Aidan Gillen as the scheming Petyr Baelish on HBO’s hit series “Game of Thrones”. (Photo: HBO)
Aidan Gillen may not be the sort of actor who qualifies as most people’s top pick for a role like the Doctor. And this is because a lot of people probably can’t stand him. Not for anything the actor’s done, certainly. (By all accounts, he seems rather charming and personable in real life.) It’s because he’s currently playing a character that very few people like, on a megahit HBO drama by the name of Game of Thrones. Gillen currently plays Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish, a manipulative, scheming climber out to get as much power for himself as possible. That so many dislike him for this role is a testament to Gillen’s solid acting ability. It also kind of makes you wonder what a performer like this would do in a role like the Doctor.
As an actor, Gillen seems most comfortable in roles that come with a certain shade of grey to them. Littlefinger, definitely, but even his turn as ostensible good-guy mayor Tommy Carcetti in The Wire had some darkness to it. And as far as bad guys go – he’s portrayed everything from the nefarious head of government agency WCKD in the Maze Runner sequel The Scorch Trials to crime boss John Boy in the Irish drama Love/Hate. Would his Doctor be a more ruthless version of the character? Something of a schemer himself? It’s hard to say, but it certainly seems unlikely that his Thirteen would be anything close to traditional.
Of course, Gillen currently has a rather high profile job at the moment on Game of Thrones. And he’s just been cast in a role of some unknown size on BBC period drama Peaky Blinders. So he might not exactly have time to take on a role that’s the size and scope of something like the Doctor. But, a show like Game of Thrones doesn’t exactly come with job security either. Littlefinger may already be dead in the series’ upcoming seventh season, and Gillen could be free to take on any role he fancied.