Doctor Who has been blessed with an array of fine actors in recent years (and not so recent too). Only this year saw the likes of Toby Jones, Iain Glen and Tony Curran (not to mention Matt Smith) actoring up the small screen with some aplomb. But there are still some boys and men out there whose absence has been noted and subsequently listed. And here is that list.
There follows eleven names (originally twelve*) that I think would make fine additions. Two provisos, however: (1) the actor has not already appeared in Doctor Who; and (2) would also be likely to star in the show (i.e. not Brad Pitt). Read the gurlies list HERE.
11. Patrick Stewart
After the recent Corden~Gate debacle (if you haven’t seen it, check it out), Sir Pat is a bit tainted but let’s remember that he’s not always taking pot-shots at the pot-bellied. Patty S was once an actor and those who saw him in Hamlet, alongside what’s-his-face, were witness to his ever-present talent. The Shakespearian thesp hasn’t done much TV of late (aside from American Dad, of course) so this could be a welcome return. We see him starring as the archetypal scientist on a par with The Doctor, but bald!
10. Timothy Spall
Though he’s more often on the big screen these days (Alice in Wonderland earlier this year and Harry Potter and the Whatever It Is due in November), Timmy does like to ‘slum’ it on television, as seen in Jimmy McGovern’s The Street. The Spall-a-tron is certainly one of Britain’s most gifted and versatile actors with a career spanning five decades. Part? – possibly a scientist’s assistant who accidentally breaks stuff only to reveal he was the mastermind behind the plan all along….
9. Richard Ayoade
Having spent some time with Ayoade back in the early Noughties (I MC’d a stand up night that he performed at) I was fascinated by how striking his appearance was. I mean, he is a tall, handsome and stylish guy. So imagine my amusement when he pops up in The IT Crowd looking all Moss-ified. Having also impressed in Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace and The Mighty Boosh, Ayoade’s got range and looks, well, different (vive le difference!). I can imagine him as a sexy scientist. With test tubes.
8. Max Beesley
Poor Max Beesley – so many poor career choices yet still so successful! Thankfully he seems to be returning to something watchable with next year’s Mad Dogs (also starring Phillip Glenister). I say watchable, it is being made by Sky… Anyway, Maxxo seems to choose a series to get involved in these days rather than one offs so maybe he’s holding out for the part of Gallifrey’s finest. I think a scientist who’s hiding the fact that he failed all his exams but slept with the marker seems to perfect for him.
7. Matt Berry
He’s only here ‘cos I have genuine man-love for this guy. Berry could read the script to Timelash/Time Flight/Twin Dilemma//Fear Her (take your pick of the clunkers) and make it, at least, worth a listen. If you’ve seen him in various roles (the aforementioned Garth Marenghi, Boosh, IT Crowd or Snuff Box) then you’ll know diversity ain’t his thang – and nor should it be. If we ever get the origin story for Davros then I humbly suggest Matt Berry for Skaro’s finest scientist…
6. Bill Bailey
Surely everyone in the world is a little bit in lurve with Bill Bailey? The bearded one never fails to light up the screen and raise a smile whether it’s Black Books, Spaced or even, dare I say, Hustle. As sci-fi seems to be synonymous with Bailey, a part in the show would not seem out of this world (never mind question). Mad scientist, definitely.
5. Tom Hollander
It’s been quite the year for Hollander having appeared as wildly different characters in The Thick of It and its movie version, In The Loop; one the dolt, the other a prick of Malcolm Tucker proportions. To top that he’s been entertaining BBC Two audiences in the comedy Rev. Ideal candidate for scientist who plays by the rules but has to break them through his friendship with The Doctor.
4. Aidan Turner
Coo, ain’t he dreamy? Nerdoids (and young people) have been enjoying his performance as John Mitchell in Being Human but it was his almost Doctor-ish appearance in Desperate Romantics (which, sadly, doesn’t look like it’s coming back, bah!) that really impressed. I picture him as a hunky scientist trying to cure a planet’s dying planet only to discover he’s made it worse through his bare-chested antics.
3. Phillip Glenister
Although he’s made some rather sniffy remarks about Doctor Who (mainly ‘cos Life On Mars lost out to it at various award ceremonies – boo hoo!), Big Balls Phil, as he’s known round here, still needs to the pay the bills. Fact fans may note that his brother Robert starred in one of the finest Who stories ever, The Caves of Androzani back in 1984 and this would be a fine opportunity to put Demons behind him… We see him as an angry scientist who beats up his subjects with a bunsen burner.
2. Robert Sheehan
Anyone who’s seen Misfits (last year on E4, this year – for all the slow people out there – on Channel Four) will inform you, nay force upon you, the awesomeosity of the gobby, wise-cracking Nathan, played by Robert Sheehan. The guy’s got star written all over him so it would be nice to see him on the small screen once again before he migrates to the big screen. Potential role? A young sexy scientist who plays by his own rules.
1. Benedict Cumberbatch
Of course, who else would it have been? Benny Thundersnatch is the hottest name on telly right now after his performance as Conan Doyle’s Holmes in the Mark Gatiss/Steven Moffat 2010 update, Sherlock. The blighter has even hinted in recent interviews suggesting a role may well be upcoming in numerous episodes. The only thing better than seeing BC in DW would be a Sherlock/Doctor Who crossover for Children In Need. Make it happen Team Mofftiss!
* When I originally wrote this piece, before filming began, I had included Daniel Mays. Now, since he has already filmed his part, it seemed daft to mention him. But, for completists here is his entry:
9. Daniel Mays
A familiar face after snarling up the screen as the Devil (or his BFF at least) in the Ashes To Ashes finale, Daniel Mays seems to be the perfect actor to take on the role of The Master after John Simm (though the actor at number one could be even juicier). Negatives? Well there was the Channel Four “comedy” Plus One (to be fair to Mays, he was the best thing about it) and he’s also appearing the upcoming BBC sci-fi-fest Outcasts so it could be a while before we see him in Who. Ideally as the janitor who cleans up after all the scientists have gone to bed.
Comment below, let the insanity begin…