I am a massive fan of Doctor Who. Twenty-three years ago I saw my first episode at the age of ten, and nobody can have been as pleased as me when the show returned to TV in 2005. Since then I've watched with pride as this battered old TV series not only came back stronger than ever, it became a respected part of the entertainment industry, the toy industry and the hearts and minds of millions worldwide.
Now comes news that Harry Potter director David Yates is set to bring our favourite curious Time Lord to the big screen, in a film that will exist outside of the TV continuity and recast the Doctor with a new lead. Erm, what? While Yates would undoubtedly bring a great deal of class to a Doctor Who film, there's no need for one.
As much fun as Doctor Who film rumours have always been, if you think about it, the show just wouldn't work as a film. Yes, I know there were two Doctor Who films in the sixties, but those Peter Cushing films were patchy affairs at best, and of course, out of the TV continuity. They're nice curios, but not considered much more than that by most of the audience that still remembers they even exist.
A new Doctor Who movie should be part of current continuity, even if it includes past and future versions of the Doctor himself as he faces down whatever threat the film's plot brings. Otherwise, all you essentially have is very expensive fan-fiction that will quickly fade into obscurity. Plus, it has the potential to kill the TV franchise stone dead if it's a stinker.
Ever heard if a book called The Nth Doctor? It covers almost all of the failed attempts to make a Doctor Who film over the years, including the closest one to being made, 'The Dark Dimension', back in '93 or so. Nobody has been able to make a Doctor Who film work, as the format is just too erratic and unpredictable to work as a single-story narrative that a film would require. Don't do it.
As a long-term fan and also as someone who has followed more failed attempts than I care to mention, just leave it alone. Matt Smith is perfect as the Doctor on TV, and there's no need for another incarnation just yet.
However... If there is no way for this project to be cancelled and forgotten, then here are five suggestions for actors who could play the Doctor with brilliant results.
Just whoever it is, please DON'T LET IT BE JOHNNY DEPP. THERE ARE OTHER ACTORS OUT THERE.
So, five actors who would be brilliant are...
My girlfriend suggested Paddy, and I have to agree. He would be a great choice. He has a unique look and his skills are hugely underrated. I think he'd be a revelation to everyone.
However, yeah, don't make it.
But if you do, be sure that Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss and Paul Cornell write it and Steven produces it.