Here we are, less than three hours away from the big announcement of who will be the next Doctor! I am really excited, but I have no opinion on who it should be. That may be because I am here in the States and am a bit unfamiliar with some of the "contenders", though I recognize three. It is hard to pick one, since this part is really unlike anything these actors have done, and when someone gets it, they usually do a 180 bring something different to it, even if they are modelling off an earlier incarnation.
Hartnell was known for tough guy parts, but when he played a down on his luck sports agent Verity Lambert knew he could pull it off. Patrick Troughton had a several film and television roles, but nothing major. One idea Troughton had was to play it as a "Tough sea captain", but thankfully Sydney Newman (creator of Doctor Who) suggested he play it as a "Cosmic hobo, in the mold of Charlie Chaplan." Jon Pertwee was known for his comedic roles, such as Chief Petty Officer Pertwee in The Navy Lark. His first couple of seasons in the role found him playing it very serious. Tom Baker was almost an unknown quantity at the time of his casting, and has gone on record stating he played the role as himself. Peter Davison had only a few television roles, the biggest being Tristan from All Creatures Great and Small. At the time he was the youngest person cast as the Doctor (he was 29 at the time) and very unlike his predecessor. Colin Baker also was in only a few television roles, his most notable being Paul Merroney from The Brothers and Bayban the Butcher in Blake's 7. Visually a train wreck (and yet so eighties), he played it very alien to the point of violence (accidental at times) and a lot of arguing. Number seven, Sylvester McCoy was known primarily as a comedy actor with a vaudevillian flair, some of which he brought to the role (spoon playing) but once he settled in he played it with a dark thoughtfulness.
Unfortunately I am unfamiliar with the story behind Paul McGann's casting. I thought he played the part well, and continues to do so in the Big Finish audio dramas. Mr. Eccleston was a big name that helped bring legitimacy to the rebooted program, at times comedic and other times deadly serious.While David Tenant had a bit of a following, it was Doctor Who that really made his name as an actor.Matt Smith was a relative unknown, but is insanely popular now as we move towards number Twelve!
Any opinions out there, I personally would be excited if Idris Elba got the role, guess we will see soon. Take care.