Comic book columnist Rich Johnston (of Comicbookresources.com’s Lying in the Gutters), has a long-standing reputation with unearthing the most exciting rumors in the sci-fi and comic book world. His reveals have included the secret assignment of Grant Morrison on Batman, John Romita Jr‘s return to Spider-Man and a host of Doctor Who rumors that I don’t allow myself to read… until yesterday.
As my readers may know by now I am not a fan of the flighty and flippant Tenth Doctor (David Tennant). It’s less of a case of Tennant himself and more of a dislike of the program’s direction but in any case the constantly waltzing and bouncing character thrusting his sonic screwdriver into every situation has won no big acceptance from this Whovian. I realize that I am in a minority as polls reveal Tennant as the best Doctor EVA with fans, but I have never had trouble being in the minority so long as I know that I’m right. Humble, aren’t I? My case is most easily proven by showing a new episode to a classic fan and a classic episode to a new fan and 9 out of 10 times the two do not mix. It is simply not the same program.
In any case, with a new producer coming on board, Tennant may finally be on his way out. Production trouble and scandal kept each Doctor before him from breaking the 4 year mark and it looks like 2011 may be Tennant‘s last season to make peace with his magic wand before handing it off to a new guy. According to Richard Johnston, that new guy is Paterson Joseph.
An actor that we have seen on the new Doctor Who (who HASN’T been on the program by now? The guy who played Neal the hippie from the Young Ones??), Neverwhere (for you Gaiman fans… and no one else) and the excellent Jekyll, Hyperdrive and Peep Show, you could definitely be hard pressed to do better than Paterson Joseph for a Doctor #11.
An actor raised on the stage yet equally capable of delivering a quality performance on the CRT (HD), Joseph carries with him the kind of character and other-worldly austerity that make him an ideal choice to bring Doctor Who back to its roots. Rich Johnson said that Joseph had a kind of ‘Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee)’ thing going on and that is certainly true if you squint a bit. A showman and entertainer, Joseph is also an actor with authority which the character so desperately needs… and he has a voice that purrrss… doesn’t he?
Oh yeah, and he is black too.
The idea of casting an actor of color has riled fans in the past but I think that it may finally be time to let that demon go and accept the fact that such a thing can and should happen. Eccleston‘s street-cred Doctor appealed to a group of viewers never before catered to by Doctor Who (and consequently made the show ‘cool’ for the first time in roughly 30 years). The casting of Paterson Joseph could likewise attract an audience that never saw themselves in the shoes of this Timelord… and that cannot be a bad thing.
That’s right, I’m talking about bald guys.
Paterson Joseph’s agent has denied this rumor, saying that if true, it’s news to him.