Doctor Who: Gaiman nails casting choice

With Matt Smith leaving the role at the end of the year, speculation is rife (and sometimes crazy) as to who will take up the role of Who. The only decent suggestion I’ve seen comes from author Neil Gaiman.
Asked his opinion of whether or not Sir Ian Mckellan should take up the role, Gaiman gets it (in my opinion) absolutely right, pointing out that while famous actors can most certainly act, they bring so much previous-role-and-personality-baggage with them that it changes the role. That’s not what Gaiman wants, and I agree with him. He writes:

But I like to see The Doctor as The Doctor, and an actor who doesn’t bring baggage is a grand sort of thing. A star waiting to happen. So I don’t want to see Helen Mirren or Sir Ian McKellen or Chiwetel Ejiofor, or any of the famous names people are suggesting.
I want to see The Doctor. I want to be taken by surprise. I want to squint at a photo of the person online and go “but how can that be The Doctor?”. Then I want to be amazingly, delightedly, completely proven wrong, and, six episodes in, I want to wonder how I could have been so blind. Because this is the Doctor. Of course it is.

He’s got it utterly, utterly right. Change is a constant that’s kept Doctor Who (mostly) fresh all these years. I’m not fussed if the next Doctor is of a particular gender or race, because the point of playing the Doctor is to be the Doctor.
Source: Neil Gaiman

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