Opinion The Angels Take Manhattan

Published on May 26th, 2014 | by Nick Kitchen

KasterViewPoints: The American Doctor

Welcome to a new, ongoing feature series that will present some thought provoking arguments for ideas or topics that may be on the fringe or occasionally flirt with Whovian blasphemy. This first installment may fall into the latter category.

When it was announced that Matt Smith was leaving the TARDIS last summer, it seems that nearly every actor in the business was rumored to be taking his place. From the bizarre (Paris Jackson) to the children of former Doctors (Sean Pertwee), there was a new name rumored to be taking the key to the TARDIS practically every day. In the end, we got the best possible actor in the person of the fabulous Peter Capaldi and the debate was settled. It seems that the most controversial conversation that took place at the time was the idea that a woman may play the role of the famous Time Lord. Today, I want to suggest that perhaps there was an even more controversial debate to be had; that perhaps there is great case to made in the favor of an American actor taking the role of the Doctor. We’ll explore four reasons the casting makes sense and then four of the best American choices for the role.

I realize that many of you may have groaned at the sight of the title of this entry, but stay with us for a bit. You might find yourself surprised by the end. An American Doctor makes sense for many reasons, but here are the four best reasons why…

1) A New Audience

Daleks in Manhattan

BBC America and Matt Smith have certainly brought a new awareness to American pop culture. From subtle mentions in popular television shows like NCIS and Big Bang Theory to permanent DVD slots at mega retailer, Walmart, Doctor Who has certainly carved a niche out for itself. While American Whovians (this writer included) are vocal and rowdy (see the mass numbers that showed up for The Day of the Doctor screenings), we are still relatively small. An established American actor brings with him/her all of the fans of his/her previous work. That has been the case for the established actors that have played the Doctor as well, but the numbers game (depending upon the candidate) would definitely bolster the American fandom.

2) A Chance for Redemption

The last time BBC and a US network  tried played with the Doctor, we ended up with a failed relaunch pilot/TV movie (here’s looking at you, Fox!). Since then, the main networks have shown that they can handle quality intellectual properties, including those steeped in a British base. While not every American has access to BBC America, they do have free access over the air to NBC/CBS/Fox. With a popular American actor in the lead role of Doctor Who, the interest of the main networks will be ignited and perhaps the opportunity to either take over broadcasting from BBC America or simulcasting the BBC feed. Both options will help to increase the audience tuning in every week.

3) More Diverse Writers, Directors and Actors

This one is really self explanatory; with the addition of an American actor as the Doctor, more of American talent will be attracted to the show. How about an episode or arc written and directed by Joss Whedon? The world and internet would implode from just the suggestion (in which case, you may be struggling to read this!). Without naming names, a-list talent is also known to do small cameos and roles for their friends. All of these things are a boon for Doctor Who.

4) A New Wallet

We’ve all heard and read about the BBC budget woes over the years: Doctor Who being affected multiple times; most recently there wasn’t enough funds left in The Day of the Doctor budget to obtain rights to the Peter Cushing Dalek movie posters. While the show hasn’t technically suffered much for the lack of money (at least in recent years), special FX and CGI costs are only going to rise as technology evolves. The best way to bolster the coffers is sweet, sweet, American Ad sales. Companies will pay big bucks to be part of event television. Just look at the Super Bowl or big shows like Lost or The Walking Dead. A big name in the lead role will cause buzz in the US and can quickly lead to event level status, and in turn lots of ad sales.

The Doctor doesn’t have to lose all of his British-ness because an American plays him either. It would be a whole new avenue for him to play off of: new accents, new signature phrases, new shooting locales. After 50 years, sometimes a little strange is a good thing.

Who Could Play The Doctor?

