Brian Blessed rejected Doctor Who role

The English actor has called for a shift away from white male Time Lords

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The Independent Culture

Brian Blessed has called for a change in Doctor Who tradition and suggested that an Asian actor join the string of white, male Time Lords.

The English actor, known for playing larger than life characters, has long admired the sci-fi genre and longs to go into space.

He was once asked to play a young Doctor Who, a role he rejected due to scheduling clashes, but would “jump at” should he be given the chance again.

Blessed reckons some re-examining of the hero’s surname is in order, however, which could put an end to his ambitions.

“‘Who’ is very oriental,” the 77-year-old told “It’s about time they had an Asian actor as the Doctor. And a female one.”

Peter Capaldi will begin his stint as the twelfth Time Lord when the first episode of Doctor Who series eight airs on 23 August.


The BBC has come under fire in recent times for not doing enough to improve diversity in its programmes.

Comedian Lenny Henry criticised the broadcaster’s decision to make changes through development rather than opportunity, claiming that top Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) actors like Idris Elba and Chiwetel Ejiofor “needed a break” rather than better education or training.

Danny Cohen, the BBC’s director of television, told The Observer in February that there would be a shake-up in the representation of women in comedy shows, with no more all-male panels.

“It’s not acceptable,” he said. “Hopefully the change should really become apparent.”