As expected, bookmakers have begun the process of offering odds on who will take on the role of the Doctor after Matt Smith hangs up his bow-tie at Christmas.
Early Sunday morning forecasts from William Hill placed the former Midshipman Frame Russell Tovey and Harry Potter star Rupert Grint as initial favourites at 10-1, with Hobbit and Sherlock star Martin Freeman next at 12-1. As one might expect the usual suspects were also present, with stars such as David Morrissey at 16-1, Paterson Joseph at 20-1, plus Alan Davies and James Nesbitt at 25-1. The favourite female contender was Billie Piper at 16-1, followed by Tilda Swinton at 20-1, and both 2013 BAFTA multi-award winner Olivia Colman and Jonathan Creek co-star (and audio 8th Doctor companion) Sheridan Smith at 25-1. More eccentric choices included footballer David Beckham, reality talent producer Simon Cowell and actor Tom Cruise at 250-1, plus footballer John Terry at 500-1.
Meanwhile Sky-Bet offered up a similar selection. Their top names included Damien Molony at 8-1, David Harewood, James Frain and Russell Tovey at 10-1, and others such as Rupert Grint, Olivia Coleman and Merlin star Colin Morgan at 20-1, Miranda Hart at 40-1, Patterson Joseph at 50-1, plus the return of David Tennant at 33-1! Also to be found on their list was Sherlock aka Benedict Cumberbatch at 40-1.
By Sunday evening, however, there was a clear leader in the form of Law & Order UK star Ben Daniels, appearing as favourite for Sky-Bet, Paddy Power, and Coral at 6-1, and with Betfair at 37-19. Other popular names included Chiwetel Ejiofor (Sky-Bet/Coral/Paddy-Power at 8-1), Russell Tovey (Coral at 8-1, Paddy-Power at 9-1, Sky-Bet/Betfair/William Hill's favourite at 10-1), and Skyfall's Rory Kinnear (Betfair at 41/9, Sky-Bet at 9-1, Paddy-Power at 11-1, Coral/William Hill at 12-1).
For a female acquisition of the TARDIS, William Hill offered 8-1 on this likelihood, with individual favourites being Billie Piper (William Hill, 16-1), Olivia Colman (Coral, 14-1, Paddy-Power, 20-1), Helen Mirren (Betfair, 27-1), and Miranda Hart (Sky-Bet, 50-1).
Whether additional contenders will challenge the current favourites remains to be seen as the week progresses.