So, with Matt Smith’s departure from the classic British science-fiction show Doctor Who, the time is upon us once more to select a new actor to portray the last (probably) of the Time Lords, the lonely God — the Doctor.
Well, the BBC does the selecting. But since the rumours of possible replacements have been dire at best, I thought I’d wade into the debate. So far I’ve heard suggested Richard Madden (too young), Rupert Grint (too Ron Weasley, and too awful), Helen Mirren (too expensive), Benedict Cumberbatch (too Sherlock Holmes), and even David Duchovny (I don’t even… Just… No!).
The answer is clearly
Jorah Mormont Iain Glen. And here’s why
- He’s older than Matt Smith.
He’s older than David Tenant, too. And Christopher Ecclestone. This might seem like a trite point, but the Doctor has been getting younger and younger. Matt Smith was practically a schoolboy, and Rupert Grint — if the rumours hold even a cupful of water — is about five. Or at least he looks it.
The Doctor is supposed to be a 1000-year old time traveller. He’s been everywhere, seen everything, and carries the weight of it with him. Particularly with the darker direction that the stories have been taking of late. At 51, Iain Glen has the gravitas to carry all of that time and knowledge.
- He’s a brilliant actor.
This partly links to my above point. As anyone who watches Game of Thrones will tell you, Iain Glen is good. Very good. He pulls off Ser Jorah with a casual and believable aplomb, mixing his longing for Danaerys with his almost sagely guidance. I have absolutely no doubt that he could handle Doctor Who‘s trademark lurching from serious to comic relief.
And his voice. He has the sort of voice which would make small animals sit up and take note. When the Doctor speaks with authority, he should speak. If I’m honest, this is something which Matt Smith has lacked, sounding most of the time like a slightly upset teenager.
- He would be affordable.
Some of the names tossed around have been plain stupid. Idris Elba? Helen Mirren? John Hurt? People moan enough as it is about the BBC license fee, they’d absolutely go to town (I’m looking at you Rob Wilson MP) if they splashed out on a Hollywood film star for a TV role.
Iain Glen is not on the same level of fame. Granted, after Game of Thrones many more TV viewers know him, but he has yet to headline major blockbusting films. He’s also (GoT aside) reasonably unknown. And how many of you knew about Matt Smith before he put on a bowtie?
If you raised your hand, you’re a liar.
- He’s already been in Doctor Who.
Yes he was. Yes he was. Okay then, what’s this:
Iain Glenn played Father Octavian, the leader of a group of holy church soldiers…or something. He fought the Weeping Angels, and was erased completely from existence. Which seems a little harsh, really. He deserves another go after that end
- He’s Scottish.
And, as we already know, Scottish actors do Doctor Who very well.
So there we go. Iain Glen for Doctor Who!*
*(Unless Nicholas Cage is going cheap, in which case bring on the crazy!)