8 UK Actors Who Should Star in Doctor Who
Guest contributor Rich Jepson provides his choices.
From Simon Pegg to Richard Wilson, Doctor Who has had a wealth of talent occupying a variety of character roles since its return in 2005. What’s fantastic about this, and also quite patriotic, is the fact that Doctor Who manages to showcase the best in British acting talent.
This works in a variety of ways for special guests on the show, depending on what stage of the career they are at. For younger actors it can be the platform that launches them into bigger and better roles, for others it can provide a reboot to their career and, for the more seasoned stars, the series can be a great vehicle for reaching younger audiences. You’ve also got the weird and wonderful cameos for the fun of it – Anne Robinson, Kylie Minogue and Michael Sheen to name but a few.
There are many names often linked with the show, whether it would be as a potential new Doctor, assistant or at the most, the Master, and with it some actors that just can’t get away from the speculation.
The cast of Sherlock provides three main potentials that are often talked about, especially given the obvious Moffat connection – Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman and Andrew Scott all did brilliantly in the show and would be popular choices for key parts in Doctor Who.
Speaking of Freeman, another area of talent that can be sourced from is the cast list for The Hobbit. Amongst the inhabitants of Middle Earth there is a bunch of names to choose from, but most prominent are that of Richard Armitage and Aidan Turner, who both previously experienced success on the small screen in Robin Hood and Being Human respectively.
Outside of this, anyone who is British in Game of Thrones or the Harry Potter series, (Maggie Smith, Mark Addy or Lena Headey for example), that hasn’t been in the show already, has a fair shot at landing a part in the BBC drama.
So who could make a great guest appearance? Here’s my list of 8 potential stars that you may not have thought of that could bring something special to the show.
One of the most underrated British actors out there, Considine has appeared alongside Simon Pegg in two of the ‘Cornetto’ trilogy films, as well as notable appearances in The Bourne Ultimatum and Cinderella Man. If you really want to see what he is capable of though, look no further than his work under the direction of This Is England creator Shane Meadows. Between his roles in Dead Man’s Shoes and Le Donk and Scor–zay–zee, Considine demonstrates everything he is capable of across the acting spectrum and there’s plenty to admire.
Potential Role: If he were to appear in an episode opposite Peter Capaldi, then that could prove to be a very intriguing dynamic, a good fit would be a role similar to that of David Morrissey’s guest appearance.
With Boardwalk Empire set to air its fifth and final season this autumn, the Scottish actress will have a clear schedule to work with in 2015. Having showcased her talents on the popular, prohibition-themed drama alongside the likes of Steve Buscemi and Michael Shannon, Macdonald has shown that she can mix with the best talent on the small screen.
Potential Role: A one-time companion in a Christmas special (a la Minogue). Moffat likes to see his fellow countrymen in the show so a pair of Scottish leads could give the show a Celtic Christmassy feel.
Noted mostly for his part in The Wire, West has most recently appeared in the TV movie Burton and Taylor and the BBC’s The Hour, the latter of the two was Britain’s answer to Mad Men. West has more in his locker to offer than most and was one the first actors from the UK to make an impact stateside, along with the likes of Hugh Laurie.
Potential Role: West could play some sort of ship commander or intellectual in an episode with a strong story arc. Ideally a two-parter so he’d be able to get maximum screen time.
McClure most recently appeared in ITV’s very popular whodunit Broadchurch alongside David Tennant and Matt Smith companion, Arthur Darvill. Although she wasn’t as prominent in that show as she was in This Is England ’88 she has demonstrated her abilities to deal with the darkest of subject matter in a frightfully convincing way.
Potential Role: She has the ability to play a very intelligent yet evil enemy of the Doctor, a female version of the Master perhaps, or a character likened to that sort of nature.
Graham, like Kelly Macdonald, has become a show regular on Boardwalk Empire and it’s largely in part to the role he played opposite Christian Bale and Johnny Depp in Public Enemies. He may not spring to mind when you think of sci-fi, and admittedly the majority of parts he plays are violent, but nothing seems beyond the Liverpudlian whose career is only on the up.
Potential Role: Difficult to imagine him as anything other than a baddie in this show, perhaps an alien of some sort as well. As a nod to Boardwalk, why not cast him as Al Capone again?
Rea can play evil in the most sophisticated way possible. Take his role in Channel 4’s Utopia for example where he haunts viewers with his ferociously precise methods of crime – the actor can portray a wicked character disturbingly well. One of his greatest assets is his use of his cold, haunting voice that would be the perfect device for installing fear into younger viewers.
Potential Role: The Master.
With roles in major blockbusters such as Life Of Pi and Prometheus, you could say that Spall is another young, British actor that is ‘doing a Cumberbatch’. Despite having a CV mainly made up of appearances in comedies such as Pete Vs Life, Spall has managed to break the mould with his memorable performance in The Shadow Line, where he played an unhinged crime boss.
Potential Role: Although Spall has a range of talents; Moffat would most likely cast him in a more comedic part, potentially as a suitor for Clara at some stage.
Off the back of his recent cameo in Sherlock, why not? Although he’s not an out-and-out actor what he does for a living is an act in many ways, and he could even bring some of this trickery to the series. Imagine a more interactive episode where he hypnotized the audience? It would be a fairly gimmicky thing to do but it’s not a million miles away from what the show has done before.
Potential Role: Obviously something psychological, maybe a character similar to the Dream Lord that we saw in the episode ‘Amy’s Choice’.
Do you agree with my list? Who else do you think could play a part opposite Capaldi?