Martin Clunes was once in the running to play the Doctor, according to a conversation between former showrunners Steven Moffat and Russell T Davies published in the most recent issue of Doctor Who Magazine.
The pair were talking about how Davies had made it a priority to ensure the Doctor wasn’t posh when he set about casting the role for the revival in 2005, and how some of the names linked to the part didn’t quite fit in to that description.
Moffat said to Davies, “I think you were considering Hugh Grant and Martin Clunes. If you’d cast either of them, how would you have phrased the ‘not posh’ note? Because good luck!”
Davies did not reply with specific reference to Clunes – but did respond by saying, “Steven, you know full well we’re always winging it!”
Davies has long been open about having offered the role to Grant, who had been heavily linked to the iconic part before Christopher Eccleston was eventually cast, but the rumours around Clunes were never quite as prominent.
Interestingly, Clunes has appeared in Doctor Who before – making one of his first TV appearances in the classic era story Snakedance, in which he played a character called Lon.
And of course the actor is also very well known for playing another doctor – albeit one with rather less experience of travelling through time and space – on ITV’S Doc Martin.
It seems unlikely that an army of Daleks will show up in Portwenn any time soon though…