Another month, another storm in Doctor Who fandom som really wild speculation about the identity of the next doctor grabs. This time we have acted former physician himself David Tennant for the British actor icon Hugh Grant, in a move that the actor himself has already flatly rejected. But does it help … that Hugh Grant is also a former doctor?
Technically. Grant joined Rowan Atkinson, Richard E. Grant, Jim Broadbent and Joanna Lumley to play the doctor in the 1999 charity specialty Doctor Who: The Curse of Fatal Death, a 20-minute sketch in which the Doctor in true comic style fights the Master (a glorious camp trip by Jonathan Pryce) and manages to screw things together so many times that they end up regenerating five times during the 20 minutes. Well, even more impressive, it’s during half of it – the first half of Curse is largely given to Atkinson’s physician as he investigates the master’s plans on the planet Tersurus and makes loving eyes on his comrade, Emma, played by Julia Sawalha.
Oh, and we should probably mention that yes, this was written by the then future showrunner, Steven Moffat. Undoubtedly his greatest contribution to Doctor Who cannon, even before he got his fingers in TARDIS full time, given its foresight.
Grant’s Doctor – who appears about 16 minutes into the special, and was born by Broadbent’s Doctor, who managed to electrocute himself in an attempt to recreate a superweapon that the Master gave Dalek’s gift to Daleks – is exactly what you would expect from a 1999-era Hugh Grant, an instant romantic heartbreaker. His first and last act as Time Lord is to flirt with Emma, then to be shot immediately by the aforementioned superweapon, which is capable of disrupting Time Lord’s regeneration process.
Yes, that’s what Grant’s Doctor is supposed to be that last Doctor – just another plot point, Moffat would revisit two and a few decades later! – until the Doctor is magically revived from Fatal Death, this time as the first female Doctor on screen, Joanna Lumley, and Fatal Death ends up with the Doctor no longer longing for Emma, but flirting with the Master.
Alas, weird rumors or not, that’s probably the only time we’ll probably see Grant try to be the doctor, even in just about a minute. But given the current folly, which is about the very long wait Doctor Who‘s return – and its impending re-transformation during recurring showrunner Russell T. Davies– It may be a good reminder to perhaps not take everything that pertains to adventure in time and space so seriously.
Wondering where our RSS feed came from? You can download the new one here.