Doctor WhoPeter Capaldi has emerged as the bookies favourite to replace Matt Smith as The Doctor in BBC One’s long-running sci-fi series Doctor Who.

The BBC and Doctor Who’s production team continue – for the moment – to deny that the 12th Doctor has been cast and that they are still looking for the right actor to step into the Time Lord’s shoes.

Those denials though mean nothing to the press who continue to speculate and the bookies who continue to take bets on just who will be the 12th Doctor.

The current front-runner is Peter Capaldi whose name has been touted right from the very beginning. Capaldi will perhaps be most familiar to viewers for his role of Malcolm Tucker in the political satire series The Thick Of It but that is just one of many roles in Capaldi’s long career.

The actor has, of course, appeared in Doctor Who before playing the Roman Caecilius in the emotionally charged Fires of Pompeii opposite Catherine Tate and David Tennant. Capaldi also played John Frobisher in Torchwood: Children of Earth the critically acclaimed third season of the Doctor Who spin-off.

While Capaldi is currently the bookies favourite a number of other names continue to remain in the frame though some have ruled themselves out of the running. Luther actor Idris Elba and Prime Suspect actress Helen Mirren have both ruled themselves out. David Harewood, who guest starred in David Tennant’s last story The End Of Time, has stated he is open to the role.

Torchwood actor Burn Gorman is apparently a contender though his high profile role in the spin-off may make that unlikely. The Hour actor Julian Rhind-Tutt is on the short-list according to The Sun. Russell Tovey, Anthony Head and Tom Ellis all of whom have had previous roles in Doctor Who have been suggested by various elements of the press.

Tom Ellis was unable to reprise his role of Robin Hood on ABC’s Once Upon A Time because he was “unavailable” which may add fuel to rumours surrounding him. Anthony Head is a recognisable name on both sides of the Atlantic thanks to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Merlin which make him a more credible contender. Skins actor Chris Addison and James Bond actor Rory Kinnear are strong contenders according to some. An early favourite was Law & Order UK actor Ben Daniels though he seems to have slipped down the list but still remains a possibility according to the press.

Doctor Who 50th
While the speculation continues fans have several more long months to wait until Doctor Who returns in November for its 50th anniversary special. The 3D special will star Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman alongside David Tennant, John Hurt, Billie Piper, Joanna Page and Jemma Redgrave as Kate Stewart. It will feature the return of the Zygons and Daleks.

Rumours surrounding the recovery of up to 90 missing Doctor Who episodes – from William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton’s eras – continue to circulate. The BBC has previously denied any episodes of Doctor Who have been recently recovered but the rumours refuse to go away. Currently 110 episodes of Doctor Who are missing from the BBC archives and if it has indeed recovered 90 it would be the biggest haul of its kind and a big bonus to fans in the anniversary year. Perhaps that is why the rumours refuse to die; fans high hopes are giving fuel to the rumours.

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