If Doctor Who was an American show from the beginning

Discussion in 'Doctor Who' started by sttngfan1701d, Feb 14, 2014.

  1. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    Sam Huntington is an interesting choice. I'll throw in Deborah Ann Woll for Amy though Emma seems a good personality match.
     
  2. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    Tangently related, several months ago I watched a couple of "Mystery Science Theater 3000" episodes that riffed "omnibus" cuts of "Rocky Jones Space Ranger". Both featured a character named Professor Newton, the resident boffins of the group. Joel and the 'Bots compared Newton to the Doctor in the first of those two broadcasts. Cute, but it kinda' breezed by me since the actor Maurice Cass was dressed as the stereotypical elderly scientist in a white lab-coat. But in the second Rocky Jones serial they riffed (in which they didn't make any Doctor Who references) my jaw nearly dropped to the door. Cass dressed not the expected lab-coat, but rather in a thigh length black jacket and a checkered waistcoat. The clothes were nearly identical to William Hartnell's wardrobe!

    Take a look at the first few images retrieved from this Google image search...

    https://www.google.im/search?q=prof...fnkAe10YG4Dg&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAQ&biw=1920&bih=878

    Mind you, this was 1954, nine years before Doctor Who debuted. No, I'm not claiming DW "lifted" from Rocky Jones. That kind of ensemble was probably "common" several decades earlier, so it was no doubt just coincidence both shows chose that motif for their educated grandfatherly figures. But I still had to smile. Comparing Newton to the Doctor would have worked better for the second Rocky Jones outing since he dressed the part.

    Incidentally, Cass died in the middle of production, so a new "scientific adviser" was introduced, Professor Newberry, a younger character.

    That did get me wondering how an American Doctor Who might have looked, but my ponderings explored the idea of it being a Republic Pictures serial made in either the late 40s or early 50s, shown in the theaters as part of the "Saturday matinee". Each episode would end a cliffhanger, well, much like the "real thing" did from 63 to 89, but it would have had that distinctive RKO or Republic flavor, something akin to "Commando Cody". That also got me wondering what would get changed to appeal to American audiences. I suspect Susan would become a younger "Billy" or "Timmy", Barbara would have been made a secretary or, oy vey, a reporter, and Ian would been renamed "Steve", a retired soldier or a "flatfoot" cop.

    But I realize this is veering from the mental exercise of this thread, an American television version created in 1963, with cast changes in sync with those of the real program. I wasn't sure if my thoughts warranted a whole thread, so I just slipped them in here.

    Carry on.

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  3. sttngfan1701d

    sttngfan1701d Commodore Commodore

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    ^ That's quite interesting, actually. I don't care where this thread goes unless it becomes nothing but comedy. I'd like it to be somewhat a serious exercise, except where comedy is warranted through retro ridiculousness or cultural differences between the US and UK.

    I'm sure old serials like that inspired a lot of things. Similar to what Lucas and Spielberg did with Indiana Jones, I'm sure that the creators of an American Doctor Who would be inspired by (and lift from) old sci-fi serials, H.G. Wells, Jules Verne etc.

    And I think you're right about the character changes for the first companions. Schoolteachers being replaced by reporters chasing a story for the American version makes sense. Or instead of a scrap yard, what if the TARDIS materialized outside a military base in Nevada or something and the Doctor had to "kidnap" a cop or soldier/military policeman.

    And what if it changed the TV landscape of the time? For instance, Star Trek was created in 1966 to compete with Doctor Who in the ratings, and they both became sort of a long-running "Gunsmoke"-type of thing, competing against each other and keeping each show alive for decades? Then Kirk and crew handed the reins over to TNG, and Trek flourished while Doctor Who floundered in the late 80's......
     
  4. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Grey Owl Wizard Premium Member

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    I would love either of them, Teri Garr edges out Goildie Hawn, just on my actress/character exposure and preference, but, either would play her awesome...ly(?), IMHO
     
  5. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    George C. Scott for the Roger Delgado version of The Master. Find a pic online of him when he was bearded - there is quite a resemblance IMHO.
     
  6. Pindar

    Pindar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Danny Dyer as the Eric Roberts Master and Patsy Kensit as Grace
     
  7. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    I think that's a bit insulting to Eric Roberts! :lol:
     
  8. Venardhi

    Venardhi Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I just don't see Nick Cage taking a TV role in 2004 or Rockwell the next year, even if either were huge fans in this alternate timeline. I'm thinking the more likely pick would be someone either on the upswing of their career or coming down, a character actor who never broke out, or perhaps someone from Whedon's stable (since he is apparently running the show in this alternate universe)

    Rather, I propose these alternative:

    9 - Christian Slater. He had descended from the heights of his career but was still enough of a name and a good actor when he has material to work with. He does a lot of indie work and I can believe he wouldn't want to be tied down. Playing the role as a damaged but optimistic old soul, Slater brings a touch of sex and swagger to the character as never before.

