Who is the perfect Doctor?

Photo: Toenex Lacey

*This is a bit of fun. Probably (see-definitely) not statistically sound.

In a live show hosted tonight on BBC1, Matt Smith’s replacement as the Doctor will be unveiled. But what can the Timelord’s past incarnations tell us the man (or woman) whose face will be revealed tonight will look like?

I used the age, height and hair colour of every Doctor to step out of the Tardis since William Hartnell in 1963 to find the “perfect Doctor”.

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Sources: Celebheights, How tall is Doctor Who?

Firstly, they tend to have brown hair, which is not too unusual. Seven of the 12 previous Doctors (including John Hurt – Doctor Zero?) have been rocking some brown locks, with a brief blonde blip coming in the form of Peter Davison and Colin Baker in the 80s. Ginger does not even enter the equation.

The Doctor’s age is quite interesting, as allegedly Doctor Who’s writer Steven Moffat originally wanted an older actor than Smith to play the role.  If he was to go with past form in his latest casting, the median age of the actor when they first get to do their “ohmygod” regeneration face is 40.5.

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(Click on graph for full interactive)

Historically the age began to slide down from William Hartnell’s 55 as soon as the regenerations started. Although it has mostly followed an older-younger-older-younger pattern since then.

I would personally rule out an older actor. Admittedly, Moffat did cast the youngest Doctor ever; Matt Smith was 27 when he donned his bow tie and natty boots. However, he has also since cast the oldest with 73 year old John Hurt being a whopping 32.5 years above average. Casting the 55 year old bookies’ favourite Peter Capaldi does not seem like much of a stretch when you put it in that perspective.

Finally, the third metric is height. The titan that was Tom Baker is still the tallest Doctor so far – at 191cm, it was not just the hair. Meanwhile, Scottish actor Sylvester McCoy, whose Doctor was known for his sinister game-playing, was the shortest at 168cm.

Since the show’s reboot with Christopher Eccleston all the Doctors have been around the 6 foot mark with David Tennant stacking up the highest at 185cm.

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(Click on graph for full interactive)

6 foot seems to be the perfect height for the Doctor generally, with the average across the series’ history being 181.5cm. Timelords are tall-sorts-of-chaps aren’t they?

So – we have the dimensions of our perfect Doctor. They would be around 41 years of age, be about 181.5cm tall and probably have brown hair. So when we compare most of the favourites (according to William Hill) against those dimensions, who is the most likely to become Doctor?

Chris Addison

Photo: Stuart Crawford

Chris Addison! Yeah the comedian and the Thick of it actor is pretty much spot on the dimensions. At 41 years of age and 180cm tall, he is the best match from the top 14 list of potential Doctors, trouncing his former co-star and bookies’ favourite Peter Capaldi.

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I could not find Rory Kinnear’s height listed anywhere)

Others who come close to the perfect age, height and hair colour are Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch and Chiwetel Eijofor.

Of course, this is not the perfect way to measure the next Doctor. Obviously it is skewed against the female and BME candidates for the role because every Doctor so far has been white and male. It also does not take into account past fame. Obviously, none of the Doctors so far have had the in-vogue fame of Benedict Cumberbatch, for example.

However, just taking what we have considered – it looks like a star from the Thick of It might just be about to rip an arsehole in the timestream with their sonic screwdriver, just not, um, Malcolm Tucker.