Now, as promised, here are four very worthy candidates for the role. You may not have connected these actors to the Doctor before, but I genuinely think it could work. Without any further ado and in no particular order, allons-y:

Jim Parsons

Jim Parsons

Mostly known for playing the intelligent and stubborn Dr. Sheldon Cooper on CBS sitcom, The Big Bang Theory, you might wonder if Parsons has the drama piece of the Doctor down, as he does have the eccentric and mad man part on lock. Wonder no more, dear reader! If you want to gauge Parson as a serious actor, you’ll have the opportunity this summer as he plays the character of Tommy Boatwright in the HBO movie, The Normal Heart. Based solely on looks and mannerisms, Parsons would probably be more Tom Baker than Matt Smith. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Johnny Depp

Mad Hatter

I’ve either excited you or angered you with this suggestion, but of any non-British actor in the business, is there anyone that isn’t more the Doctor than Depp? Look at the roles he’s played: serious, mad (literally… Mad Hatter, anyone?), adventurer, pirate. With the right direction and writing, Depp could not only be a fantastic Doctor but perhaps even the best Doctor to date.

Scott Bakula

Scott Bakula

Probably caught you off guard with this one.

Bakula, having mastered time travel via his time with Quantum Leap, has only increased his stock with age. An older choice, and probably more of a Peter Davison type, Bakula brings subtle humor and charisma to the role. Plus, we can always hope for Dean Stockwell cameo!

Nathan Fillion

Nathan Fillion

Joss Whedon association, check. Major geek credibility, undeniably yes. Perfect fit for the Doctor? Maybe. Fillion already has a cult following from his work on Firefly/Serenity and Castle, plus there is always room for some Whedon contributions.

All of the cards are on the table now; what say you? Is there room for an American Doctor? Who would be your pick? Sound off below!

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About the Author

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“That’s bacon! Are you trying to poison me?” And from that line on, I’ve been unable to stop watching, reading, musing about the Doctor. As a recent transplant to the Whoniverse, I’ve been trying to soak up as much Who-related knowledge as possible. That journey has taken me from the Tenth Planet to the Fields of Trenzalore and gently set me at the edge of my seat for what’s next. It’s an honor to be here and I plan to bring a unique perspective. I hope you’ll enjoy the journey alongside me.




64 Responses to KasterViewPoints: The American Doctor

  1. avatar Harry M VanHoudnos says:

    While you do bring in some interesting ideas, I don’t think it will work. First off, I’m afraid any attempt to do a American version of the show would end up as a major flop. It wouldn’t work here in the states. As a American fan, I’ve seen attempts to do UK shows and they have not gone over well. The next problem is finding a network to show it on. ScyFy won’t air it, and none of the other US networks will carry it. As far as actors for the Doctor, the three that you mentioned are all tied up on projects. The actor from Big Bang is still tied up with that, Johnny Depp would require a EXORBITANT amount of money to do the role, and Bakula is getting ready to start work on NCIS New Orleans. I’m just afraid attempts to do a American version of the show is doomed to failure.


    • Did you just say “NCIS New Orleans”?

      :more NCIS?!?:

      • avatar Harry M VanHoudnos says:

        That is correct. A new version of NCIS debuts this upcoming season with Bakula running the crew in New Orleans.

        • avatar MWRuger says:

          It was awful. I can’t believe it got picked up.

  2. avatar Mobius64 says:

    I find that Americans want an American actor and British fans despise the idea. And being British, I find the idea unthinkable on every level, despite having several, relatively solid pieces of evidence presented. I just really don’t see it working. Ever. No. Never. Never ever ever ever.

    • avatar rickjlundeen says:

      You find Americans want an American Doctor? I don’t really think your research was extensive. I’m an American and absolutely do not want an American Doctor, nor do I know any other Americans who do.


      • Agreed. Worst. Idea. Ever.


    • I just wish Hollywood and their like would stop giving us Americans the idea that we can’t like intellectual shows like Doctor Who, Almost Human, Dresden Files, etc, without them altering and/or cancelling them after only one season and spoonfeeding us this stuff about how the viewing public ‘doesn’t have the patience’ for intellectual content. I’m dyin’ here. What is wrong with people that they cna’t accept an actor who isn’t one of them? It’s basal herd mentality at its finest. i don’t CARe who the actor is, as long as their induction doesn’t hijack the show and turn it into a greasy, brainless mess from what it was. who cares what country they’re from.


      • and, most importantly, if the actor/actress/actee is the Doctor. They must. be. the Doctor. if they ain’t, well, they shoot horses, don’t they?
        As long as it’s the Doctor and he/she/it stays that way… we have nothing to fear. i think it’s time ot grow up.

