One of the more interesting stories floating around the internet over the past couple of weeks involves how Jim Carrey was offered the role of the Eighth Doctor in the television movie from 1996. Carrey ended up turning down the role, as not only was he not a fan of the show, but had apparently never heard of Doctor Who until being offered the role.
At the time, Carrey had become a major draw. Known for his roles in such movies as Dumb and Dumber and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Carrey had become the main comedic actor in American cinema. His extreme expressiveness, outrageous performances, strange voices and physical humor had become his calling cards. Carrey was, in short, virtually everything that Doctor Who was not.
However, it is interesting to wonder what Jim Carrey would have been like in such a role. At approximately that time, Carrey was looking to change his style of acting, as he had concerns that his comedic style would stop being a drawing card. Over the next few years, Carrey began starring in different types of movies, appearing in movies like The Truman Show and Eternal Sunshine for the Spotless Mind.
The way the Doctor would have been portrayed, as well as the overall feel of the movie, may well have depended on who played the Master with Carrey as the Doctor. Among the interesting actors considered for the role were Carrey’s former castmates on In Living Colour, the Wayans brothers. Such a cast, combining Carrey and the Wayans, would likely have turned this movie into a comedic farce.
The Doctor has undergone majors changes during each of his incarnations. More recent versions, such as Matt Smith’s Doctor, have been a bit on the goofier side. Yet, the concept of Jim Carrey as the Doctor would likely have led to a level of manic insanity far beyond anything that anyone was used to seeing from the show.
As Carrey was still at his comedic, slapstick peak, he may well have brought that same style to the Doctor. Such a move, had he accepted the role, may well have been the death knell for the franchise.
Although seeing Jim Carrey as the Doctor may have been interesting, in the same way people gravitate towards train wrecks, we should all be grateful that he rejected the role. As he said, the Doctor should be played by someone who is a fan of the show, and Carrey would not have been able to do the role justice.