Doctor Who may have been played by thirteen different actors in the main series, as well as others (eg. Peter Cushing, John Hurt, David Bradley, Jo Martin) in some episodes and films. But there’s one thing that unites all of the actors (a gender neutral term) who have played the Doctor – they’re all British. Surprisingly, Peter Capaldi apparent thought that a Hollywood actor would make a good Doctor Who. The one and only Tom Hanks.
According to an interview with Hanks on the podcast Happy Sad Confused with Josh Horowitz, Peter Capaldi lobbied the show’s producers for Hanks to appear as an incarnation of Doctor Who. Horowitz put this to Hanks, who responded; “That would’ve been a blast, but that’s scheduling, I guess. Can’t do every job.”
“And honestly, me as Doctor Who? Can you imagine? Can you imagine the outrage? I’m an American, and I’m gonna go over, and I’m gonna jump in that you know, blue telephone box, and you know wear a scarf or whatever it is.”
“I don’t think Anthony Quinn could play Zorba the Greek in today’s popular judgment, you know. And you know why Josh – cause he’s not Greek. So imagine the outcry if I had played a world-famous [British character]. I could’ve played one of the Daleks, maybe. I would’ve been inside one of those big salt and pepper shakers talking in that automated voice. With an English accent, by the way.”
James Bond is another famously British character who people feel strongly should remain English, or at least British. But he has been played by an Irish actor (Pierce Brosnan), an Australian actor (George Lazenby), a Welsh actor (Timothy Dalton), and most famously by a Scottish actor (Sean Connery). He’s only been played by Englishmen twice – Roger Moore and Daniel Craig.
Whether Doctor Who or James Bond will ever be played by an American remains to be seen. Find out everything we know so far about the 60th Anniversary Special and about the 14th series, which will star Ncuti Gatwa.