Friday, 18 October 2013

Ben Daniels on "Longlist" for the Twelfth Doctor

So, remember that whole business about how Steven Moffat's been saying Peter Capaldi was the only man on his list and that the deal for him to become the Twelfth Doctor was concluded with much amiability on both sides and that was that?

Moffat lies! Or at least leaves out significant details. Ben Daniels (who the Radio Times thought had a very good chance of getting the nod, for reasons that are all now pretty well confirmed) gave an interview to Digital Spy talking about how he was considered for the part. Full version at the link, as usual.

"I was approached and asked if it was something I'd be interested in doing...I was one of the names on one of their many lists they had as a possible replacement. So I was asked, and when I eventually managed to peel myself off the ceiling, I said, 'Yeah, of course it'd be something I'd be interested in doing,' and I was hugely excited by it."

He talks about how much he liked Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, and the show. "But I also knew from the outset that there was a name ahead of my own on that list that they were very interested in. So after that initial conversation that I had with them, it was just a waiting game. I was consumed by the idea, even though I was heavily involved filming The Paradise at the time - often I'd call my agent and make them call Doctor Who and ask if it'd gone away as a possibility."

"It was just so I could stop thinking about it, but then my agent would call me back and say, 'No, you're still on the list'. This went on for a couple of months. Then - I think it was about two weeks before that live reveal event - I was told that their shortlist had got much shorter! But it didn't mean I wouldn't come back into the frame."

"So I took that to mean the deal was being done with whoever was the frontrunner and if it all fell through, then those of us who were trailing behind would be in with a chance."

Of course, we know that was Capaldi and what happened after that. And of course it makes more sense this way - if something had gone horribly wrong with Capaldi's audition, somehow, the BBC hierarchy would have taken a dim view of having to put off announcing the new Doctor even longer to conduct more auditions. That whole "one-name shortlist" Moffat's talked about now sounds like it was only a thing in that last fortnight or so.

As we don't know who else was on the "longlist", we can't specifically query its makeup...but Ben Daniels is in the same "older man" demographic as Capaldi, and that suggests that Moffat really was looking for an actor of that type this time. So much for everybody who was hoping for a woman then, eh?


Matthew Moir said...

Rule 1: Moffatt lies.

The Mind Probe said...

Moffat clearly stated that they checked through some other actors to make sure they hadn't missed anything another actor could offer, but Capaldi was always the main one they wanted.