Phillip Rhys, who’ll be apperaring in the new BBC sci-fi series The Survivors (based on an old BBC sci-fi series called….um…. The Survivors) popped round for an interview the other day, and in the process of lauding his castmates, may have outed one of them as the actor destined to replace David Tennant as the next Doctor Who. (We’ll discuss this person after the cut, because it’s really still all speculation, and I don’t want to look like a doof.)
(From io9 and Tachyon TV)
Whoops. To be fair, most people who’ve been paying attention to this sort of thing thought it was going to be this person (they’re actually placing bets about it, and this person is the 3-1 shot.)
So: did you ever see the Neil Gaiman-penned miniseries Neverwhere from a few years back? Not a lot of people in the states have, even if they’re Gaiman fans. The most interesting character from that show (and subsequent book) is a roguish, mercurial chap called the Marquis De Carabas, named after the man who supposedly owned Puss In Boots. He was played by Paterson Joseph, and I remember being impressed at the time.
I trust Steven Moffat’s instincts as a writer (he’s written some of the best Who episodes of the last four years) and I trust him as a producer. It’s been pointed out by others, such as novelist Lawrence Miles, that Joseph tends to play distant, slightly unpleasant characters, and that this could be a problem because, after that lovable rapscallion David Tennant, the fans just won’t put up with a cranky, un-cute Doctor Who. I say bollocks. Christopher Eccleston was cranky and charming in his own way, and the very first actor to play the Doctor, William Hartnell, used to play gangsters and gruff Army men before he was cast in the show.
Interestingly enough, Joseph’s been in the show before. Remember this jerk?
He’s the guy from “Bad Wolf” and “The Parting of the Ways” who beat Rose Tyler on the Evil Future Weakest Link show, and then spent the whole of the next episode a) telling people Daleks weren’t real and b) getting killed by Daleks. Like I said, he’s got a penchant for playing unlikable dudes. Having said that, he’s also a well-regarded actor who directed a bunch of underpriveledged kids in a production of Romeo and Juliet for a documentary called My Shakespeare, and (according to Wiki) has recently starred in The Emperor Jones and The Royal Hunt of the Sun.
So, we’ll see. He’s a good actor, and some of the best Doctors have been slightly unlikable at times (heck, even floppy-haired wonderboy David Tennant has had some great moments where he was kind of frightening; the ending of “The Family of Blood,” for a start, where he condemns the Family to fates worse than death.) I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do, if it is him. Again, nothing’s been confirmed as of yet, but I’m not worried.
If you want to see the whole list of potential new Whos, complete with bitter, snarky, and insightful commentary from Mr. Lawrence Miles, click here. Personally, I want to see Alex Kingston (the British lady from “ER”) as the Doctor – it would put a whole new spin on the two episodes she’s already appeared in, where she played a woman the Doctor hasn’t met yet, but will eventually (we’re led to assume) fall in love with. If it turned out that the reason she knew him so well was because, well, she was him… it could be interesting, is all I’m saying.
(Edit, 3:27am – I posted this while forgetting to mention that today, November 23, is the 45th anniversary of the very first episode of Doctor Who, starring William Hartnell who, while a great actor and a great Doctor, wasn’t the most open-minded person when it came to, say, race. Not to defame his memory or anything, but there’s a certain wonderful irony that the next actor to play the role he originated is probably going to be a black guy. Hopefully, wherever Billy is now, he’s gotten over it. You can see the first ever episode of Doctor Who on the YouTube here. It’s a great piece of ’60s TV.
Have you ever thought what it’s like to be wanderers in the fourth dimension? Have you? To be exiles? Susan and I are cut off from our home planet, without friends or protection. But one day, we shall get back. Yes… one day….