'Doctor Who' Season 8: Sheridan Smith to Be New Doctor?

"Doctor Who" fans have been speculating, predicting, and in some cases, even betting on who will take over as the new Doctor in the eighth season of this iteration of the much loved science-fiction show.

Many were predicting a socially conscious shift, as there was much chatter online over the next doctor being a woman or a minority. And recent reports seem to confirm that speculation is true, as there is buzz about Sheridan Smith being cast as the next doctor in the BBC show.

"Reports have said the 31-year-old actress is top of the BBC's wish-list to take over the role from the current Doctor, Matt Smith," the British Scunthorpe Telegraph reported.

Casting Smith would be very exciting, as she would be the first woman Doctor ever on the show. However, it should be noted that women have played the doctor in other capacities. In 1999, actress Joanna Lumley played the Doctor in Steven Moffat's Comic Relief joke version of the show, "The Curse of Fatal Death." And in 2003, Arabella Weir played the Doctor in "Doctor Who Unbound," an audio show by "Big Finish," reported DigitalJournal.com.

However, Smith might not be the new Doctor. She has not been officially chosen or announced by the BBC. And this is not this first time fans of the show have seen reports about who may be cast as the new Doctor.

Just last week it was reported that Rory Kinnear would be cast on the BBC show. A source close to the show told The Daily Telegraph that "he has been offered the part and we are waiting to hear if he will accept. He is the perfect choice."

Will the reports of Sheridan Smith taking over the starring role be made official? It seems fans will have to wait to find out.