Robert Sheehan as Nathan in “Misfits”. (Photo: E4/Clerkenwell Films)
Robert Sheehan is another of those actors that you might have seen in something that you liked. You just maybe can’t remember his name. But you probably thought he was charming, anyway. If maybe a little bit strange. And isn’t charming and maybe a little bit strange kind of the most accurate description of the Doctor ever? It’s just further evidence that he’d be great in the role.
Like Iwan Rheon, Sheehan is also an alum of the E4 sci-fi series Misfits. It was his first played Nathan, a sarcastic, foul-mouthed, charmer who had the power of immortality. And he was really wonderful in the role – easy to love and really dislike in equal measure. (And often at the same time.) His early departure from that show is still such a disappointment, even all these years later. Sheehan also had significant roles on Accused, Me and Mrs. Jones, Love/Hate and Fortitude. He’s a great actor with a lot of range – it just seems as though, despite the success of Misfits, that he’s really kind of still waiting for his next big role. On the plus side, he’s still quite young. (He just turned 29 in January.) And obviously something like the Doctor would absolutely be that for him.
On Misfits, Sheehan displayed the kind of boundless manic energy that is a hallmark of the Doctor in recent seasons. (Think Matt Smith, but with the mania turned up to eleven pretty much all the time.) His character was relentlessly crass, and his foul-mouthed nature is something that couldn’t exactly transfer to Doctor Who. It is ostensibly a kids show, after all. But there’s something about that kind of edginess that usually translates into an interesting story, and it might be fun to see a bit of a darker, more rough-around-the edges sort of Doctor. (It was generally awesome whenever they let Peter Capaldi dip a toe into that sort of story. Maybe with Sheehan, we’d get more.)