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As Matt Smith Hints At Jump To Hollywood, Could Paterson Joseph’s Name Re-Emerge For “Doctor Who”?

As Matt Smith Hints At Jump To Hollywood, Could Paterson Joseph's Name Re-Emerge For "Doctor Who"?

Speaking on the possibility of trying his hand at a career in Hollywood, Doctor Who star Matt Smith told VH-1 earlier this month that he’s “got another year of Doctor Who, but then [he’s] certainly going to come and give it a shot – come and hang out in L.A.”

Back in 2008, when David Tennant appeared to be ready to give up the iconic sci-fi television role, and on the heels of the selection of Barack Obama as president-elect, there was widespread speculation that Paterson Joseph (Peep Show, Survivors, Blood and Oil) was a shoe-in to become the first black Doctor.

Obviously– despite the rampant Internet rumors– Joseph was not offered the role.

The popular BBC show, which airs here on BBC-America, will celebrate its 50th Anniversary in 2013, the year Smith’s contract is up.

While Smith hasn’t officially announced whether he’ll stay or go, and Joseph’s name hasn’t publicly been mentioned as a forerunner to replace him, it isn’t too early to wonder if it could ever happen.

Has the euphoria of Obama’s election worn off to the point that Paterson Joseph is no longer seen as a viable contender for the role of Doctor Who?

To the Doctor Who fans reading this, “Do you think the show would maintain its popularity if a black actor was cast as the Doctor?”

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I've just recently started watching "Peep Show" and it struck me that Patterson Jospeh would be fantastic as The Master, much better than John Simm who I didn't care for.


Let it go! Patterson Joseph will never be 'Doctor Who' the erroneous information/rumors that were going around a few years back, basically ended any chance of that possibility coming to fruition.

Calli Arcale

It’s way too soon for any speculation; back in ’08, Paterson Joseph was reportedly amused at the rumors, since he hadn’t been approached and was unavailable in any case, being out of the country on a project. (There’s more than willingness and suitability to casting a role. Logistics can scotch anything.) But I think he’d be perfect. His performance as the Marquis de Carabas in “Neverwhere” was very Doctorish — he actually made me think of Tom Baker occasionally, because he does the same bugeye thing at similar moments. He’d be an excellent choice.

Can the Doctor change race? Well, he’s changed accent, height, hair color, eye color, apparent age . . . why not skin color too? Heck, his *personality* changes seem more significant. And while a female Doctor is a possibility, I think that would be a lot harder to get used to. I’d have no problem with a black Doctor, and I don’t think very many others would either. The main thing is whether he can pull off the role (I liked Tennant a lot, but honestly his portrayal was a little too human much of the time — I grew up on Tom Baker’s Doctor, so being a little more alien seems more “right” to me) and whether the stories are any good. If the stories are good and the actors can pull it off, that’s all that matters, and I think audiences will agree.


Sadly, i don’t have that channel for Doctor Who, which it’s my favorite show since last summer. I stumble upon it randomly on Netflix when i got my 4 wisdom teeth out, and for about a week, i watched nothing but Doctor Who. 1st season was really good, something new, 1st time i ever watched a British TV show, the special effects were weird at first, but I’m so use to it now (do a lot of fantasy and sci-fi British shows and movies are all like that with the special effects? Just wondering), had interesting plots, well developed characters, and the Doctor became so realistic. That’s how good the 1st season was. At first i didn’t know what was going when he regenerated (sort of like when Rose didn’t know what was going on) until I did. I was getting use to Chris’s Doctor that i wanted him back. A new guy? But within the 3 episode of season 2, i started to get use to David’s Doctor that in each episode i started to love the Doctor even more as a character. I’ll have to say that David is my favorite Doctor, still is now, because not only he is a good actor, but because how well he understood the Doctor’s characteristics. You could feel what he was feeling, sad, angry, happy, and many more feelings that i got from David’s Doctor and also Chris’s. When it was time for him to leave, boy was i was like, “What?!” I watched the End of Time episodes and when it came, i really didn’t want him to go. So sad. It took me weeks (2 to 3 weeks) to get into Doctor Who again. Then Matt became the next Doctor. Honestly, i was scared of how Matt will portray the Doctor, what will be the new Doctor’s gravings, his new characteristics, and how well Matt will play the Doctor? 1st episode didn’t feel like a Doctor Who episode, so much change,also one of the weakest Doctor episodes I’ve seen so far, but hey, it’s Matt’s first time as the Doctor, so you just need to give him so time, you have to move on at some point. I did warm up to Matt’s Doctor, in the end he’s not that bad, and I still loved the Doctor. But yeah, i still missed David’s Doctor. I know that the Doctor is a fiction character but to me, he’s an inspiration to me, never give up, that’s what the Doctor does all the time. Even the simple things, he never gives up. The Doctor Who TV show has also made me look at more British TV shows and movies. I love them, i find British to be interesting to me. That I’ll want to move there, since I’m into film making. It’s better than what America has right now for TV shows and movies. God, nothing in American TV or movies is good anymore.


