Doctor Who: Replacement Doctors

Category: , By Rev/Views

David Mitchell mentioned to The Sun recently that he would like to be the next Doctor. Now, I do think that it's a little premature to be asking for the role. I really hope that David Tennant will give us 2 or 3 more years before he leaves, enough time to see where Steven Moffat wants to take the 10th Doctor before we get a new one. But David has played something of a trump card in claiming that he's not handsome enough for the role, this feels like a bit of a play for sympathy along with an attempt to try and force the casting directors to consider him seriously. Which they really shouldn't, because he's an excellent comedian and comic actor, but I really don't feel he has the range required to play the Doctor.

Instead I'd like to suggest one of the following 11 people for the role:
(11 because he'd be the 11th Doctor, aren't I clever?)

Richard is a pretty safe pick and I'm just putting him here first to avoid the normal (What about REG?) wondering. He's played The Doctor twice previously, once for Children in Need and in again in the BBC Animated Doctor Who Adventures. He's a wonderfully strong actor who has the right kind of look about him, a bit mysterious, smart, witty and sort of above reality. He's got a proven record in this area and the only thing against him is he's an obvious choice for the role.

Simon is one of Hollywood's golden boys right now, since Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz he's become a pretty hot commodity. He's also been cast as Scotty in the new Star Trek movie and it seems that there's little he can do wrong at the moment. He's already demonstrated the acting range needed for the show and has even portrayed a memorable villain in Doctor Who (The Editor). Fortunately, this doesn't exclude him from being able to play The Doctor as Colin Baker also went from being a villain to being The Doctor previously (sadly) and he was quite heavily made up in the episode he did appear in.

(You have no idea how hard it was to find a picture of him without Ben Miller)

While the previous two candidates have been rather obvious choices I hope that my inclusion of Alexander Armstrong (from Armstrong and Miller) is a little surprising. Armstrong has many of the qualities you'd want to see from The Doctor, he's a good looking chap with a sharp sense of humour and good comic timing. He has a quintessentially British look about him and he sounds just right - confident and calm but capable of other emotional ranges as well.

I'd also like to quickly mention the sheer brilliance of the Chav British WWII Fighter Pilot sketches he did with Ben Miller. Here's one of them.

I think he'd be cracking don't cha know blood?

Yeah, yeah I know. Another slightly obvious choice here, but he has previously played the Doctor (again in the Children in Need special) and as he's grown older he's developed a very interesting look to him that would work, I think this picture shows quite well how he'd work in the role (admittedly with different clothes). He's an exceptional actor, again versed in the both the comedic and 'serious' roles and he's already had experience of time travel (Blackadder Back & Forth). I will say he's probably a weaker choice than the others on this list; mostly because he's so recognisable as Mr. Bean and Black Adder, which could cause the show to take an unintentional tone to it. People might end up watching waiting for him to do something really stupid like sonic screwdriver his tie to a cyberman or reverse the TARDIS into a police station.

I know, I know I seem to be picking a lot of comedic actors. But in my defense Robert isn't strictly speaking a comedic actor, he's an actor who can do comedy. Putting aside his role as my father - I mean Ben Harper - for a moment he's had an incredible career in theatre and was stunning as Captain Sir Edward Pellew in the various Hornblower adaptations. He's got everything you'd want from an actor playing The Doctor and as long as he could avoid turning into Ben Harper while ranting he'd be brilliant.

Jack is another actor who's played both comedic and serious roles in his time. His performance in the Pirates of the Carribean movies spring to mind, where his performance as Norrington literally saved the second movie from being a complete turd. While his character was treated in a criminal fashion during the horribly over bloated third movie his star turn in the series was one of the bright spots in it. He's also an accomplished stage actor and has shown a great flair for everything he's turned his hand to, including The Libertine, This Life, Coupling (where he worked with Steven Moffat) and just about every documentary that hasn't been narrated by David Attenborough.

Oh yes, I'm putting forward James May from Top Gear. The controversy! How could I do such a thing? Well first of all, be thankful I'm not suggesting Jeremy Clarkson or Richard Hammond and secondly just listen to the thinking behind it for a moment. This selection is very much dependant on how good James is at acting instead of just presenting, now his role on Top Gear does in truth involve a small amount of acting. But, if he's turns out to be a rubbish actor who can't audition then there's no harm done. The thing is, he'd be ideal for a Doctor in the fashion of the older ones (pre-2005), he's got the right look, attitude and voice for the role. You can just see him fuddying about in the TARDIS and being interested in architecture or vintage steam engines. He'd need partnering with a strong female lead who isn't afraid of a little action, but I think this suggestion is one that could work.

Now feel free to call me an idiot for suggesting him.

Sean is such a fantastic actor that he's practically made for a role like this. He's one of the most accomplished character actors currently in the business. Roles like Sharpe have shown just how charismatic and brilliant he is on screen. But he often gets typecast into playing the villains, something that happens to so many talented character actors. I'd love to see him as The Doctor, standing there explaining the intricacies of time to some young slip of a girl while attempting to fend off the Darleks.

Hugh is a stunning character actor, one who's taken the role of Doctor House and made an art form out of playing a really unpleasant man in House M.D. He played the role so well that much of America was fooled into thinking he really was American. But this is also a major negative point against him, Hugh will be forever thought of as 'Doctor House' until the day he (sadly) leaves us. But I'm sure he could overcome such stereotyping while also peaking interest in Doctor Who over in the Americas. He'd be a cunning casting move and he could film Doctor Who once he'd finished a season of House.

Anthony is American, I know that. But if David Tennant can conceal his Scottish accent and use Received Pronunciation correctly I'm pretty confident that Anthony Michael Hall can hide his American one as well. Anthony is no stranger to playing characters in unusual circumstances with his roles in The Dead Zone and upcoming as Mike Engel in The Dark Knight. He's an actor who's demonstrated real on screen charisma and a wide range of emotional acting, he'd approach the role with a pretty fresh set of eyes as I'd think he hasn't had too much exposure to the previous Doctors stateside.

Why? Oh just look at him. Then go watch him in his stand up or on Q.I. He's wonderful! Plus am I not allowed at least one half joking choice on this list? Anyway he could be very good as the Doctor.

So there you go, 11 suggestions from various areas of television and film who might be suitable for the role.


2 comments so far.

  1. Anonymous 27 June 2008 at 13:20
    What the hell is Sean Bean doing in that photo? It looks like he's advertising some macho action movie. There needs to be an explosion in the background to really cap it off.
  2. Rev 28 June 2008 at 12:31
    Haha, yeah I know. It's a ridiculous picture and you're quite right, someone needs to photoshop some crashing spaceships behind him.

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