    • avatar Herbert Ragan says:

      I’m an American. And I find the whole idea ridiculous. He just would not be “The Doctor” anymore.

  3. avatar ParrotPilot says:

    Oh J.H.Christ no! We Americans watch the show because of the superior British acting and writing. You want to see how quickly the show would be destroyed by Americanizing it? Simply watch Torchwood Miracle Day.

    • avatar TimeChaser says:

      As a fellow American fan, I say Here, Here!

      It might be fun to fantasize and theorize about what American actors would make a good Doctor, but I would never want to see it happen. There is an essential quirkiness to British shows that we utterly lack, and could probably never develop in a million years.

      Its like Hollywood and its obsession with re-makes, which are almost always terrible. Some classic films seem to be off limits, like Casablanca and Gone With the Wind, while others that should be (The Day the Earth Stood Still) are re-made and end up bringing shame upon the originals.

      This would be the case with Americanizing Doctor Who.

  4. avatar DonnaM says:

    Interesting ideas, and no – even though I’m British I’m not going to dismiss the basic idea out of hand. However, until there is no British actor sufficiently talented or versatile to take the role I honestly don’t think it’s necessary.

    Bigger budgets? Not always a good thing. Throwing money at a show doesn’t always make it better, in fact you could argue the lack of it stimulates the ingenuity of a production team (and especially of the writers!). A well-known American actor bringing new fans? You may just see a well-known British one having the same effect when Mr Capaldi’s first series starts to air :-)

    Finally, though it’s an old line, we are still “divided by a common language”; in general, what’s original and brilliant on one side of the Atlantic suffers when it’s fiddled with for the benefit of the other. Harry’s point is well-made; personally I feel it works the same in the opposite direction, our attempts to remake American shows are never up to the original’s standards either.

  5. avatar TimeChaser says:

    Considering everything Depp has done lately has tanked critically, would we really want him to come anywhere near the role?

  6. avatar Christine says:

    Actually I wouldn’ t mind having an American Doctor as long as the show will remain totally British. That the lead would speak somewhat differently – one could make jokes about the accent as with the Northern accent of our beloved ninth Doctor- wouldn’t be a problem, Americanising the show certainly would. In fact I believe even the Americans themselves enjoy the sheer Britishness of the show. That may have been one of the problems of the tv movie, even though we had an excellent British lead. But the rest was too American to appeal to the Americans even if we Europeans liked it any way because of the eighth Doctor’s genius. The only American show I really enjoyed was Firefly because of the interesting characters. Terribly American at first glance being a Space Western after all but so much more than just that. Fox couldn’t handle it at all either. And why couldn’t Whedon write for a British show? Of course he is much too busy nowadays but the idea as such is worthwhile. So perhaps an American actor would be acceptable but please stick to the British humour, setting, other characters and so on. It is one of the major benefits of the show. Let’s keep it that way, especially since I don’t expect extra funds will be forthcoming once it’s become too American mainstream. That, as I said, probably isn’t what the American audience wants in any case!


  7. Bakula managed to kill Star Trek for me.
    An actual American companion would be great. Peri does not count, Nicola flubbed too many terms an American would not say. Lift for elevator for example! Actually, she sounded Canadian !!
    Doctor Who is quintessentially British, that’s a major part of the appeal!
    The only British show that was ever better as an American version was The Office!

    • avatar Harry M VanHoudnos says:

      Another show that had its origin in the UK, but has done well here in the US is Shark Tank, which in the UK was Dragons Den.

  8. avatar rickjlundeen says:

    I DO know this….if they could have figured out a way to do an American version by now, they would have because that’s what Hollywood does. But they have not because they can’t solve the police box problem. That’s where the inherent Britishness starts, with that lovable police box. We don’t have it, or even a decent American equivalent, thank goodness. It has to be British

  9. avatar rickjlundeen says:

    As to the American choices. Fillion is an overrated actor who shouldn’t be thought of merely because he has science fiction ties. Bakula obviously had success playing Sam Beckett but totally tanked as a starship captain and again, just because a guy has done a couple sci- fi shows, it doesn’t him a good fit for the Doctor. Johnny Depp is an interesting idea but he doesn’t do TV series and he misses as much as he hits. Jim Parsons is an intriguing idea but again, this is limited thinking putting him up for consideration merely because he’s got a geek tie in.

