It may sound like the opening of a bizarre “Doctor Who” period piece, but the star of BBC’s latest “Sherlock Holmes” adaptation turned down the role of The Doctor in the time travelling series
Benedict Cumberbatch, who is the latest face of the legendary detective of Baker Street on BBC, revealed to The Sun tabloid that he was previously offered the role of The Doctor when David Tennant ended his run after three seasons and a year of specials. However, due to the immense levels of marketing and recognition that would come with the part, opted to give it a pass.
The decision certainly hasnt encumbered his career any as “Sherlock Holmes,” which is also produced by “Doctor Who” showrunner Steve Moffat, managed to pull in a respectable 7.5 million viewers for its premiere … a figure comparable with the average of “Doctor Who’s” fifth season. And, to top it off, it also beat out an episode of “Top Gear,” which sported special guest appearances from Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz.
“David and I talked about it but I thought it would have to be radically different,” Cumberbatch is reported to have told the tabloid. “And anyway, I didnt really like the whole package – being on school lunch boxes.”
So, when Cumberbatch turned down the job, the title of Time Lord fell to Matt Smith. Of course, this isn’t the first time that the second choice for The Doctor has stepped up to take control of the series. When the series was revived in 2005, David Tennant reportedly auditioned for the part but was turned down, only to be called back for the part after Christopher Eccleston vacated the Tardis after a single season.
However, Smith may be at the controls of the infamous blue box for less time than anyone expects. The Sun has also claimed that Smith is looking to leave the show for the brighter lights of Hollywood.
“Matt plans to quit after the next” season, an insider apparently told the newspaper earlier this month. “He is eager to try new things and thinks Hollywood beckons.”
None of this has been confirmed by Smith’s representatives or BBC, and so should be treated as any rumor would.