As reported in the ComicBookResources.com column ‘Lying in the Gutters,’ the recent announcement of David Tennant from his starring role in the hit BBC series Doctor Who is more of a surprise than anyone thought. Allegedly, actor Tennant was negotiating for two more years, a feature film and a filler year of ‘specials’ a la what we will see in 2009. In addition, the 37 year old actor wanted a raise despite the fact that he is the highest paid actor in the BBC at the moment.
What balls, eh?
It’s certainly not the first time an actor playing the title role of the Doctor took the program to task and demanded more money, but this is pretty rich. If Tennant had stepped up his game as I had hoped he would last year, it would be one thing but if anything the actor seemed cockier than normal and delivered the same screeching voice and bug-out eye performances week after week. I cannot imagine how Hamlet sounds spat out through his gritted teeth.
In any case, the scramble for Doctor #11 is on. This could very well be one of the last actors to play the part as it has been stated numerous times the Doctor has thirteen lives before his very real death arrives.
Let’s take a look at the contenders:
Hustle and Flow star Marc Warren has a certain cuteness that would assure the program would not lose it’s tween audience. An actor familiar with both fantasy and drama, Warren could do well… if not for the fact that he has already been in one of the worst episodes of Doctor Who ever, Love & Monsters.
That said, he delivered a decent performance, but his face reminds me of deep emotional scarring.
Son of Doctor #3 Jon Pertwee, Sean Pertwee is an actor with definite presence and a decent range to boot. Primarily a film actor, Pertwee worked on the RSC (Royal Shakespearean Company) alongside Ewan McGregor and Jude Law. He has worked with director Neil Marshall in Dog Soldiers and the tragedy that is Doomsday.
I like Sean Pertwee a lot and get a warm feeling thinking of him walking in his father’s footsteps. He definitely has a more ‘butch’ side to him that has been absent from the part for ages now. Yet he is relatively unknown, making him a pretty unsafe bet for the part.
58 year-old Bill Nighy may be a familiar name with Whovians seeing as how he was announced as Doctor #9 in 2005 by mistake. Apparently he was producer Russell T Davies‘ choice and something went south somewhere along the way. A perfect blend of stage and screen experience (including Slartibartfarst in Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy and Minister for Magic Rufus Scrimgeour, in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) has shown he can do just about anything. He’s prime material to play the Doctor.
Personally I think we are due for an older Doctor, but given that the program currently dances to the tune that the Doctor is a hottie, I cannot see Nighy in the role.
It’s a shame as he reminds me in part of the first Doctor William Hartnell.
The current popular pick is Paterson Joseph (whom I have already gushed over on an earlier post). An RSC man not above the odd comedic part or science fiction, Joseph also has a sparkling personality and purring voice. Having starred in Green Wing, Hyperdrive, and Peep Show (all great TV programs), the actor’s face is a familiar one to Britain and currently has 3-1 odds to grab the part.
My head nearly exploded when I read that ‘actress’ Billie Piper is a contender for the part as well. After serving in two seasons of Doctor Who as Rose Tyler, Piper almost completely took over the program without even being in it. For some reason head writer Davies thought it would be a good idea to remind viewers that she is the Doctor‘s ‘true love’ week after week.
Despite the fact that this was a truly awful idea, it ran through seasons three and four, culminating in a teary-eyed love affair with a clone of the Doctor who is capable of loving her (wink wink). Given that Piper has already derailed the direction of the program for years, I would be both shocked and depressed to learn that she was the top choice for the first female Doctor. In addition to the sour taste her character has left, she is also sorely lacking as an actress and sounds as if she has had some very dodgy facial surgery done, making her almost completely indecipherable.
Whoever we get, he or she will have a bigger mess to clean up than the next American President.