Fan-Cast: Doctor Who America

Guest post by James. If you want to guest post too, see the requirements here. America remakes British TV shows all the time. Usually, badly. But every once in awhile they get it right, like with The Office, All in the Family, or (dare I say it) Three’s Company. (By the way, you had no idea Three’s Company was originally a UK show called “Man About the House,” did you?) But since I’m a big sci-fi fan, and an even bigger Doctor Who fan, I thought it would be fun to recreate The Doctor in America, casting a show that is as American as The Doctor is British.

The US tried to bring The Doctor to America once before in 1996 when FOX and the BBC co-produced the TV movie that picked up where the show left off in 1989. The idea was that, if the movie sparked enough interest, the series would be revived, with The Doctor taking up residence (as it were) in San Francisco instead of London.

But the movie sparked little to no interest in America, even if it was greeted with excitement and enthusiasm in the UK, so the possibility of an American-based series died. However, with the renewed popularity of Doctor Who internationally, American TV execs have got to be plotting ways to “Americanize” Doctor Who and bring it to the masses. Is it a terrible idea? Yes. Are we going to do it anyway? You bet.

The Doctor

There’s really one of two ways the casting of the titular Doctor could go. Young and manic (like Matt Smith) or more mature and iconically American (i.e., more like an action hero). If they went the young and manic route, first in line for me might be Jeremy Davies. Although Davies is fast approaching 40, he still has a very youthful appearance, and he’s proven that he can play both smart and quirky at the same time—much like Smith himself.
But more likely than not, American execs would probably go with someone like Jon Hamm. Hamm is a little older, and would play about the age of the 4th Doctor. He’s a gifted actor, proving he can play both dramatic and comedic roles very well. And he has the added benefit of having the square-jawed look of Superman.
On the other hand, if you really wanted to go wild and cast a quintessentially American Doctor, you’d have to go with Kiefer Sutherland. Doctor Who with Sutherland at the Tardis controls would be more like “24: Time Lord,” but can you really get any more American?


Casting a companion for Doctor Who: America is a little easier, because, when you’re casting a companion, you’re not casting one iconic character who has established a presence on Doctor Who for years; you’re simply casting a pretty young girl who can hold her own against the Doctor. In essence, the companion is a variable that can’t be modeled on previous companions. In that vein, I’d love to see Emma Watson take on the role. She could bring a little Britishness to the show as well as an audience that is already interested in genre series.
But if you want to completely divorce yourself from the idea that Doctor Who: America should retain its Britishness in any way, there are a number of great American actresses that could work well on a sci-fi TV series. For example, Mila Kunis can bridge the drama/comedy divide and she’s proved sassy enough in the past to be a great foil to any Doctor. Or you could go with a staple sci-fi hottie like Summer Glau, who can be tough, smart, independent, and vulnerable, providing an interesting dynamic to team Tardis.


The Tardis isn’t a character per say, but it is an integral part of the show and part of what makes Doctor Who such a part of English culture. A London police box appearing anywhere in America seems a little absurd. To be more American, you could turn the Tardis into a regular American phone booth (which is equally anachronistic these days, but still American). However a phone booth doesn’t carry with it the same stateliness. Plus, Bill and Ted already used a phone booth for their excellent adventure, so using it again would make it seem as if the Doctor Who: American writing team was simply lazy.

If you want to go with some quintessentially American, the Tardis would have to be a car. And probably a muscle car, like a 60’s era Mustang or a Camaro. Not that the Doctor would drive it around. It’d still be bigger on the inside and teleport, but on the outside it would look like a time machine that could actually get you laid. On second thought, maybe sticking with a police box is best.


All of the Doctor Who villains could easily be translated into an American version of the show, seeing as most of them are aliens anyway with no earthly ethnicity. The Daleks would have to be a bit scarier. They’d probably have to have more weapons, move faster than a jogging 3 year-old, and be able to go up stairs. Maybe something like War Machine, from Iron Man . . . but, evil.
The only American baddie you’d have to cast is The Master. There are plenty of great actors who could do well in this role, but I think Jon Delancie would be excellent. He already has the goatee of the classic Master, and he’s already played a morally ambiguous time traveler as Q on Star Trek.
The Show

Overall, Doctor Who: America would probably have a bigger emphasis on explosions, action, and the physical prowess of the Doctor (kind of like the 3rd Doctor, but updated for the 21st century).

But, in the end, trying to “Americanize” Doctor Who for the US would be a big mistake to begin with. It will never happen, at least not in any way that could be remotely be called Doctor Who. Seriously, can you imagine Kiefer Sutherland traveling through time in a Mustang and blowing up Daleks with C4? Ridiculous.

James Ged is a writer and Doctor Who fan who watches way too much TV. By day he is an internet marketer for and shares TV memes on TV Buzzer.