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The American Doctor Who
July 9, 2014 4:59 AM   Subscribe

50 Years of American Doctor Who (slyt) ORiginally from this list part 1 part 2
posted by Just this guy, y'know (54 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
Utterly delightful.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:03 AM on July 9


OK, some of those would have been kind of amazing.
posted by MrBobaFett at 5:04 AM on July 9 [2 favorites]


Nicolas Cage = Colin Baker
posted by Muddler at 5:10 AM on July 9


Cage is really the only one I take issue with. I keep going back and forth. He'd be either amazing or terrible, I can't decide.

But Vincent Price? Gene Wilder? Holy moly.
posted by middleclasstool at 5:14 AM on July 9 [4 favorites]


A good selection with some choices it would have been interesting to see on screen. I would likely have gone with Vincent Price in for Peter Cushing as the non-canonical film doctor rather than no3, but who to put in instead of him? It would have been too disappointing to have Goldblum in for only the short span of the 8th doctor. Ford a great choice for the War Doctor, since for me the best bit of that incarnation was the shock reveal at the end of the series and Ford would have been great for a "fooking hell its Harrison Ford" moment.
Cranston a bit lazy for 12.
posted by biffa at 5:29 AM on July 9


I've said in the past that Sam Rockwell is the only American I'd accept as the Doctor, but Jeff Goldblum is a compelling thought.

Admittedly, my Jeff Goldblum default fantasy casting is as the Riddler in the unmade third Tim Burton Batman movie.
posted by Shepherd at 5:52 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


The Doctor should ooze intelligent self-bemusement but also have the ability to convey complete and utter sincerity, with both of the above suffused beneath with both a deep sadness and a troubling darkness. The actor also needs to be able to switch between these modes with great timing:

Burgess Meredith: probably would have done better as the first Doctor than the first Doctor

Dick Van Dyke: a little light

Vincent Price: a little dark

Gene Wilder: So perfect that it occurs to me that he actually is the Doctor.

Kyle McLachlan: serviceable, but such a drop off after Wilder (i know!)

Christopher Walken: what a great choice for the 80s

Tony Shaloub: meh

Jeff Goldblum: Perfect

Nic Cage: if he played it low key with sparing use of his histrionics would be very good

Sam Rockwell: perfectly serviceable

Donald Glover: Gravitas? Matt Smith has this wonderful way of conveying the 'oldness' of the Doctor that I don't know if I could see in Childish Gambino

Bryan Cranston: his humor is a bit too self-effacing to be effective, I think.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:21 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


I always had Jeff Goldblum pegged as the Scarecrow, myself.

I say bump Goldblum up to Nine, since his quirky-to-dark ratio is a closer match to Eccleston -- just imagine him as Ian Malcolm or Seth Brundle doing any of Nine's expository soliloquies. At best, Cage could chew some scenery as The Master.
posted by Strange Interlude at 6:23 AM on July 9


He's not American, but John Noble would have been a damn good Doctor.
posted by schmod at 6:26 AM on July 9 [3 favorites]


War Doctor Alternatives:

Sean Penn
Gene Hackman
Al Pacino
Robert De Niro
Morgan Freeman

or ideally

Dustin Hoffman
posted by leotrotsky at 6:27 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


Oh, and Shaloub belongs on Torchwood. Duh.

So does Kyle MacLachlan. He can play Gwen's American cousin.

OK... Now I just want the cast of Galaxy Quest to do a Doctor Who parody/tribute.
posted by schmod at 6:27 AM on July 9 [3 favorites]


There was another article along these lines, but I'm having trouble finding it. They also did "What If The Doctor Had Been A Woman?" and "What If The Doctor Had Been An American Woman?" Anyone else remember this?
posted by Rock Steady at 6:33 AM on July 9


I thought this was gonna suck, but it was awesome.

Gene Wilder is so perfect as the Fourth Doctor that I'm having a hard time reconciling it. Burgess Meredith and Dick Van Dyke were just early icing on the cake.
posted by Sphinx at 6:33 AM on July 9 [3 favorites]


Sean Penn needs no work. Needs to go away. I have no idea why he was in Mitty, it was a great movie except for that sour note.

I'd move Goldblum somewhere else, might put in Carol Kane instead.

