Peter Capaldi – back in his time as the Time Lord – lobbied the producers of Doctor Who to cast Tom Hanks as another incarnation of the Doctor.
Hanks’ was asked about the rumours that he could’ve played the Doctor on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, and responded with positivity and some affection for Doctor Who:
“That would’ve been a blast, but that’s all, that’s all scheduling I guess. Can’t do every job.
“And honestly, me as Doctor Who – can you imagine? Can you imagine the outrage? I’m an American, and I’m gonna go over, and I’m gonna jump in that you know, red telephone box, and you know, and either wear a scarf and whatever it is…So imagine the – imagine the cry if I had played world-famous – I would’ve played one of the Daleks, maybe. I would’ve been inside one of those big salt and pepper shakers talking in that automated voice – with an English accent, by the way.”
Tom Hanks as the Doctor? Was this a serious idea or just a long shot? Would Hanks have been a mayfly Doctor like John Hurt’s War Doctor or was Capaldi’s idea just another name tossed into the mix of actors who might be good as the Doctor?
Hanks alludes to the notion of outrage at the casting of an American actor as the Doctor but Donald Sutherland was once linked to the role back in the 1970s. That was when Tom Baker was trying to get Doctor Who Meets Scratchman off the ground as a movie once the BBC had turned down the script: Sutherland was mentioned as the Doctor and Twiggy, a model and actress famous in the 1960s, was pencilled in as the companion.
Is Tom Hanks right that people would really be so outraged at the idea of an American actor playing the Doctor? After all, the Doctor may be Gallifreyan, but Gallifreyan doesn’t mean British. And we had an American actor playing the Master, very successfully, back in 1996.
But Tom! The TARDIS is blue, not red…