Thursday, 30 June 2011

Doctor Who had a difficult birth, emerging from the imagination of some of BBC Drama's top minds.
But succeed it did, and the Story of the man from Gallifrey grew and expanded as the show moved through the years. 
The concept of regenerating adding to it's appeal, as each new Doctor brought forth different aspects of the same man.
And here lies an untold story of the actor's considered to play the role of the Doctor.
So who were the men that could have been Who?......I will tell you.

Here are the Nearly Who's

Hugh David (17 July 1925 – 11 September 1987) was an actor turned Director. David was born in Aberystwyth Mid Wales. His directorial credits include, Compact, Z Cars, The Palliser and Doctor Who, for which he directed two stories in the Patrick Troughton era. While still an actor in the early 1960s Rex Tucker offered him the role Doctor, But when Verity Lambert was appointed producer of the series, she felt that he was too young to play the old man she envisaged.
The two Doctor Who episodes he Directed were The Highlanders and Fury of the Deep, both excellent examples of Patrick's Doctor.


Verity Lambert eventually selected William Hartnell to star in the series, but one name she had on her shortlist was respected theatre actor Cyril Cusack.


Cyril Cusack ((26 November 1910 – 7 October 1993) Born in Durban Natal, South Africa, His parents separated when he was young, and his mother first took him to England before settling in Ireland.

Verity Lambert also considered Leslie French to play the Doctor. Though he didn't get the part, he appeared in the 'Doctor Who' 25th anniversary adventure 'Silver Nemesis' as an ill-fated astrologer.

Leslie Richard French (23 April 1904-21 January 1999) Born in Bromley Kent. French was primarily a theatre actor, as well as a director, singer and dancer.
Though Patrick Troughton was chosen to replace William Hartnell, Michael Hordern was approached as a fall-back had Troughton turned down the role.

Sir Michael Murray Hordern (3 October 1911 – 2 May 1995) Hordern was born in The Poplars, an 18th-Century Town House in Berkhamsted Hertfordshire .

In 1969, the first choice to replace Patrick Troughton was Ron Moody, who had recently played Fagin in 'Oliver!'. When Moody declined the part, it was offered to Jon Pertwee.

Ron Moody (born Ronald Moodnick; 8 January 1924) Born in London.

Fulton Mackay had appeared in the 1970 serial 'Doctor Who and the Silurians'. In 1974, he was approached to replace Jon Pertwee as the Doctor. When a comedy pilot that he had recorded with Ronnie Barker was commissioned for a full series - 'Porridge' - MacKay was no longer free for 'Doctor Who'.

Fulton Mackay OBE (12 August 1922 - 6 June 1987) Born in Paisley Scotland.

Finding a replacement for Jon Pertwee in 1974 was a difficult task for producer Barry Letts. His shortlist included former 'Goon' and host of 'It's a Square World', Michael Bentine, until Bentine asked for more input into future scripts than the producer could permit.

Michael Bentine CBE (26 January 1922 – 26 November 1996 ) was a British comedian and actor. Born in Watford Hertfordshire. A Peruvian Briton by heritage as a result of his father's nationality. Bentine received in 1971 the Peruvian Order of the Merit because of his fund-raising work for the 1970 Great Peruvian Earthquake.


Graham Crowden, later a familiar face from 'A Very Peculiar Practice' (1986-88) and 'Waiting for God' (1990-94) was also invited to replace Jon Pertwee, but was reluctant to take on a leading role. He made a guest appearance in 'Doctor Who' in 1979, as the villainous Soldeed in 'The Horns of Nimon'.

Clement Graham Crowden (30 November 1922 – 19 October 2010) A Scottish Actor. Born in Edinburgh. He was best known for his many appearances in television comedy dramas and films, often playing eccentric 'offbeat' scientist, teacher and doctor characters.


