Has one of TV’s longest-running sci-fi series tapped one of the most recognizable British actors to lead the franchise?

According to a new rumor, the next actor to lead Doctor Who will be none other than screen legend Hugh Grant.

The report comes from British outlet The Mirror, who reports a “TV insider” provided information that returning showrunner Russell T. Davies is keen to tap Grant for the role of the Doctor to “bring a fresh feel” to the show.

The same source said Davies hoped to expand Doctor Who into a “Marvel-like” franchise, focusing on additional series and characters in the Whoniverse.

Is Hugh Grant the next Doctor?

Hugh Grant

So, is there any truth to this rumor? Personally, I doubt it. While Doctor Who has cast established actors as the Doctor before, none have been so high-profile as Grant. It would seem like a pretty dramatic shift to suddenly pass the role to him. But maybe that’s just my personal bias here – as much as I think Grant could balance the humor and oddness of the Doctor, I don’t actually want to see him in the role. I would find it too distracting. (I feel like I wouldn’t be able to stop thinking, “That’s Hugh Grant” instead of “That’s the Doctor.”)

There is an exception to this though. I would be fine with a Grant Doctor cameo appearance, like in the upcoming 60th anniversary special. Since current showrunner Chris Chibnall established the Doctor has led many past lives we were previously unaware of, Grant could play one of those Doctors.

Either way, the BBC is notoriously secretive about the casting of the Doctor. So we won’t know anything for sure until the official announcement gets made.

What About Making Doctor Who More Like Marvel?

This claim I see greater possibility in. Marvel has become hugely successful, especially lately, by expanding their content into a series of interconnected streaming shows. Doctor Who has incredibly rich lore, with decades of popular characters that could have the potential to bring in viewers. The series has launched spinoffs before (to varying degrees of success), including Torchwood, Class, and The Sarah Jane Adventures. Similarly, plenty of fan-favorite Doctor Who characters have gone on to have more adventures in Big Finish’s audio dramas and Titan comics series.

So, given the existing lore and the precedent for expanding into new mediums with different characters’ stories, it does seem possible Davies hopes to expand the DWEU even further. However, with these sorts of things it usually comes down to one thing: money. Does the BBC want to sink the cash into more Doctor Who spinoffs? With ratings waning for the main show, and the fact that the most recent spinoff Class didn’t really take off, I’m not sure they will take the plunge.

What do you think?

So, what do you think about these latest rumors? Would you want to see Hugh Grant play the Doctor? Or do you think he’s too recognizable as himself, like I do? If you could give a Doctor Who character a spinoff series, who would it be? Let me know in the comments below.

Meanwhile, check back to THS for more Doctor Who updates.

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