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since 1997 | by maryann johanson

no! Robert Carlyle to replace David Tennant on ‘Doctor Who?’

From the Internet Movie Database:

Trainspotting star Robert Carlyle is in talks to take over from David Tennant as TV time traveller Dr. Who.

Tennant is rumoured to be leaving the cult BBC TV show at the end of the current series in 2009 and speculation about his replacement is pointing to fellow Scot Carlyle.

Although Tennant has refused to confirm whether he will be quitting his role as the Time Lord, tough guy Carlyle hasn’t ruled out stepping into his place.

He says, “Would I do it? Possibly.”

I like Carlyle just fine, but Noooooooo!!!!!

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  • I think I said this before, but it bears repeating: The biggest problem with David Tennant is that it’s hard to imagine anyone else being a worthy replacement for him when he decides to move on… and you know he will, sooner or later.

    To borrow from Monty Python’s Flying Circus, David Tennant is for many like a big jam donut with cream on the top: His arrival (or performance) gives us pleasure and his departure only makes us hungry for more. We’ve all been spoiled by three seasons of Tennant and it’s quite unlikely that whomever replaces him will be quite as good as he is.

    But that’s what’s cool about the Doctor: Each actor who plays him has a chance to make him his own character. Right now you might be thinking that Robert Carlyle won’t be as good as Tennant, but I say give him a chance: He is quite a good actor.

    And if you don’t like him, you can always go back to the Tennant DVDs and watch them again. :-)

  • Paul Hayes

    This “why wouldn’t I” quote comes from his Radio Times interview, which was weeks ago. It’s basically an old story that’s been dredged up again purely because of Saturday’s cliffhanger.

  • Poly in London

    They are playing with our nerves.
    As Paul said, there is nothing new in this article. At any given week, there are news items like that in the UK. But because of the timing, it gets more exposure.
    Spare a thought for poor Robert: more than likely he has nothing to do with this, but he ‘ll be hounded by the press anyway.

  • It’s BBC psyops at it again. They just like to torture us. They think it’s fun. Barstewards!

  • Stu

    That’s a rumour that’s been knocking around for two years and was resurrected by the Daily Mail I believe in the light of what happened on Saturday. If that is a proper attributable quote it sounds like the kind of thing any actor would say not to have themselves out of a job. I wouldn’t take it too seriously. The day before Chris X was announced officially by the BBC, the same paper had on its front page that Bill Nighy had been cast.

  • Stu

    Basically what Paul said then.

  • angel

    Let’s face it, David Tennant has set the bar pretty high. I like Robert Carlyle, but I have no confidence that he could be a great Doctor, possibly because I’ve always seen him in such horrible character roles. I just don’t think he has the kind of appeal that Tennant and Eccleston have.

    But a year or two of Bill Nighy? Yes, please.

  • Regarding Nighy as a Doctor: There’s already plenty of precedent for connections between Doctor Who and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

    1. Nighy played Slartibartfast in the Hitchhiker’s film.

    2. Peter Davison’s (Doctor #5) wife, Sandra Dickinson, was Trillian in the Hitchhiker’s series.

    3. Peter Davison’s daughter (with Sandra Dickinson) recently played the Doctor’s “daughter”.

    4. And of course, Peter Davison himself played the Dish of the Day at Milliways in the Hitchhiker’ series. (“May I urge you, sir, to consider my liver? It must be very rich and tender by now, I have been force feeding myself for months.”)

    But Nighy would not be Action Doctor like Tennant is. He’d be more Scientist Doctor, I think.

  • Stu

    My ideal Doctor these days, assuming Paul McGann’s not available would be Callum Blue, late of Dead Like Me. But the great thing about the character is that its essentially actor proof — each brings their own style to the role through the prism of the producers.

    If you try to put aside Begbie, the Robert Carlisle of 24 Weeks Later or Clara’s Song would be an amazing Doctor though arguably rather too close to David Tennant, at least in terms of the silhouette. The tendency is always to choose someone who’s completely different and in this case were either going older or very much younger.

