Doctor Who’s top ten unlikely casting rumours

Benedict Cumberbatch as the Master? Ben Kingsley as Davros? Jason Statham as the Doctor?! We count down the weirdest casting rumours of the modern era...

9. David Bowie as… an alien abductor (2007)

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Starman, Space Oddity, The Man Who Fell to Earth, Cat People… David Bowie’s back catalogue practically screams Doctor Who. So, of course, in 2007, it was reported that he was wanted on the show to play an alien who abducts crime author Agatha Christie. One paper quotes an anonymous producer as saying he would make a perfect villain because of his, “great other-worldly look” 

But what if it ended up being true? 

Well, the thing is… this actually was pretty much true. Despite his spokesman denying it at the time, Doctor Who composer Murray Gold revealed in 2013 that Bowie was wanted for the show. Also, Agatha Christie did indeed feature in The Unicorn and the Wasp, which aired only a year after the rumour, so yes, Bowie could have ended up playing an alien wasp. Presumably their first choice was Sting… 

8. John Simm as… the Eleventh Doctor (2007)

Yep, John Simm, who at that time was known for playing the Doctor’s most famous nemesis the Master in The Sound of Drums / Last of the Time Lords, as the Eleventh Doctor – according to a variety of sunday tabloids

But what if it ended up being true? 

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So, just after we see Simm’s Master vanish into the Time War in The End of Time, the Tenth Doctor finishes his farewell tour of staring ominously at people, gets into his Tardis, says, “I don’t want to go”, and then regenerates into… John Simm. Next up: Andrew Scott takes over the role of Sherlock Holmes.