Yes, that Michael Jackson. In the '80s. And yes, it's America's fault, obviously.
Here's the deal, according to the Times:
A book about thwarted attempts to make a Doctor Who feature film reveals that Paramount wanted the title role to go to Michael Jackson.
Charles Norton, author of Doctor Who at the Movies, discovered that the King of Pop was the studio’s first choice when it agreed in 1988 to back a film by Daltenreys, the British production company that held the film rights.
As insane as it sounds, it's because Jackson had just starred in the successful movie Moonwalker. The Radio Times says that the King of Pop was "quite keen" to play the part, although the movie obviously never got made. Which is probably just as well, as Paramount's second choice for the role of the Doctor?
TV star and noted Jell-O Pudding Pop slinger Bill Cosby.
Holy fucking shit.
The book this news comes from, by the way, is actually titled Now On The Big Screen: The Unofficial And Unauthorised Guide To Doctor Who At The Cinema, in case you wonder if this is just one of those insane rumors the British tabloids like to make up from time to time. I think I... I think I need to go lie down for a minute.