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‘Doctor Who’ Casting: Which Black Actor Almost Scored the Role?

Doctor Who Casting Black Doctor Idris Elba

Following Sunday’s big announcement that Peter Capaldi would take the iconic ‘Doctor Who‘ role from current incarnation Matt Smith, we learned from showrunner Steven Moffat himself that the timing wasn’t believed right to shake up the franchise with a female incarnation of the Doctor, but what about an actor of another race? According to one insider, ‘Doctor Who’ apparently already offered the part to a black actor, who then turned it down!

Via Blastr, we’ve learned from a Tumblr response by ‘Doctor Who’ writer Neil Gaiman that the part had in fact already been offered to a notable black actor who turned down the role, though Gaiman doesn’t specify if the actor had been propositioned for the 12th Doctor position, or potentially one beforehand.

Of course. (I thought I’d said that I was disappointed that it didn’t happen this time, and that there are some amazing actors out there. I was rather disappointed that Paterson Joseph didn’t get it last time, although I’ve loved Matt’s Eleven.) And yes, I have no doubt there will be [a black Doctor]. (I know one black actor who was already offered the part of the Doctor, and who turned it down.) Just as there will be a female Doctor.

Unfortunately Gaiman doesn’t name-drop the actor in question who elected to turn down the role, though worth noting is that ‘Pacific Rim‘ and ‘Luther’ star Idris Elba has long been considered a fan favorite for the part, much as James Bond fans have envisioned Elba taking over the role of 007, as well. Given current choice Peter Capaldi’s age at 55, we can safely assume the franchise wouldn’t have had a problem skewing toward the younger-than-Capaldi-but-older-than-Smith Elba.

The answer may never come to light, as Gaiman responds to a later post, saying, “You can ask, but seeing that it was something I was told in confidence by the actor in question, you won’t get an answer.”

Well, what say you? Who do you think might have turned down the role of ‘Doctor Who’? Will Peter Capaldi prove a fitting replacement for Matt Smith, or should the franchise have shaken things up with an actor of another race or gender?

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