    Sure, I’d imagine that there are many qualified American candidates that might do a great job but the biggest driving force would be the American dollar, which everyone wants. Well, with the amount of money that’s made worldwide for the BBC thanks to Doctor Who, I can only imagine that either certain people high up in the organization are grabbing this money or they’re bad in the business end of things because I don’t see why they can’t make some deal with the USA to finance things for a cut and a side network deal if they want American dollars so much. Simulcast new episodes over here like they did the 50th anniversary.

  10. avatar Christine says:

    I agree totally with Rick here. There are many qualified candidates and, slightly disagreeing, I do like Nathan Fillion. However the whole point seems to be the Dollars streaming in. And they won’t once the show becomes too American in feel. Having lived in The Netherlands for many years, I don’t know that many Americans personally. But the ones I do know, working at the Embassy or just working here, all just love the Britishness of it all. In fact they love it much more than the average Dutchman does. I feel their (the American) love for the show would come to an end with a rather generous dose of Americanisation. Keep it British in taste and feel. And then I am not even mentioning the fact that Americans do American shows best, not us – or to be exact: the British! But we certainly can keep our own if we can stick to what we do best outselves!

  11. avatar Ginger Crawford says:

    I’m much more pragmatic about it than I used to be. The Office is a great example of an Americanized version of a UK show. It all depends on who is doing it and how it’s handled.

    • avatar Christine says:

      Hello Ginger, got a point there. I just haven’t that much trust in the system that it will be handled well. Let”s see what happens to Broadchurch and then talk again!

  12. avatar Geoff says:

    Well I’m pretty damned English as it goes and I think it’s a perfectly reasonable idea. The toke should always go to a charismatic talented actor, what his ethnicity is or where he happens to come from (I use “he” as that’s another argument!) is not a factor for me. Someone above said something like “we in America like Dr Who for the superior British acting” well that’s very subjective. The writer might think that but I’m sure a general audience doesn’t. There’s so much quality American drama out there. I’m not saying these names would make good Doctors but who would turn down actors of the quality of Kevin Spacey, Michael C Hall, Billy Bob Thornton (deliberately picking big names here who’ve done TV recently) if they were interested in playing the Doctor. Get the actor right and they can come from anywhere. That’s my view.

    • avatar Christine says:

      Haha. Indeed, the ethnicity or sex is for another time!

  13. avatar Christine says:

    I can’t help myself, this is such an interesting subject. Not blasphemy, just a nice issue to debate about. As far as I have read, all commentors want to stick to a show with a British feel. And in that case the nationality of the actor really isn’t under dispute, is it? He could also be Australian ( and why not?). It seems we all want a British show. And American actors aren’t the issue, nor are whoever are leading the show, as long as the show itself remains what it is: British. Probably the best place to be remains the BBC. But some extra funding will always come in handy. Just don’t compromise on the nature of the show. I think the Canadians knew what they were doing in 2005. Smart!

  14. avatar Christine says:

    As a last remark before I look up my bed: nice feature and lovely discussion. We haven’t even used bad language!


  15. I’m Canadian and have no desire to see an American Doctor. It wouldn’t even make sense.

  16. avatar Hoosier Whovian says:

    Um, no.

    I say that as an American.

  17. avatar James Lomond says:

    Hmm. My understanding is that the proposition is that the show could be made the same way it is – just the person cast might be American rather than British… As a Brit I have that general reflex NONONONOWAY thing about anyone not British playing the Doctor but it is interesting to actually entertain the idea and get over the knee-jerk reaction. Of course he would still have to have an English accent. That’s non-negotiable. Natch.

    I was originally intrigued by the idea of Jim Parsons but really haven’t seen him do *drama* rather than comedy and in interviews he does seem to be similar in many ways to his on-screen persona (just warmer and more fun) which makes me wonder about his range. Of course I might be being massively unfair but on balance he seems like a choice based on the geek-factor as someone said above.

