“I could see myself in the scarf and all that”
Just let that sink in for a minute. Is that the sort of cover letter or job interview quote you could see clinching the lead role in the BBC’s flag ship show, Doctor Who? Well, this is exactly what EastEnder Danny Dyer has said with regard to taking on the mantle of the Time Lord played by some of our greatest actors. Could you see him following in the footsteps of John Hurt and Paul McGann? Is he worthy to be seen in the same room as “the scarf and all that”?
OK, preconceptions aside (I’ll admit Catherine Tate filled me with dread when she joined the show, but she quickly turned me around and I now believe she was the best companion of the modern era!), I don’t really think the cheeky wide boy persona of Danny Dyer would suit the show and I don’t think he has the acting chops to be able to carry it off. My opinion. So there!
So, this got me thinking… if not the Doctor, then what other roles might have suited him now or at some other time in the show’s history?
- Well, the first thing that sprang to mind was Duggan in City of Death. Dyer would have been great as a hard-bitten down-to-earth version of Inspector Duggan. Handy with his fists and even handier with a one-liner, in a low budget Jason Statham fashion.
- At around 6′ tall he’s probably not that physically suited to playing a Sontaran (the new pixie Sontarans, that is – classic era Sontaran would be perfectly fine!), but I could certainly see him stomping around and demanding that everyone follow his orders or be blown to smithereens by the might of the Glorious Sontaran Battle Fleet.
- How about renegade Time Lord Drax who appeared on screen in The Armageddon Factor and has also featured in a number of off screen adventures in book and audio form and even did time in Brixton prison, where he picked up and kept his accent, for stealing replacement parts for his TARDIS. I’m sure Dyer could find inspiration in his own life to connect with Drax the chancer.
- The Master? Um. No! Actually, now I think about it… I think Dyer could have pulled off the Harold Saxon version of the Master as portrayed by the deliciously OTT John Simm. Yes, definitely. I’ve talked myself into it, now. Dyer in a sharp suit could certainly have pulled this off. Maybe.
- Could he have been companion material? Well, generally speaking the companion has to be somewhat dumber than the Doctor so the Doctor can explain things for the audience’s benefit. Dyer could certainly pull off the bemused, “but what does that mean, Doc?” but which companion could he have played? Mickey! In a colour-blind casting world he could have certainly played Rose’s hapless boyfriend, and even the version of Mickey we got later on in his cameo role as freelance alien fighter and defender of the Earth.
So, you lovely people… agree with my ideas or have better ideas of your own? Let us know!