According to an interview in this week’s RadioTimes, legendary British actor Brian Blessed revealled that he could have played the Doctor…
But obviously, Blessed turned down the lead role in the BBC’s iconic show as he was too busy. “After I was in Z Cars, the head of BBC serials took me aside and said, ‘We’re thinking of having a young Doctor Who and we’d like to cast you’, but it clashed with other things.” Had Blessed taken the offer he would have played the Second Doctor, taking over from William Hartnell in 1966. Of course this didn’t happen, with Patrick Troughton bagging the role instead.
In the interview Blessed went on to talk about the modern incarnation of the show and which direction it should take, especially in terms of who should succeed current Time Lord Peter Capaldi – “I think they need to re-examine his surname – ‘Who’ is very oriental. It’s about time they had an Asian actor as The Doctor. And a female one.”
Naturally an interview with Blessed can’t be done without referencing his role in the 1980 cult film Flash Gordon. “My biggest love has always been space. I grew up in a mining village in South Yorkshire and every weekend the local picture house played Flash Gordon. Magnificent Buster Crabbe was Flash, but I always used to pretend to be flying Prince Vultan. I never dreamt that one day I’d actually play him.”
Its genuinely fascinating to think that out there in the great beyond there is a parallel dimension in which fans across the globe celebrate Brian Blessed as the Second Doctor. But would he have made a good replacement for William Hartnell? Let us know by leaving a comment below or sending us a tweet to @nerdfollowing
Read the full interview in the new issue of Radio Times, out now.
Doctor Who returns with Deep Breath on August 23rd.