Doctor Who: 5 Men Who Were Almost The Doctor

Categories: Doctor Who

The Christmas Special looms, looms, I say, and like most Whovians I am shaking like a leaf through Doctor withdrawal. Not the least since I know that once "The Snowmen" is over I'll still be stuck waiting around for the second half of Series 7... and then all the speculation surrounding the 50th anniversary special(s). The Doctor is right, waiting for time to go at the normal speed sucks.

What's left for me to do than spend all my time trying to glean information about the past of the series in preparation for the future. One of the things I've discovered in my research is a cast of very interesting men who almost because The Doctor, but for one reason or another didn't quite step into the role won by the immortal eleven. Today we celebrate the men that passed on being the legendary Time Lord.

The Fifth Doctor Was: After Tom Baker left Doctor Who there were some very big shoes to fill. Baker was widely considered the best Doctor of all time until David Tennant showed up. Peter Davison is arguably the finest technical actor to take on the role, and he was already in high demand after a critically-acclaimed performance in All Creatures Great And Small. No other Doctor save Christopher Eccleston had his resume stepping into the role. As such, his Doctor was a more sensitive and intellectual character, and is often considered the "nice" one of the group. He was also inflicted with a severe case of melancholy after the death of companion Adric.

But It Was Almost: Richard Griffiths is a man you have seen in a dozen movies and never learned the name of. His best-known role is as the cruel, pathetically hilarious Uncle Vernon in the Harry Potter series. His work is mostly comedic and generally all over the top. Rather than the open and vulnerable Davison, Griffith would surely have been a much more bombastic presence. At least we would have been spared the emo moping over a really annoying companion.

Still, the producers really wanted Griffith, but he was unavailable so the part went to Davison. He might have stepped into the TARDIS as the Eighth Doctor, as he was the first choice to replace Sylvester McCoy, but the series was cancelled in 1989.

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It's not taking my comment so I'll try one more time...testing 123...

As I pointed out on Twitter, Rowan Atkinson actually WAS the Doctor, just not officially.  This definitely deserved a mention in the article - worth watching if you've not already seen it.

JefWithOneF topcommenter

@melissa I knew that, and I should've mentioned it. Damn thing was already running so long though that I left it out. Thanks for posting the video, though!

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