Comedian ConnollyÂ (who practically brought his own chair for Parkinson) was briefly considered to take on the mantel by producers- who eventually plumed for theÂ excellent Paul McGann.
Connelly, who is a huge fan of the show, said in a recent interview he would have loved to been the Eighth Time Lord:
“It was brought up in a meeting, apparently, but nobody told me until after they decided against it. If I had done it, he would have been angrier, a much angrier Doctor Who. I would have loved it. I’d have taken it.”
The comments by Connolly come after Doctor Who historian Alex Westthorp confirmed that he had been shortlisted by the Beeb:
“Billy was seriously considered for the eighth Doctor. Everyone was talking about him as a serious actor.
I think he would have brought his own sense of comedy to the character, and would have made an incredibly special Doctor. Connolly could easily have made that role his own and taken it to another level.”
Despite being known comedy Connolly has also forged a reputation as a serious actor – receiving a BAFTA nominationÂ for hisÂ portrayal ghillie John Brown opposite Dame Judi Dench in the film Mrs Brown. He also received an academy award nomination for his stunning turn as PC in talking dog classic Paws.
The Doctor role has been held by fellowÂ HighlandersÂ Sylvester McCoy and David Tennant.
Fulton Mackay almost became the Fourth Doctor a year before he became a household name as prison officer Mr Mackay in Porridge.
(via The Scotsman)