    10 - Neil Patrick Harris - Choosing Doctor Who over 'How I Met Your Mother' to pilot his resurgent career, NPH brings all the charm and bravado (and suits!) of Barney without the cocksure misogyny.
     
  9. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

    Happy Xmas (War Is Over) Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    But of the Doctor Whowser jokes?
     
  10. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    I like both of those ideas
     
  11. sttngfan1701d

    sttngfan1701d Commodore Commodore

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    Oooh, those are good ideas. I can definitely see Christian Slater as the alternate Eccleston. And NPH would be a riot as Ten, but could he bring dramatic acting too?
     
  12. Venardhi

    Venardhi Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Absolutely.

    He is heartbreaking as Billy in Dr. Horrible.
     
  13. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm sure NPH would bring something interesting to an Americanized Doctor Who, but I don't really see him as a counterpoint to David Tennant.

    Personally, I think Tennant and Smith are the hardest to think of analogous American equivalents.
     
  14. Venardhi

    Venardhi Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It isn't about them being equivalent, but the overall change in the show they brought with them. He wouldn't be playing Tennant's Doctor, but rather the alternative 10th and the successor to the more understated and 'fierce' first modern Doctor: younger, hipper, more energetic and theatrical; full of bravado and ego.
     
  15. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    Okay, we've discussed potential actors, we've considered possible time capsule exteriors.

    Now, what about the control room? Do you think an American production would designed something akin to the six sided console with the elevating plexi' column, the walls honeycombed with recessed roundels? Hmm, something tells me US creators would opt for something...busier. I'm not sure why, but my mind keeps coming back the flight deck of the Jupiter II, maybe because the layout is similar. It has a centrally located plynth mounted control surface that dominates the scene. I suspect "backers" would think honeycomb walls not interesting enough and demand "lots of blinking lights".

    But I think we're overlooking something important, something I'm surprsied Christopher has not yet interjected. Doctor Who, the genuine item, is serialized, each story comprising several episodes, each of them ending in a cliffhanger. Shoot, in the earliest serials, even the conclusion of the overall adventure sequed into the next. Except for "daytime dramas" (read: soap operas), American television was usually structured to present self contained stories. They seldom "called back" events from earlier episodes so that when syndicated, they could be played in nearly any order without ill effect. But with the real DW, not only did episodes of a given story have to be played in a specific order, but the fairly rapid turnover of traveling companions demand the serials should be played in sequence. That goes against the philosophy behind most American primetime drama of the 1960s. I suspect there were exceptions, but they were likely few.

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  16. Vendikarr

    Vendikarr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think the next fun exercise would be casting the various Doctors as American/Canadian women.

    I could see Agnes Moorhead as the first Doctor in such an alternate univese.
     
  17. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It works in that context all right. I personally have been looking at it as an exercise in who would be the nearest to playing the role as their real-life counterpoints, which is why I made my earlier comment. But everyone is dealing with the thread a little differently, which is cool.
     
  18. Venardhi

    Venardhi Vice Admiral Admiral

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    In the OP/Article they seem to be torn between the two concepts. At once wanting to make an American parody out of the alternate universe show and yet also playing it straight with other picks. I lean towards the latter approach, taking into context the actor's careers around that point in time as well as the desired tone of each Doctor. For example, I can't imagine Jeff Goldblum circa Independence Day as in any way comparable to McGann, nor was his career at a point where he was perceived as a viable leading man in this kind of a project. He would have been better suited to the Master. A little tricky coming up with someone who would have been a good pick around that point that wasn't either too big for the role or already committed to a show that made their career in the mid 90s. Bryan Cranston was around back then doing soap and coffee creamer commercials and appearing in guest spots on everything from Seinfeld to Babylon 5, I wonder if in this alternate universe he might have been discovered for the role and then faded back into obscurity until a few years later when Malcom in the Middle and Breaking Bad made him a household name.
     
  19. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I agree with you entirely that there's no real similarity or comparison between McGann and Goldblum. But I could see the logic in choosing Goldblum for this (admittedly odd) reason (probably nothing to do with the OP's reasoning). I think McGann was chosen in 1996 partly to evoke Tom Baker. Both were about the same age when cast, both from Liverpool. Paul's hair was long and flowing like Tom. He was kind of like a more photogenic version.

    In the original article, the Fourth Doctor was Gene Wilder. So if in this alternate universe, they also opted to cast a Doctor who was reminiscent of the hugely popular Fourth Doctor - I can see why they'd go for Jeff, as his curly hair and Jewish features might vaguely recall Gene Wilder. in the same general way as McGann echoes Baker.

    But otherwise - I agree with you, McGann and Goldblum aren't really two of a kind.
     
  20. sttngfan1701d

    sttngfan1701d Commodore Commodore

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    Yet, I think one or two people on this board have said in the past that Goldblum would make a good Doctor. I could see him in the 1996 one-off, to be honest, even if he isn't the mirror image to Paul McGann.