    Jonny Depp – hmm. Well he has already played the Doctor numerous times, surely? Sleepy Hollow and even Pirates of the Caribbean -as far as I’m concerned these were all versions of the Doctor – an adventuring eccentric. He’s done it so many times I’d only want him if he was DESPERATE to play the role because he had some super-cool ideas about the direction he could take it in. Cap’n Jack Sparrow originality sorta thing. I don’t think that’s likely to happen.

    Scot Bakula. Nope. Quantum Leap was lovely but he’s completely wrong.

    I’ve really not seen Nathan Fillion’s stuff.

    For me -and this might be a bit silly- I *really* don’t want the actor cast as the Doctor to be a standard macho leading man and in a way the quirkier they look the better. Just want them to have that other-worldly quality and be an AMAZING actor and committed to the role.

    If it were to be an American actor I’m wondering about someone like T. R. Knight. Think he might have the first two qualities (and is dead sexy, incidentally).

    Do people have any non- just-because-they’re-in-scifi suggestions?

    • avatar Harry M VanHoudnos says:

      I have a suggestion of someone who might be of interest. While he is known for his science Fiction, he is also a superb dramatic actor. My suggestion: Patrick Stewart.

      • avatar mrjohnm says:

        Patrick Stewart is British, so this suggestion is irrelevant to the conversation. But to keep off topic, I once heard a story that Lalla Ward, while performing an on-stage production of Hamlet with Patrick Stewart, was told by Patrick that she was a very good actor and should leave Dr. Who as science fiction isn’t real acting! I don’t know how much of this story is true, but if it is, I bet Patrick’s eating his words now!

        • avatar J W says:

          Somehow this rings as false considering Stewart spent nearly 2 decades portraying one of Sci-Fi’s quintessential characters Cpt. Jean Luc Picard. Considering the rigorous casting process he had to endure to secure the role I doubt anyone who loathed Sci-Fi would have put themselves through it.

          • avatar mrjohnm says:

            Which, JW, is why I said he is probably eating his words now! Considering he is so famous as both Picard and Xavier, the idea he may have said this to Ward in 1980, when they were both working on Hamlet, is very ironic.

        • avatar Rick says:

          I heard he was a big fan, who auditioned for the TV movie.

  18. avatar Fed-UP says:

    Why does somebody start this rubbish on almost every DW forum? The answers are generally the same, fans don’t want it. The show is British, keep it that way. What’s next more rubbish about Benedict Cumberbatch to be the new Master?

  19. avatar rickjlundeen says:

    This may not be known over in the UK but did you know the reason why the most recent Spider-man, Batman and Superman were all Brits? Because evidently, American casting directors feel that the Brit actors come off as more manly than the American actors in many scenarios. Whether correct or not, that’s the thinking about why we keep seeing Brits come in to take he man parts.

    Now having an American actor play the Doctor with a British accent would be fine as long as it’s a flawless accent and the guy’s a great actor. None of this bad Dick Van Dyke Mary Poppins guff. If I can’t tell he’s an American, all the better. As a reverse example, when my kids were younger, they had no clue that Hugh Laurie was British because they’d only seen him on House and Stuart Little. Then he hosted Saturday night love and they were blown away. His American accent was simply that perfect. So given the talent of the actor, I’d be down with it.

    I’ll ask this question, since I feel only the Brits can determine a flawless or well do e Brit accent. How do you think Robert Downey jr. Did in the Sherlock Holmes films with his accent?

    • avatar docwhom says:

      While not being in favour of a non-British Doctor myself, one must concede that actor who is most loudly celebrated as the quintessential Doctor (DT) played the role in the worst British accent ever.

      • avatar rickjlundeen says:

        Wow–see, as a Yank, I assumed his accent was perfect. I never heard anyone complain about it. His American accent he used in that failed pilot was horrible though. I wonder how many Brits didn’t like DT’s accent? Maybe that’s a good thread in itself?

        • avatar TonyS says:

          I had no problem with DT’s accent. I understood it to be a deliberately bad “mockney” accent and part of the character.

        • avatar DonnaM says:

          This Brit didn’t like it, although I got where RTD was coming from in it being “imprinted” on Ten from Rose. There were times David and Billie both in Series 2 made me long for the old days of Received Pronunciation, when everyone on the BBC spoke with the proverbial plum in their mouth!

