John Simm tipped to be new Doctor Who
THE man hotly tipped to take over from David Tennant as the next Doctor Who may have to come back from the dead before he starts.
Speculation is growing that John Simm, most famous for his starring role in the 1970s cop show Life on Mars, will take up residence in the Tardis when its current occupant leaves the role.
But the 35-year-old has already appeared in the cult series earlier this year as the Master, one of the Doctor’s greatest adversaries.
He appeared to die at the end of the episode, but after being cremated on a funeral pyre, a female hand could be seen picking up a ring belonging to the character from the ashes, to the sound of the Master’s maniacal laughter, prompting fans to speculate that the character will in face return to the show.
If Simm is to return in any guise, the show’s writers would either have to explain his resurrection or add him in another way.
And if he is indeed to return as the Doctor, an even more ingenious explanation will be required to account for his transformation from the Timelord’s sworn enemy to the central character himself – unless, of course, their facial similarities are entirely glossed over.
But Elaine Penn, features editor of TV Choice magazine and a huge Doctor Who fan, said the writers would not worry about the producing an apparently implausible storyline to explain the transformation.
She said, “To have someone who played such a major role in the series already to come back as the Doctor could be a little confusing for people, especially children.
“But anything is possible, that’s the wonderful thing about Doctor Who, anything goes.
“We have already seen the Doctor’s assistant supposedly killed off, only to come back in a later show.”
Simm may indeed have the right contacts to land the show’s main role, having already worked on Life on Mars, which, like Doctor Who, is a BBC Wales production.
But Ms Penn said she thought it was still a little premature to be suggesting names to replace Tennant in 2009, when he is expected to leave the show.
She added, “Maybe it’s a little too early to say for definite who it will be. If John Simm has been photographed on the set there is nothing to say he couldn’t just be coming back as one of the Doctor’s enemies.”
Tennant is currently filming the fourth series of the award-winning show in Cardiff with comedian Catherine Tate as his sidekick.
The series will be aired in 2008 with three specials planned for 2009 but Tennant has agreed to play Hamlet with the Royal Shakespeare Company so may finish with his role as the Doctor.
The BBC’s search for a replacement has led to heavy speculation about the identity of Tennant’s successor, with Simm now appearing favourite to take the role.
An unnamed BBC source was quoted in a London-based papers yesterday saying, “John is absolutely over the moon. He’s got a six-year-old son who is a massive Doctor Who fan and can’t believe his dad is going to get to fly the Tardis at work.
“John is a superb actor and will follow in the footsteps of David Tennant and Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor.”
Other men linked with the much sought-after role are Welsh actor Rhys Ifans, Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe and The Office actor Mackenzie Crook.
Doctor Who fan Ms Penn, added, “I think Rhys Ifans would be brilliant for the role, it would be nice to see a Welsh Doctor especially with the show being filmed in Wales.
“Daniel Radcliffe is a good actor but I think he is far to young to play Doctor Who and people still only really associate him with Harry Potter. I don’t think you can compare the two.
“Mackenzie Crook definitely has the right look to play Doctor who and he is a good actor, he could be a very good choice.
“The BBC are normally quite good at keeping the secrets about actors and plot lines for the forthcoming shows, I think Russell T. Davies is the one who sometimes lets the cat out of the bag.”