Big news in the Dr. Who universe, which I learned, as I do many things, via Alan Sepinwall. David Tennant has formally announced he is leaving the role, and now we have the delicious suspense of waiting to learn who will be the eleventh doctor.
Thank goodness the Irish bookmakers are on the case. They are dutifully tracking the shifting odds between all the names be bandied about. The top 3 as of this writing are David Morrisey, Paterson Joseph, and James Nesbitt.
I love the tradition of the novelty Irish books. (Vegas does some too, in a more limited way.)
The Irish will lay odds on and about everything. While the national spirit of their Anglo-Saxon neighbors insures everything a la Lloyds of London—-Betty Grable and Tina Turner’s legs, Keith Richards’s fingers, Celine Dion’s vocal chords-—the Irish national spirit is much more playful.
I don’t have a gambling gene in me, and I know that it can be an addiction that brings misery like any other addiction. But in it’s entertainment mode, it takes a fun spirit to bet on whether Birmingham will have a white Christmas, where Russell Brand will find his next job, and the granddaddy of them all, who will be the next pope.
Paddy Power is one of the big online betting sites; it offers the usual horse and sporting events, but also a section devoted to novelty bets, which is where we find the Doctor Who odds. It offers 60 actors, which now begs some questions:
Is this the time to break the color barrier for the Doctor? Or the gender barrier-—Alex Kingston is given 50 to 1 odds, but at least she’s listed. As a smart commenter said over at Alan’s, the writers definitely set up Doctor/Donna this season, perhaps laying the groundwork for a female Doctor.
The list continues as a who's who (no pun intended) of British actors--John Simm, Adrian Lester, Anthony Head, Bill Nighy, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie--all the way to the long shots of Ricky Gervais (80 to 1), Hugh Grant (100 to 1), and Robbie Williams (150 to 1).
One idea I haven’t seen anywhere is an American actor taking on the role. I know, there is nothing more “British to the core” than Dr. Who. And it’s nice that it’s been spread around the whole isles, with the Scottish Tennant, which would be continued further if the Northern Irish Nesbitt takes over.
But an LA detective is prototypically American, and yet the esteemed Damian Lewis is playing him beautifully; an East Coast doctor who is the son of a US Marine is Amurican, but it’s no less than Bertie Wooster who brings him to life. If these Brits weren't on our own tv shores, the thought would not have crossed my mine.
Still, if the Irish bookmakers aren’t giving odds for any American actors, then, it’s not a possibility. This is something they know.