Glover is a little light, maybe Michael Dorn instead.
posted by Buttons Bellbottom at 6:34 AM on July 9


With Paul Lynde as the Master!
posted by dr_dank at 6:35 AM on July 9 [3 favorites]


Joseph Gordon Levitt for 11 (what?)
posted by pxe2000 at 6:57 AM on July 9 [4 favorites]


Technically speaking, JGL has already played an elderly alien in a young-looking body, so he's the most qualified actor in the bunch.
posted by Strange Interlude at 6:59 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


Harry Dean Stanton is my War Doctor.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 7:06 AM on July 9 [4 favorites]


There were a lot of really awesome subtle details in this piece--for example, Nicholas Cage is only the Doctor in 2005, which basically means that he's the TV Movie doctor. You can read hi, then, as an ambivalent pick and then invent a whole American real world context in which the series was canned and he was brought in for just one episode that didn't work.

Also: one of the doctor's in Peter Davison's cricket suit, Kyle MacLachlan's psychic paper! You can almost remember seeing the episodes that these were excerpted from...!
posted by johnasdf at 7:19 AM on July 9


Goldblum is the movie Doctor.

Cage is Ecclestone
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 7:35 AM on July 9


I thought everyone already understood that Gene Wilder played the Doctor when he was (again) stranded on Earth and decided to run a chocolate factory just to keep busy.
posted by nathan_teske at 7:47 AM on July 9 [2 favorites]


Vincent Price seems the wrong age and the wrong tone for the Third Doctor, who while silver-haired was brisk and a man of action. I'd have gone with James Coburn.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:12 AM on July 9 [2 favorites]


Ah, good point. I had a brainfart there.
posted by johnasdf at 8:13 AM on July 9


Harry Dean Stanton is my War Doctor.

I don't want no commies in my TARDIS. No Sontarans, either.
posted by Rangeboy at 8:18 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


And John Slattery as Twelve.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:20 AM on July 9 [2 favorites]


nathan_teske: I thought everyone already understood that Gene Wilder played the Doctor when he was (again) stranded on Earth and decided to run a chocolate factory just to keep busy.

One of my favorite games is going through the history of literature, film and television and figuring out which beloved characters are secret Time Lords. My current favorites are Mary Poppins, Ms. Frizzle from The Magic School Bus, Ash Ketchum, Gandalf, and Magic Man from Adventure Time.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:28 AM on July 9 [3 favorites]


Ooh, let's do this for "Are You Being Served?" I see Tony Randall as Mr. Peacock, Paul Lynde as Mr. Humphries...

Hey, where's everybody going?
posted by PlusDistance at 8:35 AM on July 9 [2 favorites]


How about a pre-Iron Man Robert Downey Jr. for Nine?
posted by Rock Steady at 8:44 AM on July 9


Peter Weller would also be a good 80's Doctor choice.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:58 AM on July 9 [4 favorites]


As fun as this is, I can't stop the killjoy part of my brain from complaining that most of these guys would have been way too famous to have taken the job. The more I think about it, though, I also realize that I don't really have any idea how famous the canonical Doctors were when they started. Or now, for that matter. How notable are, say, Patrick Troughton or Sylvester McCoy for their other work?
posted by Copronymus at 9:00 AM on July 9


The Canadian Doctors:

1. Christopher Plummer
2. Rick Moranis
3. Leslie Nielsen
4. Phil Hartman
5. John Candy
6. William Shatner
7. Martin Short
8. Paul Gross
W. Micheal Ironside
9. Colm Feore
10. Nathan Fillion
11. Ellen Page
12. Donald Sutherland
posted by mrjohnmuller at 9:06 AM on July 9 [6 favorites]


Copronymus: I also realize that I don't really have any idea how famous the canonical Doctors were when they started

It's a fair point, but I think in most cases, these choices are people who were just getting to the meat of their careers, and who would probably have accepted a starring role in a long-running American TV series at the appropriate point in their lives.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:15 AM on July 9


Gordon Lightfoot as the War Doctor!
posted by dr_dank at 9:15 AM on July 9 [2 favorites]


I was all set to not like this, but Marty Feldman as a companion? Yes, please.
posted by Catblack at 9:34 AM on July 9 [3 favorites]


1. Barbara Stanwyck
2. Majel Barrett
3. Elizabeth Montgomery
4. Penny Marshall
5. Shelly Long
6. Betty Thomas
7. Rhea Perlman
8. Gillian Anderson
9. Laura Innes


... someone else take it from here, I'm running out of steam ...
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:51 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


This is what I was looking for:

The Other 11 Doctors (British women Doctors)

An Alternative History of 11 American Doctors

An Alternative History of 11 American Female Doctors
posted by Rock Steady at 9:59 AM on July 9 [2 favorites]


Nice list, Rock Steady. I'd sub in Gina Torres for Courtney Cox, however, and Cybill Shepherd for Mrs Brady.
posted by Buttons Bellbottom at 10:46 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


I can't see Robert Stack, though. Maybe Robert Preston. And Jon Hamm - would kill off MadMen. There's a spot to put in Joseph Gordon-Levitt or???
posted by Buttons Bellbottom at 10:57 AM on July 9


I expected this to be pretty meh, but it was well thought out overall. Nicely done. (Also, I'd totally forgotten how beautiful Kyle Maclachlan used to be, goodness.)
posted by wintersweet at 11:10 AM on July 9


That was a lot better than I expected, too. Part of the charm of Doctor Who is its quirky Britishness (less so in the new series than the classic series) and I always expect "American Doctor Who" ideas to miss that point. But Meredith, van Dyke, and Wilder particularly bring that home.