Richard Hearne was offered the chance to be Jon Pertwee's replacement.
In the 1950s, Richard Hearne was known on TV as the accident-prone Mr Pastry. In 1974, 'Doctor Who' producer Barry Letts considered Hearne for the role of the fourth Doctor - until it became clear that Hearne thought he was being asked to play the part as Mr Pastry. Instead, the role was given to Tom Baker.


Richard Lewis Hearne, OBE (30 January 1908 – 23 August 1979) English actor, comedian, producer and writer. Born in Norwich, Norfolk.

Like Clive Dunn Hearne play Mr Pastry as a older character then he actually was. he died while Tom was still playing the role. I think the world would of been robbed of a great Doctor if Tom Baker hadn't been given the part, he went on to play the Doctor longer then any other actor.


Peter Davison was always producer John Nathan-Turner's first choice to replace Tom Baker. However, he also considered actors Iain Cuthbertson, who had previously guest starred in the 1978 serial 'The Ribos Operation'.

Iain Cuthbertson (4 January 1930 – 4 September 2009) was a Scottish character actor. At 6' 4", he was known for his tall imposing build and also his distinctive 'gravely' heavily accented voice. I remember him playing alongside Adam Faith in Budgie (London Weekend Television, ITV) in the 70's, another great programme.

Richard Griffiths was also shortlisted to play the Fifth Doctor Who (and was a favourite to replace Sylvester McCoy in 1990, until the series was cancelled).


Richard Griffiths, OBE (born 31 July 1947) is an English actor of stage, film and television. He has received the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor.
He also played father ( Vernon Dursley) to Patrick Troughton's grandson Harry Melling, Harry played Dudley Dursley in Harry Potter.


In 1987, Ken Campbell was approached to replace Colin Baker as Doctor Who. The part ultimately went to Sylvester McCoy, who had been discovered by Campbell in the early 1970s.

Kenneth Victor Campbell (10 December 1941 – 31 August 2008) Born in Loughton, Essex, an English writer, actor, director and comedian, known for his work in experimental theatre. His 22-hour staging of Neil Oram's play cycle The Warp. The Guinness Book of Records listed the latter as the longest play in the world.


Dermot Crowley also auditioned for the part of the Seventh Doctor, having previously played a small role in the 1983 'Star Wars' film 'Return of the Jedi'.


Dermot Crowley (March 19, 1947) Born in Cork, Ireland, he is a Irish stage, film and television actor. and currently playing Martin Schenk In Luther.

When Colin Baker was suddenly and reluctantly removed as the sixth Doctor Who, producer John Nathan-Turner wanted comic performer Sylvester McCoy as his successor, but he also screen-tested other actors, including Chris Jury.

Chris Jury (born 28th September 1956 in Coventry) is an English actor/writer/director with a range of television credits. He is best known for his role as Eric Catchpole in the antique trade drama Lovejoy starring Ian McShane

Along with Paul McGann, a front-runner for the role of the Doctor in 1996 was Liam Cunningham. Cunningham auditioned with both a neutral American voice and his own Dublin accent.



Liam Cunningham (born 2 June 1961) is an Irish actor. He has appeared in numerous film and television productions including A Little Princess, First Knight, Jude and the BBC One science-fiction drama series Outcasts.

In 1996, both Mark McGann (centre) and his brother Paul (right) auditioned to play the Eighth Doctor in a TV movie. This picture comes from 'The Hanging Gale' (1995), in which Mark and Paul were joined by their brothers Joe (far left) and Stephen (left).

Mark McGann (born 12 July 1961 in Liverpool) is an English actor, director and musician. and just for the Paul McGann fans I'll add this.
Paul McGann (born 14 November 1959 in Liverpool, England) is an English actor who made his name on the BBC serial The Monocled Mutineer, in which he played the lead role. He is also known for his role in Withnail and I, and for portraying the Eighth Doctor in the 1996 Doctor Who television movie and subsequent tie-in media.


And here Endeth the lesson on Who could of been Who. it makes you wonder though, what would the Doctor have been with these actors...

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