role Arthur could ever fill. Remus Lupin could talk about James and Lily from first-hand experience: funny stories, hopes, sadness, all of it. Harry was left with no one to fill that role. There is an irreplaceable void in Harry’s life thanks to Remus’ death. Harry needed Remus.

Had Arthur died it would have been tragic, but his tightly bonded family would have had each other. His children were well grounded, knew who they were, and were ready to face the world. Arthur had done an amazing job raising them along with Molly. Remus didn’t have the chance to reach his fullest potential. Had Remus lived, he and Harry would have been new parents at relatively the same time. They would have progressed from a teacher/student relationship to just being friends. They would have watched their boys grow up together and been there for each other as parents in the post-war world.

Now it’s your turn! Vote in our poll and hit the comments to debate it