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Actors who nearly played the Doctor: Hugh Grant

“I was offered the role of the Doctor a few years back and was highly flattered,” said Grant in 2007, referring to the approach he received to get him to play the Ninth Doctor, the role eventually taken by Christopher Eccleston. “The danger with those things is that it’s only when you see it on screen that you think, ‘Damn, that was good, why did I say no?’ But then, knowing me, I’d probably make a mess of it.” (Reuters)

Doctor Who: 11 actors who nearly played The Doctor

Ben Falk

The lead role in Doctor Who is arguably the biggest part in British television and whoever is chosen to play the character always causes a storm of debate over their suitability. The show’s producers gave the show its key to eternal life in 1966 when they replaced William Hartnell with Patrick Troughton, through a Time Lord practice called “regeneration”.  Jodie Whittaker is the 13th (official) incarnation of the beloved Time Lord, but many actors have narrowly missed landing the role in the past.

Here are eleven performers who came close to holding the sonic screwdriver without actually getting to walk into the TARDIS as an official Doctor. How good do you think they’d have been?

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