Peter Capaldi has been hailed as “a great Doctor Who” as fans called for a woman to replace him in the Tardis when he departs after the next Christmas special.
The actor said his stint as the Time Lord had been “cosmic” but he will be leaving after three series in the role, at the same time as the show’s writer and executive producer, Steven Moffat.
Sherlock star Mark Gatiss, who has both written for and appeared on Doctor Who, tweeted:
Fan Brooke Wheeler wrote on Twitter: “I think it’s HIGH TIME that Doctor Who was a woman!! Regenerate female! #DoctorWho #RegenerateFemale”, while another fan tweeted: “Like really, Peter Capaldi’s love and he’s talented as hell and a legend, but CAN WE PLEASE HAVE A FEMALE DOCTOR #DoctorWho #PeterCapaldi.”
Sebastian Stoker suggested a former companion or female star could return as the Doctor, saying: “It is time. A female #DoctorWho plz. A nice twist that puts Alex Kingston, Billie Piper OR Catherine Tate in the role.”
Michelle Gomez, who plays Missy in the show, Captain America star Hayley Atwell and Sherlock actress Amanda Abbington are among the stars fans have said they would like to see in the role.
Vonnie Sandlan was among the fans calling for diversity in casting the next Doctor, saying: “I love Peter Capaldi, but PLEASE let’s have a new Doctor who isn’t a white man.”
Fan Dylan Smith said he hoped Peter’s departure would make room for the return of David Tennant as the Time Lord, writing: “If Peter Capaldi is leaving Doctor Who at Christmas can he regenerate back into David Tennant again and he pretend he never left.”
Jake Saunders felt Capaldi’s exit was more painful than those of the past, saying: “hurts more than Eccleston, Tennant, Smith, any of them. He has been colossal.”
Another fan said: “I can’t believe i just woke up in a world in which Peter Capaldi won’t be the Doctor anymore within a year” while others saw the departure as an ominous sign of things to come.
Jack Carey wrote: “So, John Hurt dies … Peter Capaldi quits Dr Who. We thought 2017 was going to be a good year…”
Dominik Starck added: “Seems we only get bad news these days. Even if it’s only a good man leaving an iconic role behind. C’mon, Peter Capaldi. You ARE #DoctorWho.”
Richard Ayoade is also a popular choice among fans to succeed Peter, while bookmaker William Hill has Skyfall star Ben Whishaw as its favourite to be the 13th Doctor.
Other names in the running are Harry Potter star Rupert Grint, Rory Kinnear, Ben Daniels and Jason Flemyng.