    My latest random theory is that the only way to have a new Doctor on Saturday and for the information not to leak out would be for the actor involved to be completely likely going on and off set. Given that Laurence Fox is Billie Piper’s husband and would be hanging around anyway, he’d be the perfect choice. Plus he’s a great actor and would make an excellent timelord …

  • MaryAnn

    Peter Davison’s (Doctor #5) wife, Sandra Dickinson,

    Ex-wife, actually.

    I think Carlyle is great, but I’d rather see him as the Master than the Doctor. Although there would be a particular distinction were he to play the Doctor, because SPOILERS!!!!

    a character Carlyle played in the British detective show *Cracker* murdered another character on that show… one played by Christopher Eccleston.

    END OF SPOILER

  • I would love to see an older Doctor, and Nighy would be great. And of course there’s always the Doctor Gene Genie angle, which we’ve already been over.

    Speaking of: having finally watched the first 3 seasons of Hustle, I can now confidently say that Adrian Lester would be brilliant as the Doctor.

  • Karen

    Up to now I’ve only had one name on my wish list for a new Doctor:

    Hugh Laurie

    but now I’ll have to add Bill Nighy to that list. Had never occurred to me before, but what a brilliant choice that would be….I’m currently rewatching State of Play for the sheer enjoyment of his shining moments in that.

  • Funny… I just watched the Red Nose Day Spoof “Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death” (YouTube) where the Doctor regenerates several times. The companion’s reaction to the old geezer vs. Hugh Grant incarnations are priceless.

    Since Karen mentiond State of Play…how about James McAvoy?

  • Karen

    Oh, LORD….James McAvoy…would follow that guy anywhere through time and space. ;)

    current revision:

    A. Hugh Laurie
    B. Bill Nighy
    C. James McAvoy

  • boz

    when the new doctor arrives I’d give him at least 6 episodes as freebies. Because when Tennant first arrived after Eccleston I despised him and know I admit I was wrong. BTW Hugh Laurie would be an interesting Doctor :)

  • I do love the notion of Hugh Laurie as Dr. Who, but he’s more than a little tied up.

    Carlyle…well, I just don’t think so. He just doesn’t do anything for me. Not nearly twisted enough.

    Dr. Who needs to be quirky. Think Ewan McGregor/David Tennent/Tom Baker/Bill Nighy/Hugh Grant. Sexy would be good too. Eccleston was a fine Dr. Who, but suffers by comparison with Tennent.

  • PaulW

    Just a reminder, it doesn’t have to be a bloke to play the Doc.

    ;)

    Joanna Lumley (Ab Fab) was being considered for the role (possibly the Seventh Doctor, before they settled on McCoy). In the Curse of the Fatal Death, each of the regenerating Doctors (including Rowan, both Grants, Broadbent, and Lumley) were in the running to play the Doctor at various times…

    It stems from a throwaway line from The Hand of Death (the last Sarah Jane ep… cough, Eldrad MUST LIVE! Yeah now you remember it…), where Eldrad regenerates in female form, but is actually a guy who took the form of the human that touched his surviving hand (Sarah Jane). Eldrad discusses the complexity of regening in a different gender and the Fourth Doctor notes it could happen to him. The possibility of a female Doctor crops up in the occasional fanfic and fanflick (I remember seeing one made in Seattle back in the 1980s).

    So who says it’s gotta be a guy? Line up Kate Winslet, Rhona Mitra, and Tilda Swinton. :)

  • MaryAnn

    Dr. Who needs to be quirky. Think Ewan McGregor/David Tennent/Tom Baker/Bill Nighy/Hugh Grant. Sexy would be good too. Eccleston was a fine Dr. Who, but suffers by comparison with Tennent.

