Declaring Dominique Tipper a candidate for the next Doctor is, admittedly, entirely based on one role. That said, if you’re enjoying The Expanse you likely either already thinking she’d be a great Doctors or kicking yourself after reading this for not thinking it before.
Tipper is currently Mary Sue’ing it up as Naomi Nagata, a central role as a crewmember of the Rocinante. While technically an engineer under Captain Jim Holden, it’s pretty obvious that the ship and crew are really hers. In fact, Holden only becomes Captain after Nagata throws her weight behind him, and is more than a little dependent on her to help him keep his shit together. As with most incarnations of The Doctor, Nagata makes those around her better versions of themselves.
As a ship’s engineer, Nagata is constantly coming up with technical workarounds for problems and rattling off calculations. Tipper delivers the technobabble with authority and confidence, showing that she’ have no problem coping with a recalcitrant TARDIS or reversing the polarity of the neutron flow.
Another very Doctor-ish element of Nagata is her relationship with violence. A former member of sometimes violent revolutionary Outer Planet Alliance, Nagata avoids physical confrontation whenever possible and keeps military types at arm’s length. At the same time, she’s shown herself to be handy in a fight when it’s inevitable. Again, Tipper displays this conflict well in both verbal and body language, a directly transferable skill for post Time Wars incarnations of The Doctor.
In a show whose main characters are too often stale archetypes (moral to a fault protagonist, hair-trigger dude, disillusioned and drunk detective), Tipper stands out bringing a greater verve to her Mary Sue archetype than her cast mates do to there’s. Sure, The Doctor is a different role with different writers and directors and supporting casts, but as far as directly transferrable characteristics go, it’s hard to find a closer match.
What would she bring to the role:
Confidence, and the ability to portray it, when wandering around a science fiction soundstage. Her relative youth might be a good contrast with Peter Capaldi’s veteran presence. She also seems able to be able to continue the high level of fan outreach that Capaldi has provided: she livetweets most episodes of The Expanse and heavily interacts with fans on twitter and on podcasts. Bouncing back between two shows might make that more difficult, but she seems to actively enjoy it.
What complications are there:
We’re only two toseasons into the Expanse, barely scratching book 2 of 5 and while SyFy has a habit of cutting off shows before they finish, there’s still potentially a long way to go. That said, if Tipper becomes The Doctor she’d instantly become the most high profile cast member with the possible exception of Shohreh Aghdashloo, who she never shares a scene with. So filming of The Expanse could be scheduled to accommodate that of Doctor Who, especially since I don’t think the crew of the Rocinante is ever anywhere but a sound stage.
A bigger complication would be Tipper’s career, or relative lack thereof. Besides The Expanse she only has a handful of minor roles in small films and some credits as a dancer. This makes her casting risky. Can she really handle being the central character? I think so, but I don’t think I can say I know so. Frankly, I’d love to see the producers take the chance and run with it, but I’m just a fan with a keyboard so I can make bold decisions easily.
The expanse is a convincing audition reel for The Doctor, but an otherwise thin resume makes her a risky choice.