For many fanboys and girls it would be the dream pairing – Doctor Who and Benedict Cumberbatch.
So the rumour – and it just a rumour – that the Sherlock star is to play the Time Lord’s arch enemy The Master as part of next year’s Doctor Who 50th anniversary output will raise some goosebumps.
Apparently Doctor Who insiders say Cumberbatch, 35, is being lined up for the role and is likely to take on Matt Smith’s Doctor as the show celebrates its half-century in 2013, according to The Express.
“It’s fitting that the Doctor comes face to face with his ultimate enemy, The Master, for the 50th anniversary and it’s felt Benedict is the perfect choice if schedules can work,” a source told the paper. “Fans will love the idea of the man who plays Sherlock Holmes taking on the Doctor’’.
Cumberbatch was linked with the role of the Doctor himself ahead of David Tennant’s departure in 2009, during Russell T Davies’s tenure as showrunner, but reportedly turned it down.
Current Doctor Who supremo Steven Moffat is also co-creator of Sherlock, so would have had plenty of time to sound Cumberbatch out for the role of The Master.
Meanwhile, Cumberbatch has shown he is not averse to the idea of playing sci-fi villains, having landed a role as the nemesis in the second instalment in JJ Abrams’s Star Trek movie reboot.
John Simm was the last actor to play the rogue Time Lord, at the end of Tennant’s reign.