Here, then, are Bleeding Cool’s nominations for who should play The Doctor in the deny-it-all-you-want-but-it’s-coming Doctor Who movie.
Let us set aside for one moment my reservations about a “radical transformation” and talk about who’s Who.
For my money The Doctor needs to be charismatic and sharp, but remote. The role needs proper acting chops – the actor needs to be capable of light touches of humour as well as, on occasion, deep melancholy.
He – and I think we are still talking about a ‘he’ here – will need to combine screen presence and a a measured degree of ‘for the Mums’ good looks with an indefinable twitchy ‘alien-ness’.
In short, he will have to be Ralph Nathaniel Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes.
As a Doctor Who fan, I’ve played Fantasy Casting before, just like everyone else. Since this is to be a big Hollywood movie, they’ll probably offer it to Brad Pitt. Everyone offers their lead role to Brad Pitt whether he’s suitable or not. If they want a Hollywood star who can play suitably eccentric, the only candidate would be Johnny Depp, who would also draw in that all-important female audience.
But at the end of the day, I would have to go for the most neutral choice, a palate-cleanser after the last six years of Eccleston, Tennent and Smith. I would go with…
…a rock I found in the carpark behind my building.
Everyone knows the real star is the TARDIS.
I have to admit I haven’t kept up with recent Doctor Who. I’ve got a pile of season set DVDs I’d like to get to before the format completes its journey to obsolescence. Still, I’m a Doctor Who fan. I grew up watching classic Who on PBS just like every other nerd of my generation.
Keeping that in mind, if I was going to jettison the recent stuff but still retain the core of what made classic Doctor Who great, there’s no doubt I’d go with Liam Neeson as the Doctor.
Sure, you could make that choice for plenty of roles, because Liam can do anything from saving Naboo to fighting wolves with his bare hands. But if you think back on his Star Wars work keeping Doctor Who in mind, you can see that it fits pretty well — that undercurrent of wry humor, the confidence that he knows how to do things that you don’t. I think he could do the core concept of classic Doctor Who justice and win over fans of the current series too.
There is only one name that comes to my mind when I think of style, wit, courage and apparently-infinite wisdom. He chooses the most exceptional young human minds and takes them under his wing, testing them but also helping them to grow as individuals. He inhabits a studio where space and time seem to have no meaning, where people can be sitting on opposite sides of the room one moment, and then in the blink of an eye find themselves stacked on top of each other like pizza boxes. Your Starter for Ten is this: Who do I think should play the movie Doctor?
Jeremy. Dickson. Paxman.
“Paxman” literally translated means “man of peace”, and what is the Doctor if not that? I mean, apart from all the races he’s wiped out and people he’s inadvertently killed and all the wars he’s fought in and the explosions that seem to happen constantly when he’s around, the Doctor is a veritable beacon of serenity.
Not only does his very name embody the most favourable qualities of the Doctor, Jeremy Paxman also captures the sense of agelessness that we’ve come to associate with the character. He is paternal and yet brotherly, grey-haired but with the cheeky gleam of youth in his eye, fiercely intellectual and eloquent but with an undercurrent of red-hot unbridled sexuality.
Oh, and he used to present Breakfast Time, as well as the Six O’ Clock News. Clearly this is a man with time in his very veins.
You know it’s right. Choose Peace. Choose the Paxman.
Paterson Joseph, so I can collect that fifty quid from Paddy Power when I put it on him to get the role before the Matt Smith announcement. That bet is still valid right? No? Oh, well I still think he’d be great, based on his performance in Neverwhere. Just get him to do that again.
James McAvoy has already done it, more or less in X-Men: First Class, so I’d be confident to see him take up the role… but also a bit disappointed. Why should he be doomed to repeat himself?
Most of all, I think I’d be open to a relative unknown. Worked brilliantly with Smith – who is, by some considerable distance, my favourite Doctor.
(Force me to name a name and I’m going to say Andrew Garfield. Or Paddy Considine)
I think I’ll be more interested when they get to the first regeneration, three or four movies in (you know – assuming). This will be their opportunity to go with a woman. Or somebody who isn’t white – or even British. Maybe even somebody with ginger hair.
It’s at that point they’ll best have a platform to break down these boundaries that have penned in the TV Doctors.
Now. It’s your turn.