Benedict Cumberbatch, then.

23rd July 2010 • Blog Post by Seb Patrick •

Well. Well, well, well. I suggest you watch this.

You don’t have to be an expert in subtly reading body language and hidden meaning to make the assumption that Cumberbatch is referring to the fact that he’s likely as not going to be appearing in more than one episode of Doctor Who at some point in the future. Unless you’re going to believe The Sun’s rumour-mongering about Matt Smith leaving after next year (and I’m choosing to stick my fingers in my ears and go LAA LAA LAAAA about that on), there’s only one safe conclusion to draw: he’s playing The Master.

Or possibly Omega.

Or whoever else is behind The Silence.

But probably The Master.

Seb Patrick once met Paul McGann, who immediately pretended to be Mark McGann. He writes for Den of Geek, BBC America, Film4 and the official Red Dwarf website, among others. He owns over thirty toy Daleks and wishes the Dapol factory tour was still open.


20 Responses

  1. Jonathan Capps

    I like it when yous peculate that someone is going to play The Master, because last time you did this it was when Derek Jacobi was cast. It bodes well.

  2. Andy M

    Some bloke famous for playing Stephen Hawking, Vincent Van Gogh and Sherlock Holmes? I can’t think how any of those roles have any relevance to Doctor Who.

  3. The Flatmate of the Site

    >I can’t think how any of those roles have any relevance to Doctor Who.

    Apart from Stephen Hawking being a fictional character, good point. I all seriousness, I would quite like a Sherlock/Who crossover.

  4. Hendiadys

    I haven’t seen Cumberbatch in anything before, but I love the way he comes across in this interview. If we still like the concept of the Master being the Doctor’s “equal and opposite” (I do) then I think Cumberbatch would work well opposite Smith. He could be decidedly creepy in exactly the places that Smith’s Doctor comes across as tender and caring.

    At some point before series 5 aired, Moffat said that Smith evoked Stan Laurel at times. By the same token, I dream that his generation of the Master might evoke, simultaneously, the out-of-his-own-time grace+clumsiness of Jacques Tati’s Hulot character, and the minimalistic alien menace of Robert Patrick’s T-1000.

    Go on, imagine it. A carriage in an old steam train. A scary tall man in a long camel-coloured coat and trilby. Some things going mysteriously askew in a nineteenth century industrial town, and the Doctor always seems to be one step behind. That’s how I’d introduce Smith’s final series, but then I’m no Moffat. It would seem like an organic reintroduction to the Master, given where we are with the Doctor, plus I want to go back to the way I felt with the Jacobi reveal, and then stay there for longer.

  5. Hendiadys

    Boo, can’t see that without signing up to Twitter. What’s the icon?

  6. Jonathan Capps

    This should work:

  7. Seb Patrick

    So it’s clearly from a photoshoot for something about Moffat… but still a very nice pic.

    Still think he’s playing either the Master, Omega or the Silence.

  8. Rosti

    Clearly it’s a screen test for the next Children in Need/Red Nose Day special, featuring Moffat as The Master/Moriarty. Or something.

    Having seen more of Benedict in action, I can’t imagine him not fitting into Who rather well.

  9. Hendiadys

    Great picture, and I agree with Rosti, having seen more of Benedict in action.

    Benedict and Smith both have their hair swept in the same kind of way – quite funny. Is Moffat being driven downwards by the combined leaning-power of those two, or are they both that much taller than him?

  10. Hopefully he will follow his mother’s footsteps and appear in Doctor Who at some point.

  11. si

    No, not The Master. I can’t be arsed with that, give us a rest. What about a character (TimeLord?) called ‘The Silence’?

    Oh, please yourselves.

  12. Hendiadys

    I don’t think the Master should reappear any time soon. But I think Cumberbatch would make a good Master, because he could have some interesting parallels with Smith’s Doctor. Maybe two years from now, in Smith’s last series, he could reappear, and be done in a way that feels fresh and scary again. I don’t want the Master to be responsible for “the silence”, but I also want the pay-off to be more complex than a one-character nemesis at the heart of it, anyway.

    Omega’s an interesting idea, but I think I’d prefer for us to encounter a completely new Timelord nemesis. Even if s/he has some responsibility for “the silence”, I think “The Silence” would be a slightly crap name though. “Yes, my name is literally ‘Bad Wolf’… what?”

  13. Andy M

    No, that should’ve turned out to be a character called Wolf who is bad. Either Harvey Keitel’s character from Pulp Fiction or if he wasn’t available, Wolf from Gladiators.

  14. Hendiadys

    Somebody from the Wild West who doesn’t like being called “Bad Wolf Tannen”.

  15. Thor

    Or an evil Bernard Cribbins as “Bad Wilf”.

  16. Hendiadys

    Evil versions of characters are cool, especially when they have one altered letter in their name, and distinct facial hair. See also: Wozbit.

  17. Andy M

    Well Cumberbatch can’t be any worse as the Master than that bloke last night was as his Moriarty. He was like a cross between Patrick Bateman and Graham Norton’s Father Ted character.

  18. Hendiadys

    He was like a cross between Patrick Bateman and Graham Norton’s Father Ted character.

    I still haven’t watched any Sherlock (I intend to), but that description puts me in mind of John Simm’s “teh wacky!!!11” first scene as the Master.

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