    I agree the Doctor needs to be quirky… but I’d never call Hugh Grant that. :->

    I don’t think Eccleston suffers by comparison, but then I’m biast: I was in love with Eccleston before he ever became the Doctor. I do think his Doctor was insane in a much more raw way than Tennant’s is, which wasn’t always pleasant. But it was fascinating.

  • Karen

    This might not be a popular choice for others, but if I had to nominate a female actor as the Doctor, I think Janet McTeer could carry it off – be loopy, serious, smart, commanding…

    Agree about Eccleston – followed his career for many years and about had a stroke when I heard the news that Who was back with Eccleston in the lead. He can more easily access the “dark side” than Tennant can, I think, and I do wish his tenure wasn’t such a short one.

  • Karen

    Now that you got me thinking – how about Emma Thompson, too? Or is there an age glass ceiling for female Doctors? ;)

    It strikes me that it would take a hell of a presence in a female actress to overcome the motherly image, or the flighty image, or insert-stereotypical-female-trait image that viewers would inevitably project.

    Back to the age point – there’s also the perception that older man/younger woman is more acceptable than older woman/younger man, and if we presume that a female Doctor in this current series would have a lot of male companions (ahem), I guess the writers think the heavy romance slant of the New Who won’t fly with that dynamic?

    I was kind of surprised, when I started watching again, how the show had sexualized the relationship between the Doctor and his companion(s). Not an unpleasant surprise, but definitely noticeable and different – maybe that very thing is what might make it hard to have a female Doctor?

    Don’t mind me, it’s late and I’m bored so I’m just batting around ideas…

  • Brenda

    I give the nod to Tilda Swinton… she would be an awesome Doctor. I certainly would not boycott the show whomever they chose to use… at least until I watched a few episodes. If Tilda was not available, maybe the guy from Torchwood would give it a go.(Burn Gorman).. He would bring the right note of feral feyness to the proceedings.

  • Ryan

    Tilda Swinton would be a brilliant doctor…but I’m not seeing any of the other options discussed so far. Actually, the other actress I could see pulling it off would be Judi Dench…but sadly I think age might be a factor working against that =P

    All that said, my choice for the next doctor would be David Thewlis, and his companion would be Rhona Mitra or Rachel Weisz. (Of course they could pick quite literally anybody and do better than Catherine Tate. I don’t know what she’s doing, but it isn’t acting.)

  • Poly in London

    Most of the time I can talk about who will take over as the 11th Doctor with the best of them. This week, it makes my stomach hurt.

  • “Most of the time I can talk about who will take over as the 11th Doctor with the best of them. This week, it makes my stomach hurt..”

    i’m with Poly in London on this… actually, i had an extreme reaction and said that the Tenth Doctor is my *last* Doctor. i just can’t go through this again. the upset with the regeneration, my initial emotional rejection of the new Doctor and then falling in love all over again (and i fell *really, really* hard this time)… only to face the same emotional roller coaster again. i don’t care how RTD “cheats” if it keeps Tennant’s Doctor at least another year… when Tennant goes, then i shall lay me down in a bed of rue or get me to a nunnery and live with dreams of past Doctors.

    at least, that’s what i say *right now*.

  • PaulW

    just to let you know, I didn’t have a problem with Colin Baker as the Doctor. My problems with his tenure had to do with lousy storytelling… something that carried over into McCoy’s tenure up until Ace was added as a companion (she’s still my fave).

  • MaryAnn

    John Nathan Turner was the problem with *Doctor Who* in the 80s, not any of the actors who played the Doctor.

  • Stu

    … something which has been borne out by the Big Finish audios. The year before the show returned to television, readers of Doctor Who Magazine voted Colin Baker as their favourite Doctor on the basis of what he was doing there and that was down to a clearer vision for the character and great writing.

  • Alison

    I really hope David Tennant stays on, however, if they do have to replace him, I vote for…

    Chiwetel Ejiofor

  • Martin

    Wow. They really ended this series with a bang and a whimper.

    But what a bang.

    And what a whimper.

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