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Actors who nearly played the Doctor: Joanna Lumley

While Jodie Whittaker is the first woman to officially get the role, Lumley was put up as a possible Seventh Doctor in 1986 by BBC executive Sydney Newman who greenlit the original series. As the exec behind ‘The Avengers’, which starred Lumley, he knew her skill for comedy and physicality, but the corporation disagreed. She ended up playing the Doctor in 1999’s Comic Relief spoof sketch. (Reuters)

Doctor Who: 11 actors who nearly played The Doctor

Ben Falk
UK Movies Contributor

The lead role in ‘Doctor Who’ is arguably the biggest part in British television and whoever is chosen to play the character always causes a storm of debate over their suitability. The show’s producers gave the show its key to eternal life in 1966 when they replaced William Hartnell with Patrick Troughton, through a Time Lord practice called “regeneration”. The introduction of Jodie Whitaker as The Doctor in this year’s Christmas Special will mark the 13th (official) incarnation of the beloved Time Lord, but many actors have narrowly missed landing the role in the past.

Here are eleven performers who came close to holding the sonic screwdriver without actually getting to walk into the TARDIS as an official Doctor. How good do you think they’d have been?

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