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THE DOCTORS WHO WEREN’T

In the final decade of Doctor Who’s original television run, three actors were cast as the Time Lord. Many more narrowly missed the opportunity…

THE1980s

Iain Cuthbertson, who played conman Garron in The Ribos Operation (1978).
Andrew Sachs as the hapless Manuel in Fawlty Towers (1975-79).

While announcing his departure from Doctor Who in October 1980, Tom Baker mischievously signed off by wishing his successor the best of luck – “whoever he, or she, might be.” While this PR wheeze, cooked up by Baker and producer John Nathan-Turner in the back of a cab, generated plenty of headlines, no woman was seriously considered to play the Fifth Doctor. We’d have to wait another 35 years for that particular culturequake.

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About Doctor Who Magazine

Doctor Who’s creators envisaged a series that would go forwards, backwards and sideways in time. The Doctor’s trips to parallel universes and alternative dimensions have provided the show with some of its best-loved adventures – from its black-and-white beginnings to the latest episodes, starring Jodie Whittaker. Uncover the background to these memorable journeys and explore the greatest stories beyond the television series in this lavish publication, which is packed full of exclusive features and rare images.