Space Oddity: David Bowie turned down Doctor Who, says composer Murray Gold

The composer reveals that Doctor Who wanted the legendary musician for a mysterious role

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Space Oddity: David Bowie turned down Doctor Who, says composer Murray Gold
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Stephen Kelly

Could there have possibly been ch-ch-changes in the Tardis? According to Doctor Who composer Murray Gold, David Bowie was wanted by the show for an undisclosed role.

Recalling a chance meeting with the legendary musician and actor in an ice-cream store in Reinbeck, Gold told Den Of Geek:

“I said, 'I write music for Doctor Who,' and he said, 'I'm not doing it.' I said, 'What do you mean?' and he said, 'They want me to do it.' I don't know what it means, to this day, but that's what he said. I don't know in what capacity, as an actor or as a musician. I would like to see an episode of Doctor Who scored by David Bowie.” 

As Gold points out himself, it’s not clear whether they wanted Bowie for his musical or acting talents; yet it could be referring to reports in 2007 that the show wanted the musician to play the role of a villain who kidnaps crime author Agatha Christie — a concept which, of course, became 2008's The Unicorn And The Wasp. His spokesman at the time denied he was involved. He was also approached, years earlier, to play another villain: Sharaz Jek in the 1984 Peter Davison serial The Caves of Androzani, but was apparently unavailable.

It wouldn’t be the first time the show has gone after a musician. Earlier this month it was revealed that the late singer Michael Jackson was put forward for the role of the Time Lord in the late 1980’s by Hollywood Studio Paramount Pictures, which was considering a big screen remake of the classic. Bowie, on the other hand, whose acting career is best known for 1986’s Labyrinth, has just released a new video for single Valentine’s Day, taken from his twenty–fourth studio album The Next Day.  

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