1. The actor playing “Doctor Who” needs to be able to convey both gravitas and humour. When Eccleston, Pertwee and Tom Baker lost their temper, you really felt it. We took them seriously and quivered in our boots. On the other hand when Tennant or McCoy raised their voice, it could either lack credibility or seem embarassing or tantrum-like. As for the humour, well bonus points here for Smith, Tennant and Troughton, but both McCoy and Tom Baker were occasionally cringeworthy. (I’ve got nothing against McCoy, I loved his acting when it was subtler and darker, as in the tv movie/Fenric).
2. The Doctor needs sex appeal. Tennant had it and Smith to a lesser extent. I know it seems superficial, but a “sexy” Doc keeps Who in the tabloids and in the limelight. Even if the actor playing the Doctor were a little older, he could still bring in the fans. I’m thinking of the likes of Anthony Head.
3. He needs a decent “costume” which isn’t a “costume”. A distinct look, but nothing too out of the ordinary, more Eccleston and definitely not Colin. Something iconic, but nothing too strange or embarassing. Dark colours work, McCoy looked great in his last season, except for the jumper of course.
4. I’d like the actor to stay four years. Tennant was about to outstay his welcome and make it almost impossible for anyone to take over. Smith seems to be going too soon – he still seems fresh and new. Troughton said three years was enough for any Doctor, but that was when Who was on 40 weeks a year!
5. The actor should appreciate that Who is a life-long commitment and embrace it. Tom Baker’s early reticence to return after leaving the part and Eccleston’s detachment are/were upsetting for the fans. Imagine the disappointment of a younger fan who started watching Who with Chris and won’t see him return for the fiftieth.
Whoever they choose, I’m sure it will be the right choice. The BBC wouldn’t be stupid enough to screw up one of its biggest hitters. “Nu Who” is no longer “nu” and the decision has never been so important. An excellent new Doctor will guarantee the show’s lifeblood.