Doctor Who is as British as it gets, despite its ever-expanding reach into the hearts and minds of US fans, but it’s always been a question in a lot of fans’ minds: What would have happened if the US had somehow gotten a hold of the classic BBC science fiction series that’s now lasted more than 50 years?
Sure, there was a failed attempt to bring the Doctor across the pond in 1989 in a TV movie starring the 8th Doctor, played by Paul McGann (who reprised his role briefly in last years “Night of the Doctor” web short that led up to the 50th Anniversary episode).
If you watch the 2nd season finale (at one point the series finale) of the original Star Trek series, you know that Roddenberry dabbled with his version of an American Doctor Who. Titled “Assignment: Earth,” the episode featured an eccentric time traveler named Gary Seven (Robert Lansing) with a female companion (Teri Garr) and an odd tool that looked a bit like a sonic screwdriver. No, not everything is one-to-one between this failed backdoor pilot and BBC’s incredibly popular Doctor Who, but there are too many astounding similarities between the two shows to just brush this off as coincidence. The fact that Gary Seven doesn’t show up in this video clip isn’t as surprising as it would be if he had. Still, it would have been an funny nod to what once appeared to be the first shot at an American Doctor Who series, minus one police box and plus one secret closet-chamber-portal in his office. (?!)
As for this fan-made video, it’s packed full of clips from other sci-fi leaning films that the actors have appeared in, along with lines lifted directly from even more films that sound vaguely like something the Doctor(s) we know would say. It’s the selection of actors, who are not only perfect analogues of the eras each beloved British Doctor is known for, but also a collection of the most eccentric cinematic American personalities of the past 50 years. If nothing else can be said, this reads like a master casting director’s portfolio reel. If only someone knew a time traveler to make these choices a reality. Who knows? In a parallel world, maybe it already does?
The video has been around a few months, so thanks to the Onion’s A.V. Club for the heads up. This was just too cool to not post.