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Rafe Spall Was Asked to Be the Doctor – But Couldn't Be Trusted With Secrets

Rafe Spall has revealed that he was almost cast as the Doctor, but that his tendency to talk to the media probably cost him the job.

The actor, who appears in the upcoming Men in Black: International movie, says that he got “quite close to being Doctor Who”, but explains:

“But they said to me, ‘Right, this is top secret; there’s one condition when you come in to be Doctor Who – you can’t tell a soul.’ I told everyone. I told literally everyone that I knew. It got back to them. People from Doctor Who were calling up my agent saying, ‘We’ve heard Rafe has been blabbing his mouth off; that’s it, it’s done.'”

It’s ironic, then, that this is the first we’ve heard about it!

Nonetheless, it’s always interesting to hear about the road not travelled. He’d have made for a fine Doctor, and we have to wonder which incarnation he was up for; our money’s on the Eleventh Doctor – eventually played by the wonderful Matt Smith – although that’s pure supposition. Alternatively, it could’ve been the Thirteenth Doctor: after all, the fact it’s only just coming out now could be indicative of it being a recent event.

Rafe is married to Elize du Toit, who appeared in 42 and The Sound of Drums, manipulating Martha Jones’ family under the orders of Mr Saxon, aka the Master (John Simm).

We’ll see Spall in the upcoming adaptation of War of the World, written by Peter Harness (The Pyramid at the End of the World). Probably. Maybe. If the BBC actually decides to transmit it.

What do you think? Would you like to have seen Spall as the Doctor? Or perhaps in a guest role?

Philip Bates

Editor and co-founder of the Doctor Who Companion. When he’s not watching television, reading books ‘n’ Marvel comics, listening to The Killers, and obsessing over script ideas, Philip Bates pretends to be a freelance writer. He enjoys collecting everything. Writer of The Black Archive: The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang, The Silver Archive: The Stone Tape, and 100 Objects of Doctor Who.

Rafe Spall Was Asked to Be the Doctor – But Couldn't Be Trusted With Secrets

by Philip Bates time to read: 1 min
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