We’d be here all month reporting on every actor to throw their hats into the ring following Peter Capaldi’s departure from the series: some are pretty ridiculous, some intriguing, and others infuriating, but one person sticks in my mind as a really solid contender.
That man is Sacha Dhawan, who you’ll recognise from playing Waris Hussein in the 2013 celebratory drama, An Adventure in Space and Time.
Arguably coming to prominence in The History Boys (2006), Dhawan has proved a versatile, likeable, and increasingly popular actor, and doing press interviews for his appearance in a new Netflix series (I won’t say which one as it’s a bit of a spoiler!), he was asked if he’d like to be the Thirteenth Doctor. He enthused:
“Oh my God, I’d absolutely love to. I SO would love to. I’ve worked with [Doctor Who writer, Mark Gatiss] quite a lot, and I think I’d bring something really exciting to it. It’d be incredibly nerve-wracking to do to be honest. It’s quite a lot of pressure. When the list [of rumoured replacements] came out, I was so honoured, really, that I was even considered. And that alone was kind of good enough. But who wouldn’t want to do it? It’s Doctor Who.”
You might recall Sacha from an appearance in Sherlock, as a face from Mary Watson’s past, while other notable roles include Last Tango in Halifax (2012), Line of Duty (2014), In the Club (2014- 16), and 2013’s The Tractate Middoth, an adaptation by Mark Gatiss of a M.R. James story, also starring Louise Jameson, Eleanor Bron, and Una Stubbs.
He also reveals that Peter Capaldi came on set for An Adventure in Space and Time; he told the Radio Times:
“Actually, when we were filming An Adventure in Space and Time we were on set, and Peter Capaldi came on, and he was making some notes and stuff. And I was like, ‘Oh, he’s the guy from…what’s he doing on set?’ And Mark said, ‘Oh no, he’s a huge Doctor Who fan, he just kind of wanted to come and have a look.’ I didn’t know then, but he obviously ended up being the next Doctor Who!”
Personally, I’d love to see Dhawan’s take on the Doctor (I’d at least feel that the show is in safe hands for the next few years; the problem with this horrible interim between announcements is the worry that the programme will never be the same again). He’d bring a lot of talent to the role, and be a fitting successor to Capaldi. And he knows the origins of the show! Plus of course, it would shut up that section of fandom – and non-fandom, actually – insisting on diversity.
But what do you think? Would Sacha make a great Doctor? Or would you prefer he’s shelved until maybe the Fourteenth Doctor…?