That was pretty much my reaction when I heard about Smith's departure from Doctor Who this coming this December. Now, I had mentioned in other posts that Smith's Doctor had seemed to be... well... tired this year. I don't know if it came from a choppy season, or it was Smith manifesting his readiness to leave, but though I am sad, I think the Who team is making the right move. The 11th Doctor got too tied to the Ponds, and when the city I live in took them away, well, it seemed there was no way this Doctor would be able to go on, and really, he didn't do a great job of it. I mean, he only went after Clara because she was an enigma, sure he became attached to her, but only during his search to figure out who she was. Anyway, every blog out there is trying to figure out who the next Doctor could be, so I figured I'd jump on the bandwagon, all be it a little late.
The next theory is the gender bender. A woman Doctor! I actually would be really down with that, but when Tennant was making his exit, rumors that he was being replaced by a woman caused the internet to break. People were really upset, but honestly I can't understand why. The Doctor has made mention on several occasions that Time Lords can do an instant sex change... in fact the 11th Doctor thought he was a girl post-regeneration. And in "The Doctor's Wife" the Doctor Talks about the Corsair being both a man and "a bad girl". On a blog I saw the suggestion of Tilda Swinton and I flipped. She would make and incredible Doctor, and a ginger one as well! Swinton has the perfect androgynous look, I think people could really get behind her as the Doctor. But, Swinton may be a bit to "big" for the role, still it would be pretty kick ass.
I think the #1 choice of Whovians seems to be Rupert Grint. I personally even thought of him when discussing the new Doctor with a friend. He's a gingers, he's a great actor, he has the range, he's a bit young, but the Doctor does seem to get younger and younger... but there is one huge problem. Grint is already signed on to a pilot for CBS called Super Clyde. There is no way Grint will be able to play the Doctor, even if the pilot totally bombs, there won't be time for him to turn around and become the Doctor, filming for the new Who would probably begin sometime in October. So, while I think Grint would be a suburb choice, it just doesn't seem plausible... maybe he'll be lucky #13 and we will see him duke it out on Trenzalore.
No matter what, trying to guess who will be the new Doctor is impossible. The Who production team does a great job at keeping secrets, if they don't want us to know, we probably won't. Besides, when Smith was cast as 11, nobody saw it coming, most people didn't even know who he was. There is a good chance Moffat will bring on some fresh blood. Speaking of Moffat, will he depart with Smith? There has been some recent epic battles on forums about Moffat's years as show runner, some people really really hate him and some will defend him to their last breath. I honestly am pro-Moffat, but I can see where after this kind of pieced together season it may be time for a graceful exit.