Brian Blessed: “I would love to play the Doctor”

Hopefully he doesn’t have to knock out Peter Capaldi again to do it


Peter Capaldi may not have decided whether he’s leaving Doctor Who after Steven Moffat’s departure yet, but if he does go then one actor has already thrown his hat into the ring to replace him – famous boomer and classic Doctor Who star Brian Blessed.


“I would love to play the Doctor, absolutely!” the actor told Calibre magazine, going on to recall how he was asked to play the Second Doctor back in the 1960s.

“I was actually in talks with the producers, who said, ‘We’re very keen for you to be the Doctor, to follow William Hartnell, and we’d like you to play him very young. You’ve got a very vivid imagination, Brian. You can be quite normal and then also very, very eccentric.’

“Now, it would have been a big gamble for them at the time, to make the Doctor so young. I said to them, ‘Well, there’s two ways I can play this – very much based on my own personality, because space is my big love.’

“I would have given it an intensity and humour. The other way I suggested of doing it was, ‘whooo, whooo, whooo’. It’s almost oriental sounding, you see. I was tempted, with very fine make­up, and a great voice coach, to make him like Charlie Chan. They must have thought ‘Christ! Brian’s crazy bloody imagination!’”


Blessed was busy with other commitments however, and the role eventually went to Patrick Troughton – though Blessed did turn up in the series to play King Yrcanos (above) in classic 1986 serial TimeWarp, and was also set to play alien Mire chieftain Odin in last year’s The Girl Who Died before dropping out due to ill health.

Of course, if Blessed was to take over the Tardis he’d be the oldest actor ever to do so at 79 years, with about two decades on current Time Lord Capaldi, but we can still dream, eh?

And even if he came back as another part, Blessed says he’d be happy, remembering with fondness the last time he and Capaldi teamed up (for 1997’s The History of Tom Jones) and he knocked the Scottish actor out.

“At one point his character hits mine across the face with his glove as a challenge, and I go, ‘Ooooh’, and chin him with a left hook!” Blessed remembered.


Peter Capaldi in The History of Tom Jones

“Peter will always agree with this I’m sure. As I throw the left hook, he puts his face forward! As I hit his head at the side, I pulled it, I pulled the punch as I felt it hit his cheekbone, and I yelled, ‘HE’S HIT!

“He went in to the death rattle! His legs were flapping, his arms start going and he’s got this gash across his forehead.

“The ambulance people come and get him, but they’re a bit at odds about how to treat him – because he still had all the make-up on and the frippery. They thought he was a bloody hermaphrodite!”

“I would love to be in Doctor Who,” Blessed concluded, “if they could find me another part, at least so Peter and I could fight again!”


Doctor Who will return for a Christmas special this December