Apart from his enduring turn as Midshipman Alonso Frame in The Voyage of the Damned, Russell Tovey is perhaps best known to Doctor Who fans as the officially sanctioned ‘nearly man’ after being tipped for the role as the Doctor by none other than Russell T Davies.
Well, it turns out he actually did screen test for the role of the Eleventh Doctor.
Russell has told The Independent of the moment that Davies’ offhand comment pitched him into the bizarre media circus surrounding the Doctor.
In 2007, after catching his eye in his role of a TV producer in Rob Brydon’s Annually Retentive, Davies mentioned in a blog that he thought Tovey would make an ideal replacement for the departing David Tennant:
“Russell texted me to say, ‘Look, I’ve said this quote about how you should be the next Doctor Who, so if it goes a bit crazy …’ And I was, ‘Oh, that’s fine …’, and then suddenly it just went everywhere: people messaging me from my childhood and lots of remarks like, ‘His ears are too big for the Tardis, they’ll be flapping about.’ People were starting to get really personal.”
In the event, Matt Smith was to become the Eleventh Doctor, but Tovey, who was screen-tested, professes to have been more relieved than miffed:
“It would have terrified me…I don’t know what I would have done with all the attention.”
Would you like to have seen Tovey in the role of the Doctor? What kind of Doctor would he have made? Or would you like to see Midshipman Frame make a reappearance (possibly with Captain Jack again?)