Yes, that’s actor Rory Kinnear under all that Creature makeup, on horror drama “Penny Dreadful”. (Photo: Showtime)
Rory Kinnear is one of those Serious British Actor types that’s extremely talented, but somehow hasn’t had a major breakout role yet. Though, if you watch any sort of British TV at all, you know who he is. You’ve probably seen him in a ton of things. American audiences are probably most familiar with him from his role as John Clare/the Creature in Showtime’s horror series Penny Dreadful. He’s also had a long-running part as Bill Tanner in the Daniel Craig set of James Bond films, appearing in Quantum of Solace, Skyfall and Spectre. Other roles of note include The Hollow Crown, The Casual Vacancy, The Imitation Game, The Mystery of Edwin Drood and a very memorable part in Black Mirror episode “The National Anthem”. (Yes, he played the Prime Minister.)
Kinnear has apparently long been a favorite of the Doctor Who team. Rumor has it that he got offered the part of the Twelfth Doctor before it went to Peter Capaldi. Kinnear himself sort of denied that story way back in 2013, so who knows how true it really is. Other interesting revelations from back then? He has apparently never watched the show. Which feels like a super weird trait in a potential Doctor candidate, but Kinnear’s a really good actor, so maybe we can forgive it. Not everyone can be the hardcore Whovian that Capaldi is, after all.
The only problem with the idea of Kinnear as Thirteen is that he’s precisely the kind of actor that the BBC probably doesn’t want in the role. At least not right now. He’s seems bit reserved and old-fashioned, the sort of classically-trained performer who’s probably never going to be the zany kind of Doctor that Matt Smith was. And while his Penny Dreadful performance proves that Kinnear can make familiar, well-trod sorts of roles feel fresh, will the BBC agree?