This then is the only opportunity we have, to put forward our wishlist, in the hope that our dreams might come true; that's why I'd like to suggest ABC News 24's Jeremy Fernandez as a candidate for the Twelfth Doctor.
"There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, and the sea's asleep, and the rivers dream; people made of smoke and cities made of song." - The Doctor
Jeremy already possesses the two most important qualities required of someone playing The Doctor:
1. He is incredibly expressive.
The Doctor being the lead of his eponymous series, also has the most amount of close up shots and pieces to camera. Jeremy Fernandez although having a TV job which almost exclusively behind a desk, must make use of his face in order to make the message more readily understood.
True, you don't get to express a whole palette of emotion from a newsdesk but what you do get to see is things like empathy and sensitivity when announcing something of peril or seriousness.
2. Jeremy speaks through the camera.
Now I know that this is going to sound daft, but other news deliverers like Leigh Sales and Tony Jones differ in this because they excel at speaking to people directly. Sandra Sully and Peter Overton are the sorts of newsreaders who like to set the tone when delivering the news.
I think it was Brian Henderson who said that you have to imagine that the camera is a window, through which you speak into peoples' homes. Jeremy Fernandez has this knack, which is exceptionally rare and I would wager that only a few select newsreaders have this ability. It's not something which is taught or can be learned, you either have it or not; Jeremy has it. It's a little like if your neighbour poked their head over the fence and you had a good old natter for half an hour.
Why would I pick Jeremy over established actors? The answer is surprisingly simple.
As a newsreader, he already can speak through the camera and has the sort of diction needed to say a lot of difficult, technical and or foreign words quickly. Reading the news also has a sense of theater about it and I don't think that the skills are so dissimilar as not to be transferable.
Also, once someone has played The Doctor, its like they're typecast. The thing is that if you choose someone for whom it is impossible for their acting career to be adversely affected, then this is no longer an issue. Red Symons on 774 ABC Melbourne proves this point perfectly. He slotted very nicely into breakfast radio as though he'd been doing it his whole life. Jeremy Fernandez could just as easily slip back into the job at ABC News 24, or at 702 ABC Sydney and his career instead of being adversely affected through being typecast, would be enhanced as a former Doctor. If someone at 702 ABC Sydney reads this, if Jeremy were to replace Adam Spencer in the mornings, I bet that he'd take No.1 in the ratings for at least forty quarters straight.
I suppose one of my reasons why I'd like Jeremy as The Doctor is that he comes across on camera as being very warm. He would be more like "one of us" than something alien and apart, like Smith. Of course he'd be unknown to a British audience but that would be our little secret from down under.
Jeremy would be less broody than Eccleston, less manic than Tennant and less wishy-washy and more decisive than Smith. As Twelve, he would fill a role we've not seen for a long time, that of the happy tinkerer - the boy and his box.
Plus, we've already seen Jeremy in another blue box which is prone to malfunction (if Jonathan Holmes is right) - the ABC News 24 set.