It seems to me that most have missed the point of the question , which was Do we think the show would maintain its popularity if a black actor was cast in the role. I have answered that question honestly where most have just used it to complain about how David Tennant should not have left and how much they dont like Matt Smith oh and not forgetting trying to tell me I dont understand the show lol.


First of all I must stress that I love the programme Doctor Who for its own sake, as I have enjoyed it since I was a child. Before the series was revived, Jon Pertwee was my favourite doctor, in fact I am now re-watching his episodes online.

Of the recent doctors, I must say that David Tennant is my favourite, not just because he is easy on the eye, but because he is a very good actor and brought great range to the role. He seemed to be totally at home as the Doctor and apparently had a great time in the TARDIS, one leg up on the consul, banging things with the mallet and shouting ‘Stop it’ when it didn’t do as he asked. The joy on his face was lovely to watch. I was sad to see him go, but know that in Doctor Who the actors change from time to time, so was prepared to accept and love the new man for his own sake.

However by the end of Matt Smith’s first episode my husband and I turned to each other and both thought, ‘what have they done to it?’ It was like it was a totally different programme. We persevered and made it to the end of the series, but still thought what was that all about? The stories were too confusing and Matt Smith just isn’t convincing as the doctor to us. Young actors have played him before, yet when the situations arose could portray someone who could be over 900 years old. Matt just doesn’t do that to our way of thinking. So I have sadly lost faith in his doctor. This series saw us seeing a few episodes, with first the promise of Rose, Martha and Donna coming back, not quite what I was expecting in the end. And I wondered what they would do with the cybermen. Since when has the Doctor been able to disable them with his sonic screwdriver? They would delete him first! The Wedding of River Song was interesting, out of curiosity as to her relationship with the Doctor (to tie up lose ends from the Library episodes). It’s disappointing for me as I normally love the programme, but it is lost to me at the moment.

The question is, has Matt Smith actually had any work offers from America? It is all very well saying he is going to move there and try his luck. It’s not that I wish him to fail, but if he is given a series over there, while David Tennant was totally overlooked (not by his US fans I might add), it would be rather unfair.



Quotes such as ‘Tennant never should have left.’ imply that you were never really a fan of the show itself, David ISN’T the be all end all of the show and any true fan should see that, especially considering he was the Tenth Doctor, NOT the original, saying a previous actor shouldn’t have left only proves just how much you don’t really understand the show, I can’t believe there is still Matt Smith haters out there, I’m sorry but there really is NO reason for it, well no reason for a true fan of the show to hate him as the Doctor.

US Whovian

I was so disappointed with this article and some of the comments. How can it possibly matter what race the Doctor is? I thought people from the UK were more intelligent than this. I can’t imagine an instance in the US where this would be raised as a legitimate concern–at least within the last decade. The Doctor must be British (even though he’s technically an alien, his British sensibilities are important to his character.) He must be male as that too is just part of who he is. But race? There is absolutely nothing about his personality, good or bad, that is consistent solely with the white race.

