This Sunday, we’ll learn who the next Doctor will be. Watching Doctor Who’s comeback has been great, as somebody who never thought the BBC would revive the show, but I do agree that the fans have a point. We’ve had a whole bunch of basically skinny British guys as the Doctor.
It’s time for some variety. It’s time to shake things up. It’s time, if only for a few episodes, for the Rock. Yes, really.
Yes, I’m well aware they’ll never do this, on either end. This actually started as a joke from a fellow Internet writer and comedian, Meghan O’Keefe. But as odd as it may sound on the surface, they should do it, for a few reasons.
It’d Shake Things Up
So that’s a bit of an understatement, and it’s not like recent Who hasn’t been great… but why not have some fun with it? The great thing about Doctor Who is the fact that the writing staff are so, so good at throwing curveballs; nothing is quite what it seems, nobody is quite who they think they are, and there’s always more to the story.
Imagine the Doctor waking up in a body he just isn’t quite sure what the hell to do with. The guy has never been physically intimidating, and suddenly, he’s being mistaken for a space action hero. It’d also give the show a chance to explore just what it’s like to be the same person, but periodically wake up in a different body, something they’ve touched on but never dug into with the depth such a concept deserves.
The Rock Actually Excels At This Kind of Thing
Really, you can boil a great Doctor down to three things: Comic timing, commitment to being ridiculous, and charisma. The Rock has shown all three. Thanks to a mixture of friends who love the guy, I’m pretty familiar with his ouvre, and he’s consistently the best thing in the movies he’s in. Which is dim praise in some cases, but the point stands: The man’s got the chops.
He’s Never Found A Role That Truly Suits Him
The thing about Dwayne Johnson is that he’s a comedic actor, and a highly effective one, stuck in an action star’s body. Just like Vin Diesel’s best work is probably going to end up being a supporting role in a TV series about ten years from now, once Hollywood stops casting him as the anti-hero, he’s still searching for something that clicks with his sensibilities. As weird as this may sound, if you see the guy handling a role, the Doctor is a pretty good fit.
It’d Finally Open Up The Show To The Wide Audience It Deserves
The thing about Doctor Who that’s always frustrating is that the show, while it has a strong and growing fanbase, doesn’t really get the exposure it deserves beyond British. It’s not “just” a British show anymore and really it hasn’t been for a while. That’s like arguing Star Trek is solely American and only an American can helm the Enterprise; we’re kind of beyond those labels at this point.
It’s not that it’s not “accessible” or that it’s too “British”; both of those ideas are pretty insulting to a television audience that’s put shows like Breaking Bad and Downton Abbey to the cultural forefront. But, despite living in a world where half the nation calls themselves fans of Star Trek and Iron Man can rake in a billion dollars at the box office, old attitudes about SF television prevail way too often, and Who is the victim of them more often than not.
It’d be great to see Who crack those barriers, because it’s spent decades trying to do just that, and would help boost shows like Orphan Black that deserve a wider audience.
So, think about it, BBC. Because if nothing else, it’d be among the most memorable episodes the show has ever produced.
(Image elements courtesy of BBC and 惡龍~Stewart on Flickr)