In the UK right now, a major cultural shift is taking place: the actor who plays the lead role in Doctor Who (technically speaking the character is called “The Doctor”, not “Doctor Who”) is stepping down, and now we have months of speculation about the future of the show and who will take over.
So, as I was wondering who I’d like to see in the role, I thought, if language were no barrier, which Japanese or Korean actors could take the role? Who has the required air of alien-ness and childlike qualities? This is the list I came up with. It's in order from "unlikely" to "you know, I think this might work!"
One of my favourite actors, even if he only ever plays one role: the downtrodden ordinary man. But I think he’d be good at this. Something about his self-deprecating sense of humour appeals. I’m not sure how good he’d be at action scenes, though.
To be honest, he’s practically already played Dr Who. His performance in Mr Brain was a great example of eccentric genius, all nervous smiles and sudden bursts of energy. And his character’s constant bemusement at how other people think or feel is another aspect that I found quite Doctor-ish. The down side is that he never does two series of the same show, effectively ruling him out for this role.
Putting to one side the fact that Abe Hiroshi could play any role and be brilliant, I think he’d be great in this. He has physical presence, but also a subtlety in his acting which I think would fit perfectly.
I poo-pooh the idea that the Doctor must be played by a man (otherwise the British Empire will fall or something like that) and I’d be very pleased if producer Steve Moffat chooses a woman for the next series. And if so, why not the striking and unique Kuriyama Chiaki. She's a decent actress who knows how to do an action scene.
Bae Doo Na
In Air Doll, the role she played was of a newcomer to a strange world, and I think she has the right qualities of slight eccentricity and vulnerability necessary for playing the Doctor. Maybe her boyfriend (?) Jim Sturgess can convince her to go for the part.
Slightly alien air about him? Check. Eccentric taste in roles? Check. Can do comedy and drama, even in the same scene? Check. Well, I can’t find anything wrong with this idea. Plus, he speaks English (at least, he studied drama in the US). He could actually do this! Please? Pretty please? Someone send the producers of Dr Who a link to this page, and then when he gets the job, you can all thank me later.