When it was announced Matt Smith would be leaving the role of the Doctor on “Doctor Who,” fans went wild with rumors and speculation, many wishing for for someone that wasn’t a white male to take on the part. They’d hoped executive producer Steven Moffat would switch up the Doctor’s race, gender or both. When Peter Capaldi was named the new Doctor, the reaction was very positive, but some wondered why the show didn’t take the opportunity to shake things up.
Perhaps the idea of a Doctor of a different race or gender isn’t too far off, though. Writer Neil Gaiman, who penned two episodes of “Doctor Who” from Smith’s run, reveals on his blog that a black actor was once offered the role of the Doctor.
When asked by a fan if he thinks there will ever be a non-white Doctor, Gaiman responds, “Of course.” He then writes, “I know one black actor who was already offered the part of the Doctor, and who turned it down.” He doesn’t let slip who that actor was, or when they were offered the role. Moffat says Capaldi was his only choice to play the 12th Doctor.
Paterson Joseph, who starred in the British sitcom “Peep Show” was rumored to be up for the role when David Tennant was departing the show, though it eventually went to Smith. When asked about the part by the Coventry Telegraph in 2010, Joseph hints “there was a chance that I could have been [the Doctor].” However, he also says he would have taken the role if offered, so he’s not a likely candidate for the actor that turned it down.
Whoever that is remains a mystery for now. Gaiman closes his short blog entry reassuring that there will also be a female Doctor someday.
Capaldi takes over the role of the Doctor during the 2013 “Doctor Who” Christmas special, December 25 on BBC America.