Speculating about which actors could admirably fill the Doctor’s sand shoes is a regular part of being a Doctor Who fan. Allowing the time lord to evolve into different versions of himself, and to be played by different actors, is one of the ways the show has survived and thrived for 50 years. But what if the show wasn’t a quintessentially British phenomenon, but had been born in the gold ol’ US of A? And I don’t mean the movie version David Yates kept insisting he was making, I mean if the show had actually been invented here in the States. Who might have played the Doctor over the years? How about Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston, for one?
Tumblr user Smug Mode decided to turn this hypothetical situation into a series of pictures depicting the Twelve Doctors: The American Version. Obviously this is the sort of thing that will get fans twisted all out of shape, possibly to the point that fistfights break out. And we’ll be in there swinging right along with you, because while some of the picks are brilliant — we would totally be on board for Cranston’s portrayal of the time lord — some of them are…less brilliant. Let’s run through the Docs in order, along with my thoughts about each of Smug Mode’s picks. (He’s American now, so people would probably call him Doc, right?)
For the first Doctor, we’ve got Burgess Meredith, a nicely crusty choice for the original Doctor’s tendency to be kind of an irritable asshole. William Hartwell of course gave us the First Doctor here in this reality, and Meredith is a nice American equivalent. Both men had backgrounds in the theater, both served during World War II, and both ended up playing a lot of “heavies” early in their career. Whereas Hartnell’s stint as the Doctor let him play a very different type of character, Meredith got the flamboyant role of the Penguin in the ‘60s series and movie.