In an interview with The Express, veteran actor Bill Nighy shared that he was contacted to play the TARDIS-traveling Time Lord for the latest series of Doctor Who but turned the offer down. “I will say that I was approached,” said Nighy to The Express. “But I didn’t want to be the Doctor. No disrespect to Doctor Who or anything, I just think that it comes with too much baggage.”
Peter Capaldi, known for his swear-tastic performance as Malcolm Tucker in the political comedy The Thick of It, was just chosen as the Twelfth Doctor. It’s unclear whether Nighy recently turned down the offer, though, so he might not have been in competition with Capaldi, but a different Doctor. Nighy praised the choice of Capaldi for the role, continuing in The Express, “He’s a marvellous actor. He’ll be very good as the Doctor. He’ll bring a lot of wit and dry humour. He’s elegant and he looks great.”
Nighy briefly appeared on Doctor Who, making a cameo as Dr. Black, a bow tie-rocking art historian, who encounters the Doctor (Matt Smith) and companion Amy Pond (Karen Gillan). In the episode, titled “Vincent and the Doctor,” the Doctor and Amy bring new friend Vincent Van Gogh (Tony Curran) to a gallery exhibition of his work at Paris’ Musée d’Orsay. The emotional and erratic Van Gogh is brought to tears when overhearing Nighy’s Black describe Van Gogh as the “finest painter of them.”
Capaldi too has previously appeared on Doctor Who, guest starring as Lucius Caecilius Iucundus, a Pompeii resident at a time when it would be best not to be so close to Mount Vesuvius. He also appeared on Doctor Who spinoff Torchwood as government official John Frobisher, a.k.a. the person I irrationally blame for the unfortunate events of Torchwood: Children of Earth.
Are you wishing you had a TARDIS to travel the Earth where Nighy accepted the offer? Share your thoughts in the comments below!