What if… Doctor Who were made in America?
Tumblr user Smug Mode reimagined Doctor Who with American actors (Classic Who | Nu Who). We’re taking this concept a bit further, pretending Doctor Who is produced by British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) counterpart National Educational Television (NET), which got replaced by Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in 1970. Unlike the BBC, NET/PBS didn’t produce the shows they broadcast. Production history for this exercise is based on The Outer Limits, Science Fiction Theatre and The Twilight Zone, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica and others.
Unlike the underfunded BBC, NET got $6M/year from the Ford Foundation in their quest to become a 4th major network. Since the rest of their programming was news and documentaries, NET would have plenty of cash to develop Doctor Who. The show would be broadcast as a prime time drama, each season being 25-30 hour-long episodes (with a budget of $185,000 per episode.)
American actors were chosen to match their BBC counterparts as close as possible. Selection criteria included age, resume and availability for Doctor regeneration episodes. My fantasy studio is Desilu Productions, with show runners Outer Limits creator Leslie Stevens and Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. Rod Serling wasn’t available.
Hope you enjoy this series of executive, obsessive and speculative fan fiction. Determining our best American Doctor is this context is a slow, deliberate process. We’ll post our selections soon as they’re ready. Check here regularly. In the meantime, your feedback and comments are welcome.
- Real American Doctors
- The First: Ray Walston
- The Second: Leslie Nielsen
- The Third: James Garner
- The Fourth: Barry Newman
- The Fifth: Mark Harmon