As to Matt Smith, he has proven over and over that he has the range to play both childish and world-weary, both whimsical and sinister, both vulnerable and invincible. I truly enjoyed David Tenant, but now I feel that Matt is even more capable at each end of the comedy/drama spectrum. I also love River Song. Having someone who can keep pace with the Doctor’s intelligence and wit and who is on the side of good also is refreshing. I do not, however, think that she should be anything more than an occasionally recurring character. If Britain is dissatisfied with Dr. Who as it is, send it across the ocean to us. We’ll adopt him and appreciate him like he deserves.


ok so i’v loved all the episodes especially matt you people need to realize that these actors have feelings….. anyway its your opinion…. but hating him cause of who he replaced is the stupidest thing ever…. River is awesome everyone in nz loves her in fact i haven’t met anyone here yet who hates doctor who… yeah so the stories are a bit annoying sometimes who cares so stop hating doctor who cause your totally in love with David Tennant(i’m not hating the man fact is i think hes great and him and matt are tied for best in my opinion) Doctor whos for entertainment stop picking on the guy


Unlike other characters, Dr Who is of such a nature that really anything about him is up for grabs because it’s sci-fi. All he needs is to look human. It’s actually kind of silly he’s always been British despite being a 900+ year old alien but that is part of the charm and personality of the show so I agree with retaining that. However, a larger part of what makes the current show great is that the writers/creators are not afraid to take crazy risks, deal with the completely unexpected, or rewrite the rules. Who would’ve thought of introducing an aggressively amorous trisexual character and write him in such a way that everyone loves him and he’s not just comic relief? Or as someone else mentioned having a future Queen of England being a brown lady. Or a brown female assistant. Dr. Who is a futuristic non-biased being who can be any damn thing he wants. It would be against the spirit of the show (and its core cult audience) to keep him as a white male forever. The rest of the audience will just have to grow up- as they’ve been doing since 2005. I’m sure whoever is next will be chosen on ability like all the others.

As to River Song and Matt:
There’s no hate with them but the new stories are not like they were. I admit I didn’t learn about the new Dr. Who series until Tennant was there with Freema. However, I went to Netflix and watched the first season and loved Chris’s version so much I was sad he left so soon. Then I loved Tennant’s version. Got sad when Martha left. She, the Doctor and Captain Jack had such chemistry I just knew they would continue the trio but they didn’t. Yet when Catherine Tate stepped in I loved it even more. So far every time they’ve made a change it’s been for something better, lately though… There’s been some great episodes with Matt but mostly there’s a drag that wasn’t there before – may be Matt, the stories, or the Dr. being saddled with so many damn “assistants” who don’t ever leave. Good thing about the series is they give you a taste of something (like the Doctor’s Daughter or the Doctor Donna) but don’t ruin it by giving in to the impulse or giving you too much of it… until now. RS was good as a tease but like the rest she needs to go and frankly should’ve left a long time ago.


@SayNay – you need to do your research. Doctor Who is doing terrific in the ratings; the numbers have been proven in other forums. You’re falling prey to the anti-BBC/anti-Doctor Who rhetoric of some UK media. The show is the closest thing to a sure bet the BBC has, and in answer to your concern about them pulling the plug on the series, you may not be aware of it but the show has recast the Doctor on 10 occasions to date; it’s part of the formula that the Doctor changes, usually every 3-4 years. Matt Smith’s third season goes into production next spring, so he’s approaching his move-on point regardless.


What is with this fetish about Paterson Joseph? I have nothing against the guy, having only seen him in his rather unimpressive 2-episode guest appearance during the Eccleston season of Doctor Who. But, really, is he the only black male actor suitable for the role? If they’re going to go that route I’d much rather see Adrian Lester from Hustle. Or, since we now know Time Lords can change sex, maybe it’s time to start lobbying for the likes of Thandie Newton or even the actress who played Mels in Series 6 if you want to change race and gender on the character. Anyway, we all know that they’ll pick someone we don’t expect – no one saw David Tennant coming, or Matt Smith coming, or Chris Eccleston, for that matter. Everyone expected (fill in name of random actor) to play Bond and suddenly Daniel Craig was announced. When Matt Smith leaves in 2012, 2013 or 2014, or whenever, they’ll pick the best actor for the job. I just hope they don’t pick the 12th Doctor based solely on race or gender.


