Which Lib Dem MP would you want to be the next Dr Who?

by Stephen Tall on December 24, 2008

The news that David Tennant is quitting his role as The Doctor in the BBC series Dr Who has prompted a flurry of speculation in recent months about who might succeed him: David Morrissey, James Nesbitt, David Walliams, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Catherine Zeta Jones have all been suggested.

To date – and perhaps not so very unsurprisingly – no Lib Dem MPs are yet in the frame for the job. But that didn’t seem any reason for Lib Dem Voice not to set our readers a different kind of Christmas quiz while we eagerly anticipate tomorrow’s special (BBC1, 6.00 pm): to nominate which of our party’s 63 representatives you think should play the next Doctor – and explain why.

Here are my top 5 suggestions:

Norman Baker – well, his surname’s Baker for a start, which must be some kind of advantage when following in the footsteps of Tom (Doctor No. 4) and Colin (No. 6). He’s also a renowned and plucky battler on behalf of the underdog, never afraid to challenge powerful Establishment figures.

Lembit Opikhe’s been warning of the dangers posed to Earth by extra-terrestrial objects for years. And now he has his own ‘self-balancing personal transporter’ (aka the segway) he’ll even reduce the Tardis’s time-travelling carbon footprint.

Dr Evan Harris – as the party’s most famous doctor – at least since the degeneration of a previous SDP incarnation, David Owen (who, ironically enough, has also been called Dr Death in his time) – Evan would appear to be a shoo-in. Not only that, but as a vice-president of the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association and an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society it seems he has most of the programme’s fan bases pretty much covered.

Nick Clegg – it’s the boyish, springy hair a la David Tennant which pushes Nick into contention, at least if the producers are looking for another ‘housewives’ favourite’. Nick even has his own companion ready-made in the shape of Danny Alexander, to whom he already confides (too) much when travelling in flying machines.

Lynne Featherstone – who better to become the first woman to step into the Doctor’s heels than the immaculately svelte Lynne? She would doubtless create another little bit of history by becoming the first blogging Timelord. And that sonic screwdriver would come in ever so handy when faced with a dodgy boiler. Or Brian Coleman.

For those of you are wondering what all this Dr Who nonsense is about, can I recommend two articles by the Lib Dem blogosphere’s acknowledged No. 1 fan-boy, Alex Wilcock:

* So Who is This Doctor Bloke Anyway?; and
* How doctor who made me a liberal, with this reassuringly extensive paragraph:

It’s from casting the Doctor as an individual and not an enforcer that the consistent Liberal feel of Doctor Who comes, whatever the views propounded in any one story. Others have been inspired by the utopianism of Star Trek, for example, but my own favourite series is about a person, not an organised group, with a wariness of militarism, no ‘one size fits all’ utopian solutions and a deep-seated mistrust of those in authority. … A hero that isn’t a cop or a soldier or a secret agent or motivated by money, who doesn’t obey rules, who is individualist rather than collectivist but looks out for the little people, is a Liberal hero, on just the right side of anarchism. The Doctor is not a pacifist, but while caught in violent situations, he’s not a man of violence – he tries to find other ways to resolve them, and doesn’t possess a gun. As Human Nature (now on the BBC website) puts it, “There are monsters out there, yes. Terrible things. But you don’t have to become one in order to defeat them. You can be peaceful in the face of their cruelty. You can win by being cleverer than they are… It’s about not being afraid.”