Doctor Who Goes Spaghetti Western, Enlists SG-1


Photo from the BBC.

Details about the upcoming series of Doctor Who remain scant, but are beginning to appear. Most exciting among them (for me anyway. I don't really care what you think) is that episode three will be written by Being Human creator Toby Whithouse. That this episode will be a western (filmed in Spain). And that this episode will guest star sci-fi familiar face Ben Browder.

Browder was, and I really shouldn't have to say this, the star of the frighteningly good Jim Henson production Farscape, and was Richard Dean Anderson's replacement for the final two seasons of Stargate: SG-1.

There are larger implications to be inferred from this news. Steven Moffat and the BBC clearly are not shying away from adding American content to a show which is growing in popularity across the pond. While I would argue that last series' attempt to illicit an American connection failed (so much was made of the showing filming in the US for the first time, yet used the opportunity for little more than PR and scenery porn), a move like this - using American actors, and traditionally American genre settings, might be more successful in expanding the world of the Doctor beyond the UK. So long as it doesn't alienate the nation that birthed and embraced the show for half a century.

Personally, the western is my favourite genre, and one that Who hasn't attempted since 1966's The Gunfighters, a First Doctor story. Eleven certainly feels like the Doctor who would most enjoy a trip to the old west (stetsons are cool), and I can easily imagine him sauntering through a pair of saloon doors. Browder too will be a perfect fit in the environment, but only if he brings the smart-ass sarcasm that defined his role on Farscape and made him the obvious heir-apparent for Anderson. His slight southern drawl doesn't hurt either.

I do imagine though, that Who's old west will be more Back to the Future Part III than Deadwood.

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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.

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