Now there are bound to be the people who see this as a race issue but I’m sorry changing the Doctor to a black actor or a woman would be a disaster. Not because the person is black or female just because its so different to what has come before, people dont like change and that is what they would see this as even though the doctor changes his face.You wouldnt expect to see a woman or a black actor playing James Bond would you? or a white actor or a woman playing shaft the iconic black character so its not racist to say you dont think its suitable its just a matter of what works and what would kill the show. The Doctor has always been the eccentric white (British type) man and if it changes then the show would die.It has enough trouble keeping its ratings when the actor changes anyway without changing it so much that the fans will leave in droves which is what would happen. So if Steven Moffat is listening stick with what works or you could be looking for a new job mate!


Good point, JMac, we just might not have seen that side of Richard. But yeah, with the Stiller movie, especially, he might also be too big.

And WOW folks really do not like River Song here do they?! I love her to death, and thought her character was actually given short shrift in the finale. Interesting.


Richard would be a good choice! I’ve never seen him try to be intimidating so who knows? Sometimes the mild ones can be the most intense. With all his projects though, he might be too big.


River Song is like catwoman, a huge drain on the hero and the story. As long as the storytelling gets back to what it used to be no one will mind if The Doctor gets a race lift.


Some other folks have mentioned Richard Ayoade, but I just don’t think he’s got the intensity. He just comes off too…mild and that’s not the doctor.

He’s definitely got the wacky, but The Doctor has to also have gravitas and also be able to be scary when necessary. That’s what was so beautiful about Tennant’s performance.


Tennant never should have left. I tried to give Matt a shot but nahhh. Stories seem to have lost direction too – too much focus on River Song. She was intriguing when she appeared in the library episode but making her the story … and for more than one season? And whoever thought of the Dr. Who in America slant should be fired. Whatever race, the next Dr needs to be an older, mature man, even a bit older than Patterson. It’s possible a black actor could be the next Doctor but tend to think he’d have to be light. Is there any Brit Sci Fi show where the black person looks like Patterson? Somehow it seems to be okay with very minor characters or police/court procedural shows. Also can’t see Chiwetel as the Doctor. He’s too weepy looking.


Okay so I’m a Who superfan and this happens every single time there’s rumblings of a regeneration (after Eccleston left, and after Tennant). Paterson Joseph is a possible and excellent choice (LOVED him in Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere!) especially since he is still flying under most folks’ radar and is probably not too pricey yet for the BBC (apparently that’s a big issue).

However, Chiwetel Ejiofor has said many times that he’d LOVE to be the Doctor, but I think his profile is getting too high. However, he’s got the charm, Another possibility might be Adrian Lester. He was the original Herrick in the Being Human UK pilot and was awesome on Hustle

New school Who fans wouldn’t have as much of a problem with a race change as old school fans who tend to be more cranky about these kinds of things. Also, Moffat set a precedent for a race change in a regeneration this season with another character (I’m being purposely vague so as not to spoil anyone who hasn’t seen it) so any yelling about it not being “canon” is quashed right there. There was also the season before last’s appearance of Sophie Okenedo as Queen Elizabeth the Tenth (Liz X) which was awesome.

One issue though, and this is something that friends in the UK, specifically Black folk (and maybe Black UK folk here could speak to), have mentioned to me, is that Doctor Who is so identified with Britishness as an identity and how that is tied in with Whiteness. That could be problematic on a more meta level, but on the other hand, a Black doctor could speak to the changing identity of Britain. Something to think about.

I personally would love Chewy but I’m not holding my breath.

Oh and I’ve also heard rumblings of a woman Doctor. There was a throwaway line this season also about a timelord who changed genders.

Thing is, we don’t know what Matt meant, what’s going on, and Moffat and Co. aren’t gonna give us any clues.


They’d probably cancel the show before they cast Patterson Joseph as the next Doctor. This most recent season hasn’t been doing too well as is. If Matt Smith is indeed planning to make moves toward Hollywood, the BBC might pull the plug all together…but you never know.

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