According to an interview with Hanks on the podcast Happy Sad Confused with Josh Horowitz, the Twelfth Doctor, Peter Capaldi, lobbied the show’s producers for Hanks to appear as an incarnation of Doctor Who. Hanks makes it clear that he would’ve enjoyed the chance but thinks his taking over the part would not have gone over well with audiences. Check out what he has to say below:
« That would’ve been a blast, but that’s all, that’s all scheduling I guess. Can’t do every job. And honestly, me as Doctor Who– can you imagine? Can you imagine the outrage? I’m an American, and I’m gonna go over, and I’m gonna jump in that you know, red telephone box, and you know, and either wear a scarf and whatever it is. I don’t think Anthony Quinn could play Zorba the Greek in today’s popular judgment, you know. But why? You know why Josh– cause he’s not Greek. So imagine the– imagine the cry if I had played world-famous– I would’ve played one of the Daleks, maybe. I would’ve been inside one of those big salt and pepper shakers talking in that automated voice– with an English accent, by the way. »
Just as most people balk at the idea of an American playing James Bond, there’s something intrinsically British about the Doctor’s character. Hanks has played a Brit before; one of his many roles in the Wachowski’s epic Cloud Atlas was a cockney gangster. But unlike that character, taking on a role as beloved as the Doctor brings a lot more scrutiny from fans. Scrutiny about knowing something like that the TARDIS is a blue police box, not a red telephone booth. Being an American doesn’t preclude Hanks from appearing in Doctor Who completely. Fellow American Neil Patrick Harris is set to play the villain in an upcoming 60th anniversary special with returning Doctor David Tennant. And although he appeared to be joking, Hanks may still get his chance to play a Dalek someday.