David Bowie Should Guest Star on Doctor Who

My original concept for this article was to just make the general case that David Bowie should guest star on Doctor Who. With his famous alter ego Ziggy Stardust, and role of Jareth The Goblin King in Labyrinth, he has proven that he has the sci fi/fantasy chops to be a part of the Whoniverse… I’m thinking Time Lord.

In my research for the article, however, I learned that the Twelfth Doctor’s attire is inspired by David Bowie’s wardrobe in The Man Who Fell to Earth. Upon watching the film, I noticed lots of peculiar, coincidental little similarities between it and Doctor Who.

In The Man Who Fell to Earth, Bowie plays a mysterious alien who travels to Earth from his dying planet, crash landing in the process. Much like The Doctor with his psychic paper, Bowie’s character poses as a Brit with aliases (most often Tommy Newton) and fake identification. We never learn his real name. As a ginger, his strikingly orange hair would be the envy of The Doctor. He is often dressed in dapper, minimalist, dark attire, with occasional bold, bright accents. Along the same vein as the Fourth Doctor, he also sometimes dons fedoras. (It’s an actual fedora, not a trilby. Could we please, however, stop the silly bickering over fedoras vs. trilbies? Both hats are cool. Besides, it’s the person wearing the hat that matters, not the hat itself.)

A hotel maid named Mary-Lou offers to call a doctor for Tommy after he comes to from passing out… He declines. She then offers him a gin and tonic with lime, a combination favored by the Third Doctor (different brand, but no matter). She later insults him about being very thin, with more concern, however, than Donna showed with the Tenth Doctor. He soon takes Mary-Lou on as a companion. Encouraging her interest in science, he buys her a microscope and a telescope. When Mary-Lou says, “I love you. You’re such a nice man,” he replies, “No, I’m not.”

It is later revealed that he has a wife and two children on his home planet. He spends much of the movie attempting to construct a shuttle (with a center console) to try to return to his family. He never does get home.

Tommy occasionally slips, seemingly uncontrollably, into different time periods, but the movie doesn’t make much of this ability. In a conversation with Dr. Bryce (played by Rip Torn, later of Men In Black fame), Tommy says, “. . . I know all things begin and end in eternity.” As humans are shown to grow older over many decades, Tommy does not appear to age at all.

There is even a brief moment in which a banana is featured, and you know how much the Doctor loves those.

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Fun comparison, right? And, on the flip side, there is the reference of “Bowie Base One” in the Doctor Who special ‘The Waters of Mars.’ Of course, David Bowie would be epic on Doctor Who in any capacity, Time Lord or otherwise. Just imagine if he played himself! What do you think of him guest starring on the show? Let us know in the comments.