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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

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In Movies & TV Commentary

Doctor Who's time-traveling spaceship, the TARDIS, looks like a police box. It is bigger on the inside. (PHOTO: shutterstock.com)

Will the next "Doctor Who" be a woman?


Late Saturday, a little announcement sent Whovians into an all timey-wimey wibbly-wobbly tizzy.

Matt Smith, who plays the title character on BBC's "Doctor Who," will be ending his run at the end of the year. If you were a watcher of PBS in the mid-80s or earlier, you may remember watching "Dr. Who" on weekend nights, a part of the British programming block.

The sci-fi show involving the time-traveling alien and his human companions has been around for 50 years. There have been 11 actors who have played the Doctor, and speculation runs rampant on who will be the next "Who."

The 2013 season just wrapped up, and the show that airs on BBC America has a dedicated cult following in the states. Think of it like Trekkies, the fans of the show and "Star Trek" movies, who dress up in uniforms and attend conventions. At the season finale, actor John Hurt was introduced as "The Doctor" who will be featured in a 50th anniversary special. Hurt is probably best known for his work as Professor Broom in the "Hellboy" movies, or as the politician Adam Sutler in "V for Vendetta."

All this week we can expect headlines and speculation on who will be the 12th doctor. Possibilities I've seen on social media posts have been from Hurt to Hugh Laurie of "House" fame and Daniel Radcliffe of "Harry Potter."

Sci-fi nerds and geeks have clamored for "Star Trek Next Generation" captain Jean-Luc Picard and "X-Men" professor X actor Patrick Stewart to take the character to its original grandfather-like roots. Others banter back that Stewart at 72 wouldn't want to do all the sprinting and running the scripts call for.

Smith has been on the show for four seasons, after taking the transforming, regenerating character over from actor David Tennant in 2010.

"'Doctor Who' has been the most brilliant experience for me as an actor and a bloke, and that largely is down to the cast, crew and fans of the show," Smith said to the BBC. "Your dedication is truly remarkable. Thank you so very much for supporting my incarnation of the Time Lord, number 11, who I might add is not done yet - I'm back for the 50th anniversary and the Christmas special."

Show runner Steven Moffat has been credited for taking the show and keeping it relevant in the new century. Examiner.com is speculating if Moffat will consider making the next doctor a woman.

I'll throw this out there now, my early prediction is that the writers will take Jenna-Louise Coleman, who plays Clara Oswald, and transform her into the next doctor. Oswald is known as the "Impossible Girl" on the show, and that would seem to be an impossible plot twist.

BACK TO COMMUNITY ROOTS: In a message leaked out last week, and confirmed by The Hollywood Reporter, Wisconsin native Dan Harmon will be returning to "Community" on NBC. Harmon created the show, which just completed its fourth season in May.

Following a number of run-ins and outbursts, Sony dumped him after the third season. One of the higher-profile clashes was with Chevy Chase, who left the show in November.

"Yes yes yes! I'm back I'm back I'm back. You can thank @joelmchale," Harmon sent out in a Twitter post on Saturday.

Harmon also has a 10-episode order from Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. His "Rick and Morty" is slated to hit the air in 2014.

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