Sacha Dhawan in “Doctor Who” anniversary film “An Adventure in Space and Time”. (Photo: BBC)
You probably don’t know Sacha Dhawan’s name, but it’s a pretty safe bet you’ve seen him before. Especially if you sat through the most recent Marvel Netflix series, Iron Fist. (He played Davos in it.) But he’s actually been in a ton of different types of series. He’s appeared in everything from period dramas (Mr. Selfridge) to more contemporary series (Last Tango in Halifax, Line of Duty) to comedies (Outsourced). Yet somehow, he remains largely unknown to the populace at large. Translation: He’s a perfect Thirteenth Doctor candidate. Doctor Who loves to cast people who are sitting right about where Dhawan is, career-wise, and turn them into global stars. (Remember: Peter Capaldi is an anomaly. As a general rule, the show doesn’t like to cast people who are as well known as he was.)
Plus, Dhawan comes complete with a built-in Doctor Who connection. Sort of. He played Waris Hussein, the series’ original director, in the drama An Adventure in Space and Time. This one-off biopic, released as part of Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary celebration, told the story of the series’ early days with First Doctor William Hartnell. (PS: If you are a Whovian and for some reason you’ve never seen this? Please go watch it immediately. It’s amazing.)
And not for nothing, but Dhawan himself seems pretty keen to play the Doctor. “Oh my God, I’d absolutely love to,” he said when asked by the Radio Times about his interest in the part. “I SO would love to.” He’s also openly in favor of seeing the show make a more progressive casting decision with Thirteen. He’d even prefer to see the Doctor cast as a woman this time around, even if that would obviously diminish his own shot at the role. But if the BBC isn’t ready to quite go that far, as a British man of Indian descent Dhawan himself would mark a certain amount of progress for the show, should he manage to snag the role. (He would be the first non-white Doctor, after all.) And he’d be really good at it too, which is probably the most important thing.