5 Reasons Chiwetel Ejiofor is the Best Choice for the Twelfth Doctor
Late last Saturday evening, the BBC announced that Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith would be handing back his key to the TARDIS at the end of the 2013 Christmas Special. Speculation on who will replace him as the Twelfth Doctor has exploded all over the internet, with suggestions ranging from Damien Moloney and Patterson Joseph to Helen Mirren and Zawe Ashton (who’s my second favourite call).
But there’s only one name you need: Chiwetel Ejiofor.
1) He’s got some serious acting chops. Ejiofor has spent years treading the boards in the West End, including an Olivier Award-winning performance as Othello at the Bloomsbury Theatre. As well as other Olivier- and Critics Circle-nommed roles, his filmography includes the frankly brilliant lead turn in Dirty Pretty Things, a dark British thriller that announced his arrival to the world.
2) He’s got the gravitas. Along with Dirty Pretty Things, Ejiofor has worked on serious subject matter with projects like Children Of Men and the BBC’s dark detective drama The Shadow Line. Ejiofor, with his kind eyes and soft spoken words, is a one-eighty to Smith and Tennant’s exuberance, but he’s no less powerful and commanding and could give Eleven’s quiet menace a run for his money.
3) He can do funny too. There’s also Kinky Boots, a film that’s as British as comedy gets, and Ejiofor is front and centre as Simon and his alter ego, drag queen Lola. It’s a warm-hearted Britcom that lets Ejiofor show off his funny side with music, dance, and some lovely subtle humour, proving to all that the man is a master in versatility.
4) He’s well-known to a US audience. More importantly, to a nerdy US audience. Serenity, Joss Whedon’s movie follow-up to his gone-too-soon series Firefly, has Ejiofor front and centre as The Operative, so he’s already got the geeky credentials to help him with the part. Serenity also shows off another string to Ejiofor’s acting bow; his ability to play the ruthless warrior, an element of the Doctor that has come to the fore since 2005.
And most importantly of all…
5) He’s expressed (possible) interest in the role. Appearing on the Andrew Marr show in 2011, Ejiofor was upbeat about the possibility of being the Doctor. Asked if he’d be interested if the role was offered, Ejiofor replied, “Yes, of course. It’s always good to be asked to come back to London and do great stuff, not only in television but in theatre and film too.” Alright, so it’s not a definite yes, but for an actor who some consider too famous or too busy for the role, it’s an encouraging thing to hear.
Because after all, best doesn’t always mean available. Though he’s got some pretty good odds (some are giving him 7/1), there’s no telling whether Moffat, BBC execs, schedules, or Ejiofor himself will be able to make the stars align and give us something truly brilliant for the Doctor’s twelfth incarnation. But hey – even if they can’t, we can always pop up there in the TARDIS and align them ourselves.