Who should be the next Doctor on Doctor Who? It was only a matter of time before people started wondering who should fill the role. Let us begin the 12th Doctor speculation with our top 15 picks for the role!

When David Tennant left the role of the 10th Doctor, the fan favorite suggestion was Robert Carlyle. Many scoffed at the idea thinking that Carlyle would never do a TV series again since he was now a major movie actor. Though he was not cast as the Doctor, Carlyle did end up back on series TV with his role as Mr. Gold in Once Upon A Time, proving that just about anything is possible.

Other names frequently suggested last time out ranged from David Walliams, who went on to play a subservient mole named Gibbis in the episode “The God Complex,” to Michael Sheen, who played the voice of House in the episode “The Doctor’s Wife.”

David Tennant himself actually created a bit of a ruckus cheekily stating that his good friend James Nesbit would have the part which resulted in the press hounding Nesbit. Tennant stated, “It’s Jimmy Nesbitt who will be taking over. Jimmy Nesbitt got in touch to say ‘please tell them it’s not me. I spend all my day going round saying its not me, I couldn’t take over from David.’ I would urge the public of Britain that if they see Jimmy Nesbitt in the street to go up and congratulate him.”

So, who will it be? The BBC needs an actor who will mesh well with Jenna-Lousie Coleman’s Clara, who can equally handle comedy as well as drama, and who is credible as an intellectual action hero whose keenest weapon is his mind backed up with a sonic screwdriver. It’s a tall order.

Though the Doctor in the past has been played by several actors over the age of 50, the recent trend has been late 20’s to mid 40’s, it seems unlikely that the BBC would return to the grandfatherly personas of the first and third Doctors. Like it or not, youth seems to sell.

Here are 15 people who we think could play the next Doctor…

Richard Armitage

Richard Armitage is a versatile actor who has managed to play everything from the brooding Sir Guy of Gisborne on Robin Hood to, most recently, Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit. No worries when it comes to the historical episodes, he first gained widespread notice as John Thornton in the BBC costume drama North and South. Fans of MI-5 or Spooks (as it is known in the U.K) know that he can handle intrigue and action.

Jonas Armstrong

Jonas Armstrong made a name for himself in the BBC tongue-in-cheek Robin Hood where he played the title role carrying a quiver of arrows while wearing a hoodie. Since then he’s held his own opposite Chloe Sevigny in the cutting edge Sky Atlantic series Hit or Miss. Most recently, he was in series 1 of Prisoner Wives playing the enigmatic Steve who went from apparent innocent man to manipulative liar in six episodes.

Richard Ayoade

The multi-talented Richard Ayoade became a recognizable face in Britain after starring as Saboo in The Mighty Boosh and Maurice Moss in The IT Crowd. His unique, grave, comedic delivery could make an interesting quality for the next Doctor. A former president of the Cambridge Footlights (other famous alumni of this extra-curricular drama club include John Cleese and Eric Idle of Monty Python, Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry, Emma Thompson, Douglas Adams, Mitchell and Webb, and Joe Thomas and Simon Bird of The Inbetweeners), Ayoade made his directorial debut in 2010 with Submarine, a coming of age drama that demonstrates Ayoade’s depth beyond the sketch comedy he’s best known for.

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