Whoa. All those people who were complaining that the role of the 13th Doctor was given to yet another white guy, listen up — Neil Gaiman just revealed that the role was offered to an undisclosed black actor before Peter Capaldi, who turned it down. Hey, at least they tried!
Gaiman revealed this and his thoughts on female Doctors and regeneration limits in a serious of recent Tumblr posts. Here's the important news, beginning with the subject of non-white males playing the Doctor:
"I was rather disappointed that Paterson Joseph didn’t get [the role] last time, although I’ve loved Matt’s Eleven.) And yes, I have no doubt there will be [a black Doctor]. (I know one black actor who was already offered the part of the Doctor, and who turned it down.) Just as there will be a female Doctor."
On how the Doctor could theoretically regenerate past his 13th incarnation:
"Well, [the regeneration limit of 13] was the rule when we had Time Lords running the show. (And they were the ones who gave the Master his extra regenerations.) There aren’t any Time Lords any more… MY OPINION (which is not Canon) is that the regeneration limit is a lot like the speed limit. You can break it, but things get a lot more dangerous if you do. The Time Lords were the traffic cops: they enforced the limit. With them gone, the Doctor can keep regenerating beyond 13, but with consequences."
On Peter Capaldi:
"I think Peter’s a brilliant actor... I can’t wait to see what he does. I’m glad that we’re getting an older Doctor — we’ve had two puppies, it’s time to see someone older. It’ll change the nature of the relationship with Clara in interesting ways, for a start."
And most interestingly, why Capaldi is possibly the best choice to follow Matt Smith:
"And here, for what it’s worth, are my other thoughts: Do I think it’s time to cast a woman as the Doctor? Not yet. Not quite... [f I were show-running (I’m not) I wouldn’t cast a woman as the Doctor yet, and it would absolutely be on my list of things to do in the following regeneration. (I was the one who wrote the line about the Corsair changing gender on regeneration, in “The Doctor’s Wife" after all, and made it canon that Time Lords can absolutely change gender when they regenerate.) Some of that is stuff I’d find hard to articulate, mostly having to do with what kind of Doctor you follow Matt Smith’s Doctor with: someone harder and much older and more dangerous and, yes, male feels right to me, as a storyteller. Where you go after that, ah, that’s a whole new game…"
You know, I kind of agree with him. I'm not sure why, exactly, but somehow it feels like a female or black (or, god forbid, a black female!) Doctor will have more impact after Capaldi than it would after Smith. Maybe because the Doctor has traditionally been an old white dude, so by returning the Doctor to that default the change becomes more meaningful? Maybe? I'm not sure, but with the news that showrunner Stephen Moffat tried to expand the Doctor's forms, I have high hopes for #13.
[Via Doctor Who TV]