Andrew Buchan in a “Broadchurch” promotional poster. (Photo: ITV)
You probably have never heard of Andrew Buchan. And isn’t that how Doctor Who casting usually works? He’s a hardworking British character actor with a fairly extensive resume. Most of his roles are good ones. He’s a solid performer. But he’s yet to have a true “breakout” role. For the moment, he’s definitely more of a “Hey! It’s That Guy!” type. You might know him from period dramas like Garrow’s Law or Cranford, which were staples on PBS stations here in America. Maybe you saw his 2009 crime drama The Fixer, which for some reason is just now making its way to public television stations here in the States.
However, Buchan is probably best known these days for his work on mystery series Broadchurch, which also stars former Doctor David Tennant. Buchan plays Mark Latimer, a suffering everyman whose son’s murder becomes the case around which the whole show turns. By turns sympathetic, unlikeable and sometimes downright creepy, Buchan’s performance is certainly a memorable one. There’s no doubt he’d be more than capable as the Doctor. And he’s a relentlessly “normal” sort of actor, who could probably appeal to every possible set of viewers.
Plus, Buchan has an established connection with incoming Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall. (Chibnall is also the creator of Broadchurch.) Of course that doesn’t guarantee Buchan the role or anything like that. We can joke about nepotism all we want, but getting cast as the Doctor probably takes just a bit more than that. Nevertheless, rumor has it that he’s a personal favorite of Chibnall’s to play Thirteen. We’ll have to wait and see.