Sacha Dhawan: “I’d Absolutely Love to Be the Doctor!”

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…?

  • The Lazy Womble

    Why not?

  • Rick714

    Having seen him in “An adventure in time and space” and just now as Davos in Marvel’s “Iron fist” series on Netflix, I’d say he’d be a great choice.

  • Dr. Moo (Cow)

    He’d be quite good potentially, plus bonus points for a bit of variety. One of the least-infuriating names the media has thrown around.

  • Ranger

    Yep, I can see it, I think he would be good. He’s shown a good range so you don’t associate him with one type of character unlike Kris Marshall.

    • The Lazy Womble

      I have just watched “Love Actually” (first time ever) and Kris Marshall is a one-trick pony. Actually it;’s a trick I like and I think he could make a good Doctor. But so could Sacha Dhawan.

      • Ranger

        I agree, Womble in that I don’t think Kris Marshall would be a bad Doctor, I just think Sacha would be better. I’ve not seen Love Actually. Not really a fan of Richard Curtis’s films, though did like Blackadder a lot.

        • The Lazy Womble

          I think that Kris Marshall (like Andrew Buchan) is seen as a “safe” actor in the role. Actually that may be doing them a disservice. I maintain (and always have) that it is how the character is written and played that is most important.If Kris Marshall is cast because the BBC wants a celestial Humphrey Goodman, then I hope Kris Marshall pulls a different performance out of the bag and plays against expectations (as long as the character is recognisably the Doctor). With Sacha Dhawan there seems to be less of a stock character that he always plays, so we would perhaps be more likely to be surprised at the kind of Doctor we got from him.

          “Change, my dear. And, this time not a moment too soon.”

  • James Lomond

    Phil! Yes it would “shut up” people insisting on diversity… also it would be the first time children of one ethnic minority would be able to see someone like them being represented in that way in the show – which is bloody wonderful. I agree that casting anyone other than a brilliant actor who’s right for the role simply to serve some other agenda is not a good thing, but it’s also not a coincidence that every actor to play the role to date has been white and it’s also, clearly, unnecessary.

    • Philip

      Oh, I agree, that would be wonderful. But social media goes into meltdown every time a white middle class bloke is rumoured, with calls of “not again”. And I’m *really* fed up of that, to be honest. I don’t remember it being this way with previous Doctors.

      • ColeBox

        There was a fair amount of unpleasantness on message boards, from all sides, on the subject when Smith stepped down; and a couple after Capaldi was announced. In the last few years, Social Media (especially Twitter) has become a more prominent and even small pathetic spats become news; look at the unfounded accusations of racism given front page newspaper headlines regarding the first three weeks of Strictly, last year. That’s probably the difference now in that Twitter’s foaming at the mouth is magnified.

        • Philip

          100% agree. Social media has changed the show, and changed fandom – not necessarily for the bad, but the bad is more vocal.

          • bar “B.I.”O.

            Fandom is like a swimming pool – all the noise is coming from the shallow end.

          • ColeBox

            Excellent comment!

      • James Lomond

        Yeah I know – but because it wasn’t recognised as a thing previously is not a reason for it not to be now and yup, vitriolic online meltdowns are horrible but I worry about them obscuring/ distracting from the genuine reasons/ issues. Hopefully they’ll be awesome whoever they are…