Imagine a world where Take That singer Robbie Williams was the Doctor. What a different “Doctor Who” that would be. Well, that was almost the case at a certain point.
It’s revealed in a new DVD documentary that Williams was in the running to voice the Doctor in the 2003 animated web series, “Scream of the Shalka.” The news comes from Blogtor Who, which reports that both sides were interested. According to producer Muirinn Lane Kelly, “We got word that Robbie Williams was interested in playing The Doctor. We all sat around wondering, ‘Is this a good idea? Is this a crazy idea?'”
In the end Williams wasn’t available and the role went to Richard E. Grant. Still, James Gross, another producer, says, “Think about it, if you really wanted to bring ‘Doctor Who’ to a whole new audience, it would have been the most popular, talked-about thing the BBC website ever did.” It might not have been the most popular or talked-about thing for the right reasons, though.
As it stands, Grant’s Doctor isn’t recognized as part of the official canon of “Doctor Who.” Technically, his version could be seen as an alternate version of the Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston), as he came after Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor.