British actor David Morrissey is currently bringing The Walking Dead’s villainous Governor to life on AMC, but genre fans might recall that he put in some time on another fan favorite a few years ago. He appeared in the 2008 Doctor Who Christmas special, entitled “The Next Doctor,” as “Jackson Lake,” a man who was convinced that he was an incarnation of the Doctor, much to the chagrin of then-current Tenth Doctor, played by David Tennant. And while his dance card is certainly filled these days, he’d still love to return to Doctor Who in some capacity in the future.
Speaking to Den of Geek, Morrissey reminisced about his experiences on Doctor Who, and how eager he would be for a return trip to then TARDIS:
I would absolutely love to do it again. I had such a ball doing it. [Doctor Who writer] Mark Gatiss says, you know, there’s nothing more blissful for him to write than ‘Interior TARDIS: Day’ or whatever on the top of one of his scripts, it’s living the dream. And for me, when I went down and worked on it, I thought ‘This is great’, it’s a really well-run show, people take it very seriously but you have fun on it. And l loved that character, I really loved Jackson Lake, I thought he was a really interesting man, he was in some sort of trauma himself and the Doctor liberates him from that…
While the episode’s title and concept suggested that Morrissey’s appearance might have been a secret scheme to introduce him as Tennant’s replacement, the story wasn’t nearly as clear cut. After joining forces with the real Doctor to help foil a Cybermen invasion, Lake eventually realizes that he is not a Time Lord after all. Rather, he had been exposed to the Doctor’s memories during a run-in with the Cybermen, and was clinging to them to help forget the memory that the mechanical menaces had murdered his wife.
Of course, at the time showrunner Russell T Davies didn’t discourage fan speculation that Morrissey was going to be more than just a one-off guest star. And looking back on the project, Morrissey says there was a part of him that would have liked those rumors to be true.
It’s a great show, and I was slightly thrown by all that. David (Tennant) announced he was going and this rumour mill began, and I couldn’t say what I knew, but it was a very fun place to inhabit for six months. When people thought it was going to be me, that was great. And also I think that Russell is just a wonderful person, so it was great to even be associated with that, but I think it’s in good hands now.
You can read the full David Morrissey interview at Den of Geek. Morrissey will be seen once again on AMC’s The Walking Dead beginning on February 10th, when the show returns from its winter hiatus.