This week Matt Smith, somewhat inevitably, decided he was giving up probably the biggest and most recognisable role in British television – The Doctor. It means we now have a three-month, press and book makers fuelled debate over who should be the next Doctor. We will have older actors, Hollywood actors, random comedians, woman and any other television and film personality that will get minds wandering and people talking.
I decided to start my campaign in the first week. The casting process has to have begun and I’m pretty certain the role will be cast with a relative unknown actor anyway but just in case they are looking for someone who is slightly more established and has some sort of fanbase/career, Patterson Joseph would be perfect.
There is a good chance you aren’t familiar with Patterson Joseph’s work. He’s been on and around British TV since the early 90s but hasn’t had that one, memorable and stand-out role that’s truly made him a household name. You look at a handful of his previous roles and he has everything that I would want in The Doctor.
Joseph starred in a British series called Survivors. He played a mysterious character, someone with no real attachments or connection with any of the other characters, but someone who could come through with a brave heroic moment when required. He wasn’t a reassuring, all-smiling character who you would want to share a train journey with, but when you need saving from a vigilante group or taking control when chaos surrounds you, Patterson Joseph’s character in Survivors was perfect.
These are all characteristics the Doctor needs. He can be serious, he can be dramatic but reassuringly heroic. He has that self-righteous streak and portrays the idea of superiority brilliantly. These are all things I want to see in The Doctor. I never liked a Doctor who is cuddly or overtly friendly. I prefer my Doctors arrogant, knowingly intelligent but reassuringly heroic. Joseph can portray this perfectly.
In the era of Steven Moffat (and Russell T Davis for that matter) you must be able to play the humour of The Doctor. Be it the confused, fish-out-of-water element that each Doctor always has or the ability to out-wit and mock an enemy, you must have perfect, comedy timing to keep up with the humourous side of the role. Anyone who is a fan of British sitcom Peep Show will recognise Joseph as Alan Johnson, the ridiculously confident, uber-male boss of Mark Corrigan.
This role proves his comedic talent and ability to play for a laugh. At times, Joseph is the best thing in Peep Show and Alan Johnson steals the episode. It’s also a chance to see the confident, glint in the eye that is almost essential for portraying the last Timelord.
There are two “issues” with casting Patterson Joseph though. The first is that he has been in Doctor Who already. He played a cowardly, Bad Wolf Gamestation contestant in the finale of Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor. That has never stopped the casting department of Doctor Who before though, with Freema Agyeman (Martha), Karen Gillan (Amy) and Sixth Doctor himself, Colin Baker, all having starred in the Sci-Fi show before.
The unusual element that may put people off is that this would be the first black Doctor. It’s a non-issue but worth mentioning. I’m not one for changing anything about the Doctor just “because we haven’t had one before” so I would always cast the best actor for the character, be it a black person, a woman, an American and so on… if the person has the qualities required for the Doctor, they should get the role and Patterson Joseph does.
Regardless of who is cast, and I really hope it is Patterson Joseph, it is one of the most exciting times in British television. The change from Eccleston to David Tennant was amazing and resulted in one of the best Christmas specials. The first episode of Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor gave us one of the best Moffat episodes ever and the regeneration of the Doctor always produces a great Doctor Who episode.
Overall, Patterson Joseph has the dramatic, comedic and acting presence to produce a brilliant Doctor. The roles I’ve seen him in, particularly his two most high-profile, Survivors and Peep Show, demonstrate what a great actor he is and why he would the perfect choice for the biggest role on British TV. Hopefully you’ll join with me in my campaign for Patterson Joseph as the Doctor and begin hash-tagging #JosephistheDoctor and spreading the good word.