Published on November 14th, 2008 | by Christian Cawley
Is this the 11th Doctor?
(UPDATED) Not well-known, a rising star, accomplished stage and TV character actor – sounds like David Tennant in 2005, doesn’t it?
It is in fact a description of James Frain, the British actor who bears a passing resemblance to new showrunner Steven Moffat – and Frain has seen his odds slashed from 40-1 to 20-1 in the past week.
Of particular interest is James Frain’s Wikipedia entry – now amended – is the statement that indicated the star had already accepted the role.
This of course goes against the accepted schedule and shortlisting process, but nevertheless Frain makes an interesting candidate, far more than say Colin Salmon or Marc Warren.
He’s appeared in shows on both sides of the Atlantic, including 24 and The Tudors in which he played historical figure Thomas Cromwell.
Meanwhile, proponents of a black Doctor have been getting behind rumours of Chiwetel Ejiofor being shortlisted for the part. The Stage have given that particular concept some publicity this week, noting that:
Ejiofor’s stunning, Oliver Award-winning turn as Othello at the Donmar last year also displays what I would call the necessary classical gravitas that playing the Doctor requires. I’m not saying I want an actor who will orate to the back of the Tardis, but somebody with.. presence. Tennant has shown this quality is necessary to be successful (and most of the other Doctors had it) in the role. You cast somebody in this role without presence at your peril (I refer my learned friends once more to Tom Ellis – being married to Tamzin Outhwaite just isn’t enough I’m afraid…)
You just cannot argue with logic like that.