With the announcement that Doctor Who's Peter Capaldi will be passing off the TARDIS keys at the end of this year's Christmas special, Whovians are again engaging in their favorite pastime: arguing about who should be the next Doctor.

For years fans have pushed for a woman or a person of color to finally take the reins of the long running sci-fi drama about a time-traveling alien, something exiting showrunner Steven Moffat obnoxiously pushed back on. And while it's true that under Moffat's divisive leadership the recurring character of the Master — the Doctor's archenemy — regenerated into a woman known as Missy, the Doctor regenerating into a woman has never felt like something that was actually on the table.

Peter Capaldi is leaving Doctor Who

Now with Moffat's impending departure scheduled for the same time as Capaldi's, fans are hoping that incoming executive producer Chris Chibnall (Broadchurch) will finally break with tradition and cast the first female Doctor. Here at TVGuide.com, we thought we'd help Chibnall out and offer up a few suggestions — both male and female — for the heroic role.

Hayley Atwell

As Agent Peggy Carter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Atwell has already proven she can carry the weight of the world on her shoulders, something the Doctor has to do every single week. Add in Atwell's natural charisma and sense of humor and she'd make an amazing Doctor. The fact that she's already stated she wants to be the Doctor should also help her case.


Ben Whishaw

The immensely talented London Spy and James Bond actor has been a favorite pick among fans since Matt Smith first announced his departure from the series in 2013. In fact, he's so popular U.K. bookies currently have him at 6/1 odds to take over for Capaldi. If the producers want a younger Doctor but someone capable of being just as dark and angry as Twelve, Whishaw is the obvious choice.


Richard Ayoade

This IT Crowd star could definitely capture the Doctor's eccentricities, and we have a feeling he has what it takes to tackle the show's heftier emotional drama too. That's why he's one of the more popular picks to play Thirteen — if only his new gig hosting The Crystal Maze doesn't get in the way.


Natalia Tena

Best known for her work in Game of Thrones and the Harry Potter films, Tena is an excellent candidate for Thirteen. She's also an accomplished musician who plays the accordion, which is totally an instrument the Doctor would jam on.


Mathew Baynton

Baynton definitely has a Matt Smith vibe about him, which is not necessarily a bad thing. If Doctor Who wants to go back to younger, quirkier Doctors after Capaldi then The Wrong Mans star would be an excellent choice to take over.


Zoe Wanamaker

Wanamaker's voice is already iconic to Doctor Who fans who know and love her as Cassandra, an unforgettable villain who was nothing more than a face on skin stretched onto a frame connected to a brain in a jar. But we'd love to see this Shakespearean actress and Harry Potter alum headline the franchise as the first female Doctor! As Shirley Bassey would say, Wanamaker totally has the range.


Andrew Scott

Scott instantly charmed fans as the villainous Moriarty on Sherlock, and now is his chance to prove he's also got what it takes to be the hero. Plus, because of that role, he's already got an in with the departing Moffat. it doesn't get any easier than that!


Tom Mison

Mison is already playing a very Doctor-like character on Fox's Sleepy Hollow — incredibly intelligent, a little eccentric, always saving the world from someone wanting to destroy it. It wouldn't be very hard for him to slip into the Doctor's admittedly very, very big shoes.


Colin Morgan

Morgan starred in the BBC's Merlin for five seasons, and although the series is not on the same level as Doctor Who, that experience should mean he's well acquainted with intense fandom and can handle the expectations of Whovians. Plus, like Capaldi and Karen Gillan, who played companion Amy Pond, Morgan has already made an appearance on the show (in Season 4's "Midnight"), which means he's already on someone's radar.

Doctor Who returns for Season 10 on Saturday, April 15 at 9/8c on BBC America.