I also support Peter Weller as 80s Doctor. Or just Buckaroo Banzai + Doctor crossover fic. I'd read that.
posted by immlass at 11:12 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


Danny Pudi is a much better choice than Donald Glover.
posted by stenseng at 11:14 AM on July 9


Ok, ok, if Dr. Who had been a 50 year running animated series (thus obviating the need for regenerations), what artists or studios would have matched the eras of the different doctors?

I offer Jay Ward productions (Rocky and Bullwinkle) as the original producers. They just spun off Mr. Peabody but gave him and his boy a make-over (Peabody became the alien humanoid Who) and new names so they could leave the Peabody segments with the original Bullwinkle show...
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:36 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


WHAT???? No KEVIN BACON? Hmmmpf.
posted by Twang at 11:48 AM on July 9


60s: Elisha Cook, Jr.
70s: Elliott Gould
80s: Raul Julia
90s: Willem Dafoe
00s:Tim Blake Nelson
posted by octothorpe at 11:57 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


Joey Michaels: Ok, ok, if Dr. Who had been a 50 year running animated series (thus obviating the need for regenerations), what artists or studios would have matched the eras of the different doctors?

1963-1966 Jay Ward
1966-1969 Hanna Barbera
1970-1974 Rankin-Bass stop action
1974-1981 Walt Disney
1981-1984 Filmation
1984-1986 Rankin/Bass ThunderCats style
1987-1989 DiC
1996 John Kricfalusi
2005 Studio Ghibli
2005-2010 Pixar
2010-2014 Pen Ward
2014- Rebecca Sugar
posted by Rock Steady at 1:23 PM on July 9 [2 favorites]


Is this where I put Japanese Doctor Who?
posted by immlass at 1:28 PM on July 9


Now I want to see the "lost" Williams Street/Ghost Planet Doctor Who animated series that would have run sometime between the 1996 John K. TV-movie and the ambitious 2005 Miyazaki reboot. Tell me you wouldn't have wanted to hear Andy Merrill's voice coming out of Omega's helmet.
posted by Strange Interlude at 1:48 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]


Cage is really the only one I take issue with. He'd be either amazing or terrible, I can't decide.

That's the problem, he'd be BOTH amazing AND terrible, veering back and forth, from episode to episode, or maybe from scene to scene, or maybe even within a scene. That's Nic Cage.


Sidebar: Why don't more people have a crush on Sam Rockwell? I love Sam Rockwell. Anyone want t join my Sam Rockwell Crush Club?
posted by MoxieProxy at 2:10 PM on July 9 [7 favorites]


I can't help thinking had this really existed, Bert Convy would have been in it somewhere. Probably as Five.
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:17 PM on July 9


Promise I won't over-post in this thread, but the Miranda Hart suggestion is really brilliant, and I wonder if she wouldn't make a fantastic companion in this our real world?!
posted by MoxieProxy at 2:20 PM on July 9


It dawns on me that Mr. Peabody is a time lord and one we know hiding in plain site. Sherman is always referred to as his boy. If Sherman is his pet then obviously Mr. Peabody must be Sherman's...

But I say too much.

Say, do you hear drums?
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:26 PM on July 9 [3 favorites]


Sidebar: Why don't more people have a crush on Sam Rockwell? I love Sam Rockwell. Anyone want t join my Sam Rockwell Crush Club?

He's fun in The Way Way Back, if you have yet to see it.
posted by stenseng at 3:29 PM on July 9 [2 favorites]


Confess mrjohnmuller, did you start with Ironside as your Canadian war doctor and work back from there?
posted by biffa at 3:51 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]


Oh fuck wait, not Rebecca Sugar for the new Doctor (though I would love to see her take on it). As a parallel to Capaldi, you want someone who is already successful, but is better known for more adult-oriented material. You want Loren Bouchard. This of course sets the stage for the best idea I've had in years, if not ever. Starring, as the voice of The Doctor... H. Jon Benjamin.
posted by Rock Steady at 4:49 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]


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