          I think for me it’s a diction/enunciation thing more than accent though – Eccleston’s Mancunian didn’t bother me (speaking as a Scouser, too!) and I’m delighted Capaldi is staying Glaswegian.

          • avatar TonyS says:

            It did give us my favourite line from the Day of the Doctor: “Brave words, Dick Van Dyke!”

  20. avatar Spider-pope says:

    No.


  21. While I don’t ever want to see an Americanized Doctor Who, the idea of an American actor is a legitimate one. I think we Americans have this romanticized idea that an English accent makes a character sound smarter, sexier, more worldly. There’s plenty of good American talent out there who have the potential to make a brilliant Doctor. The show MUST remain British!
    I admit to having hated the ’96 tele-movie when it first came out and still, even after softening to it to the point of having an actual fondness for it, will point to it and say “this is what happens when Americans do Doctor Who.”
    I don’t think the big “A list” names will work. There’s going to be a money factor which the BBC might not be willing to try to meet. I think the pool from where potential candidates should come is that of the less well-known.

  22. avatar docwhom says:

    Only a limited number of US drinking fans seem to like tea. Therefore, I propose that we change tea into coffee. Think of the huge American markets which could then open up to tea drinking. Think of the US commercial and marketing expertise which could be brought to bear on tea if it gained widespread popularity in the US by becoming coffee.

    • avatar TimeChaser says:

      As an American tea-drinker, I say no thanks. ;)

      • avatar docwhom says:

        Pah, you say “tea”??? I say it’s not tea if you leave the teabag in the cup. :D

  23. avatar docwhom says:

    There must be a huge potential US audience which loves Westerns but doesn’t follow Doctor Who. Therefore, I propose that we write the new Doctor as someone who carries a gun everywhere with him and shoots alien baddies. Think of the flood of new fans which would come over to Doctor Who from the Western genre.

    If there is a big potential audience awaiting an American actor playing the Doctor, there must be an even bigger potential audience for Doctor Who if it were permanently set in the USA. Also wouldn’t a more varied show attract more interest? Perhaps if we repaired the chameleon circuit and had the TARDIS become a wonderfully expensive new prop every week, it would maintain audience engagement. And let’s throw out that silly Dalek design which the British parochially imagine is iconic and replace it with something that looks big budget.

    Only joking natch but I think there are fundamental flaws at the heart of Nick’s argument, the biggest of which is an assumption that huge audiences and budgets are an end in themselves. The heart of Doctor Who has always been good writing and casting, not amazing SFX, so enormous budgets aren’t necessary and may even by counter-productive. I also suspect the simple truth is that some people think American audiences are too shallow and parochial to watch a show in any great numbers if it isn’t set and cast in America. If that’s true, why would we want to pander to shallow people?

    I probably watch more US TV than British TV these days so this isn’t a dislike of US TV on my part but, if writers like Joss Whedon aren’t already interested in writing for Doctor Who, why should we change Doctor Who into the sort of show Joss Whedon does want to write for? Anyway, why would we want Joss Whedon writing for Doctor Who? He’d most likely only turn the show into a pastiche of Russell T Davies’ work.

    If this supposed potential audience relies on the Doctor being played by an American actor, then wouldn’t the Doctor always have to be played by an American actor to avoid the risk of a collapse in ratings upon regeneration?

    Just look at what happened on 23rd Nov. A record-breaking worldwide audience for something resolutely (even painfully) British. Why would we conclude that it needs to be changed to fit another mindset?

    • avatar rickjlundeen says:

      If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Back in 1983, here in Chicago, we had a huge convention for the 20th anniversary. Back then Chicago was THE American fan base concentration for the show. We had Troughton, Pertwee, Baker and Davison there, over 10,000 fans and it was so packed, they had to turn away several thousand more. They were showing entire adventures like The War Games through the night in giant screening rooms and it was a magical weekend. We fell in love with the cheesy effects but mostly, we loved the scripts the actors, the stories, the concept.

