THE IMAGINED SITUATION IS: The BBC has decided to air a one-time four-hour miniseries event of Doctor Who. The miniseries will be entitled “The Eleven Doctors” and feature every single Doctor as the cast, with a number of companions rounding it out.
Paul McGann, Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant and Matt Smith will play the Eighth through Eleventh Doctors. (Some suggested that at 51 McGann was too old to play his Doctor, but fans argued that he deserved a second chance to play the Eighth Doctor again and really, 51? That’s not a big deal.) However, the remaining living former actors who have played the Doctor all agreed that they should let more age-appropriate actors play the younger incarnations of the earlier Doctors (perhaps with one or two making jokes about “the need for a sonic cane,”) and of course Jon Pertwee, Patrick Troughton and William Hartnell are all long dead.
1.) Who plays each of the first seven Doctors?
2.) Which companion does each Doctor get, if any? (Assume, for marketing purposes, that Amy Pond will be present and accounted for. Possibly Rory as well. And Sarah Jane Smith is a definite, played by Elizabeth Sladen.) Note that some Doctors will have to go without.
3.) Who then should play those companions?
To finish this post, I’ll give my answer for number 1:
First Doctor: Alan Rickman. Really, kind of obvious.
Second Doctor: Richard Coyle (of Coupling and Going Postal, among others). Has “Impish-but-clever-and-wise” down to a T.
Third Doctor: Stephen Fry. Has the sort of combination of comedic aura/gravitas that Jon Pertwee did; age-appropriate; would balance out Rickman as the second of the “older doctors” by being the friendlier one to the First Doctor’s icy, alien cool.
Fourth Doctor: Rowan Atkinson. A bit old for it, maybe, but he’s got the rubberface that the Fourth Doctor demands. Also, it would be fun to see him in an whiteboy Afro.
Fifth Doctor: Andrew Garfield (The Social Network). The Fifth Doctor is trickiest because you need someone young, from the “lost generation” of kids who grew up without a lot of Doctor Who. I considered Tom Hardy initially but Hardy is too buff and rugged to be the Fifth Doctor, who’s slightly unassuming in his looks. Garfield, I think, can pull it off. (And yes, he is British.)
Sixth Doctor: James Nesbitt (Jekyll). If you’re going to redeem the least-favorite Doctor, you need a real charismatic madman to pull it off.
Seventh Doctor: John Oliver (yes, The Daily Show‘s John Oliver). This is my stuntcasting pick, but I think Oliver can do the job.