YouGov, one of the leading opinion poll agencies in the UK - and frequently used in the media for their statistics on political polling - has turned their eye to Doctor Who this week, weaving their statistical magic to confirm what many thought was the case anyway: The people are still ga-ga for the Tenth Doctor!
YouGov sampled a choice of 1,974 British Adults (no one under the age of 18) from various age groups, political leanings and social classes, and then quizzed the 31% of those who proposed an interest in Doctor Who about their favourite and least favourite Doctors, and what they wanted from the Twelfth Doctor. But let's have a look at some of the interesting data that came from just that first question: Are you interested in Doctor Who?
Although not entirely reflective of the show's audience - since you're cutting out teenagers and children, arguably the main demographic of the series - there's some interesting data here. It turns out that the Scottish are those most interested in Doctor Who, with 37% of Scots pollers showing an interest in the show, with the least coming from the North of England, where only 29% were interested (perhaps we need more Christopher Ecclestons to appeal!). Men are more likely to be interested in the show than Women - 36% compared to only 26% - and Doctor Who finds a lot of favour with the 40-59 age group, with 39% of voters in that bracket showing interest. The over 60's, however, were overwhelmingly uninterested in The Doctor, with a whopping 79% showing no interest - and 62% of that answered 'not at all interested' rather than 'not very interested'.
Interestingly, but unsurprisingly, Doctor Who is more appealing to politically left-leaning viewers. Of the big three political parties, it was Liberal Democrats who were most interested in Doctor Who (39%), closely followed by Labour supporters (34%), with those who voted for the Conservative Party trailing behind (29%). As an aside, voters aligned to the UK Independence Party - known as UKIP - were the least interested in the show, with 74% of UKIP pollers showing no interest.
So basically, if you're a right-wing pensioner, odds are you probably don't care for Doctor Who. That, or you were really annoyed when Rory clobbered that little old lady in Amy's Choice.
Poor Paul McGann.
This is why he needs to come back for something, anything this year - the world at large needs to recognise the brilliance of the Eighth Doctor. But as it turns out, no one really has a clue who he is. Out of the 31% who showed interest in the show, 0% thought of McGann as their favourite Time Lord - more people actually didn't know who their favourite Doctor was (2%) than liked Paul!
In what's probably very good news for the 50th Anniversary episode however, David Tennant clobbered his compatriots, running away with a whopping 43% of the total popularity vote. Over half of that 43% consisted of Women (55%), but in general David scored pretty consistently across all the different sociological makeups of the pollers questioned - making him pretty much the Ur-Doctor. Time will tell if any other actor will be able to capture the zeitgeist as he did, but it's safe to say that Tom Baker (who came second, with 16% of pollers classing him as their favourite) has been replaced as the Nation's Doctor.
Incumbent Time Lord Matt Smith fared well, placing Third, with 14% of pollers backing Eleven as their favourite - and is most popular with the 18-24 age bracket, with 32% of that total choosing him.
From one Scots actor who is loved, to one who is... less loved - when asked about their least favourite Doctor, Sylvester McCoy topped the tables with 29% of pollers declaring him the poorest Doctor, followed by Colin Baker (11%), with McGann placing third with 9% (Boo! Boo I say!). However, the actual second place vote was 'Don't Know', perhaps proving that in most cases, the British are polite enough to think that if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all!
Hmmm... looks like my personal Top Ten Actors for the Twelfth Doctor wouldn't have gone down all that well with YouGov's pollers. It would seem that the British public wants a bit of consistency in their Timelords, with the major consensus being that whoever replaces Matt Smith this Christmas should be a British Male Character actor:
Both Men and Women agreed that the 3 most important traits for The Next Doctor should be that he is British (58% of Men, 49% of Women - although only 22% wanted him to be specifically from England), Male (55% of Men, 49% of Women), and a Character Actor (31% of Men, 25% of Women). However, this is where the two sexes begin to diverge in opinion.
The next important trait for Female voters was that the next Doctor should be attractive (21%, compared to the 9% of men who thought that looks would be important), however for men it was that The Doctor should be White (28%, compared to the 16% of Women, who placed Attractiveness, being Under 40, and being English above skin colour). Men also placed a higher priority on the actor being Heterosexual - 18% of Male voters saw it as important, compared to only 12% of Women - whilst Women were more concerned with the actor's height, with 15% of female voters seeing being Tall as important, compared to only 8% of Men. However, the genders unanimously declared that being known as a Comedy Actor was the least important trait (5% of Men, 3% of Women), probably not good for the chances of stand up comedian/The Thick of It actor Chris Addison, who's recently seen a surge of bets placed on him for the role - spurred on by a tweet from Paloma Faith, of all people!
So, there you have it: People love themselves a bit of Davey T, and want the Twelfth Doctor to be pretty much like the blokes that proceeded him. It's not the most exciting or surprising of reveals, but it's nice to see a bit of data on the public's approach to casting The Doctor.
If you'd like to see the full breakdown of YouGov's data, you can check the PDF out here.