History is full of “What Ifs”. What if Germany had won World War II? What if JFK had not been assassinated? What if Tony Stark had been bitten by the radioactive spider instead of Peter Parker? (the answer to that, of course, is “The Amazing Iron Spider”!)
Well, the boffins over at Smug Mode have done a “What If?” to Doctor Who. What if Sydney Newman’s ideas had somehow popped up in 1960s Hollywood instead of “back across the pond” in the UK… what if Doctor Who had been an American show (and yes, we know that for a few months in 1996, it was, but read on…)?
It’s almost hard to imagine, isn’t it? A person almost needs a quick drink or a trip to the bathroom after thinking of how nightmarish this scenario could have turned out. Risking their mental and physical health, the Smug Mode chaps went so far as to make an alternate Who history and a list of American actors who could have played each Doctor in their era. Their list even includes fun mock-up photos of how each actor could be imagined in the show.
The full list and photos can be viewed on BuzzFeed. I won’t repeat the whole list verbatim, but will say that it is an amusing “What If” of actors. My first impression is that most of the men on the list probably would’ve been too famous at that point in their careers to do a lower-budgeted show like Doctor Who on television. For instance, Jeff Goldblum would make a quirky Eighth Doctor, but he was at the height (no pun intended) of his movie stardom in the 80s and 90s. On the other end of that scale would be Kyle MacLachlan (Twin Peaks), who would have been totally unknown and barely 22 years old if cast as the Fifth Doctor.
As a certain black-wearing evil doer once said, “A cosmos without the Doctor scarcely bears thinking about.” Would that cosmos still include Nicolas Cage as the Ninth Doctor? (shudder) Or the sometimes-campy Vincent Price as the Third Doctor?
There are some other things to consider when it comes to a USA-based Doctor Who. Would the Doctor travel in a Bill & Ted-style glass phone booth? Would the show be known more for it’s car chases than it’s science fiction? Would Chicken McNuggets have taken the place of Jelly Babies? And just how soon would it have been revealed that the Doctor was half-human on his mother’s (Baywatch star Pamela Anderson) side?
And would all of the baddies still have cool British accents?
Kasterborites, do all of these “What Ifs” about an American Doctor Who amuse you, or just plain sicken and scare you?