Who could have guessed?
With Christopher Eccleston making such a big hit in Heroes, one could scarcely have imagined anyone else that could have brought forth the intensity and range to the first season of the revived Dr. Who series. Well, David Tennant, of course, who’s done a bang-up job on Series 2 and (from what we hear) 3 and is wonderfully easy on the eyes to boot. But — Hugh Grant?
According to Paul Hayes at Outpost Gallifrey, "actor Hugh Grant has expressed his regret at not taking on the role of the Doctor when the BBC Wales production team offered it to him on the off-chance back in 2004." Grant is quoted as saying, "I was offered the role of The Doctor a few years back and was highly flattered… "The danger with those things is that it’s only when you see it on the screen that you think, ‘Damn, that was good, why did I say no?’" Grant doesn’t rule out future guest shots, though: "I’m in talks about a one-off role. I’d prefer to be a baddie. They’re always much more fun to play." The possibilities are a bit overwhelming. Not to mention the setup lines.
Of course, Hugh had already played the Doctor previously, in the Comic Relief benefit piece, The Curse of Fatal Death, co-starring Rowan Atkinson, Jonathan Pryce and Joanna Lumley.