      We do have an affinity for the British accents but we also appreciate the greater theater training British actors have gotten in the past coming up through Shakespeare and the like. I believe it allows a greater range and skill within the actor to be able to tackle more and varied parts. There’s a REASON that only the British actors could make George Lucas’ crappy dialogue in Star Wars movies sound good! So over here, we fell in love with this British show, warts and all. They’ve upgraded the effects but it’s still close to get the same show as before and no one should try and mess with it.


      • I’m originally from Chicago! WTTW showed “Doctor Who” back in the 4th Doctor, Tom Baker, era. I don’t think most Brits understand Americans. We’re not all about Westerns & guns! We’re not all fat & ignorant. PBS – Brits need to wrap their heads around PBS fans. We’ve been enjoying BBC (and lately, ITV) since “Upstairs/Downstairs”, “Monty Python”, and Alistair Cooke (sp?) We’re the ones watching “Sherlock” and “Downton Abbey.” We love our “Masterpiece Theater.” *We are Americans.*

        • avatar TonyS says:

          So. American Doctor: yes or no? And if yes, who?

  24. avatar Gareth Kavanagh says:

    Had it finished in 2008 as intended by the BBC, I think by now we’d have a US version. A fascinating prospect.

  25. avatar james says:

    as an american, i think the idea of an American Doctor is absurd.

    What next, a british Spider-Man or Superman?!? ;)

    no, but seriously. do not want.

  26. avatar TonyS says:

    The use of a colon in the title to this article suggests that it is part of a series. Is it intended to present the case against? Or is “The Case For:” a banner for a series of articles on controversial themes?

    • avatar TonyS says:

      And if I had read the article properly I would have had my answer!

      • avatar Nick Kitchen says:

        That is sort of the plan. Stay tuned!

  27. avatar Rick says:

    The only American who I’d like to see play The Doctor is Christopher Walken.

  28. avatar Ranger says:

    As a Brit, knee-jerk reaction is no. Too much American stuff on TV already, without infecting DW. (Let me qualify that – not against American TV per se, just that I think there is UK talent, both actors and writers, that are being denied exposure because it is easier and cheaper to buy an American production).

    Then I paused and thought. And came to the same conclusion: the Doctor is the archetypal Brit – it just wouldn’t be DW if you changed the Doctor’s nature and if you’re not going to do that, why cast an American? Unless he played it with a British accent and was cast just because he was the best damn actor available.

    • avatar Nick Kitchen says:

      Curious to know how you would define the “Brit” archetype?

  29. avatar Jon Roberts says:

    N O spells No


  30. Let me get this out of the way.

    Jim Parsons = No No No No No No No No No NONONONONONONONO!

  31. avatar Jeff Ward says:

    I don’t care if the Doctor is American or British. First of all, he’s neither: he’s a timelord. Secondly, the accent matters *much* less to me than his ability to do the job. Great British actors aren’t inherently better actors than great American actors, even though I think too many directors/producers of American entertainment media are more willing to hire poor actors.

  32. avatar Dr Hula Hoop says:

    I genuinely wanted Charlie Sheen.
    I even started a campaign.

  33. avatar Dr Hula Hoop says:

    “Great British actors aren’t inherently better actors than great American actors.”

    Great is great no?

    But I would argue that the opportunities for young British actors and the experience they receive in theatre and television is usually more comprehensive than that of young actors, from studying Shakespeare at school, performing his plays in class to amateur dramatics groups, working on BBC dramas etc seems to strengthen their acting skills a lot more than Disney channel/Nickelodean/90210 type shows that provides the basic training of young American actors.

    One only has to look at the cast of Game of Thrones, some of the young British actors are incredible, their American counterparts well, rubbish generally.

  34. avatar Dr Hula Hoop says:

    As an American casting agent points out…

    “They really devote themselves to their craft. They’re not trying to openly be stars, the goal is to be a working actor. So when they come here they have such well rounded resumes, they’ve done stage productions, period pieces, they’ve television, they’ve done radio, they’ve done commercials. Whereas here in Los Angeles, there’s a focus on what kind of actor do you want to be? Do you want to do film, do you want to do television, do you want to do sitcoms? And they try to keep you in that box. Whereas the English actor does everything. There’s no stigma for an English actor to have done a commercial, and a television show, and then star in a film, and then go back to doing stage and TV.”

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