Over the years, we’ve seen many different actors take on the lead role of the Doctor in Doctor Who. Some you may recognize, some you may not, considering the show started airing back in the ’60s. But what’s always been amazing about this franchise is its ability to change and reinvent itself, particularly by giving us a new Doctor every few years.
And it’s about that time again, as Thirteenth Doctor Jodie Whittaker gets ready to bid farewell to the role. We have no idea who will step into it next, although there are plenty of theories and rumors out there.
But while we wait to find out the identity of the next Doctor, let’s take a look at one actor who almost got the role but ultimately didn’t. According to Looper, Liam Cunningham, aka Davos Seaworth from Game of Thrones, came very close. I can absolutely see it, can’t you?
Liam Cunningham almost played the lead role on Doctor Who
From William Hartnell (the First Doctor) to Jodie Whittaker, we’ve seen a huge range of folks take on this iconic role. Cunningham almost took his place among them back in the mid-90s.
In 1996, BBC released a Doctor Who TV movie that starred Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor. It was his first appearance in the role, and it was quite an interesting start to being in the franchise. “A time-machine malfunction strands the Doctor (Paul McGann) in 1999 San Francisco and enables archcriminal the Master (Eric Roberts) to escape,” the synopsis reads.
The film was a continuation of the show, which at this point had been off the air since 1989. But the original plan was to make the movie a reboot of sorts. In the film, the Doctor would be searching for his missing father, Ulysses, while also fighting his evil half-brother, The Master.
Cunningham was one of the actors in the running to play the lead role. If he had actually gotten it, I think he would have done it wonderfully!
During his audition, Cunningham spoke in an American accent as well as his Dublin accent. Ultimately the role went to McGann, but Cunningham eventually got to be a part of the franchise after the 2005 reboot in the season 7 episode “Cold War,” where he played a Soviet submarine Captain named Captain Zhukov.
For my money, Cunningham would still be a perfect fit for Doctor Who. I mean, there’s still a chance, right?