“Doctor Who” showrunner Steven Moffat has come forward in an interview with Doctor Who Magazine [via BBC News] to confirm that a black actor was previously offered the role on the titular Time Lord on the long-running series, but that “for various reasons, it didn’t work out.”
That falls in line with what writer Neil Gaiman said in 2013, that a non-white actor was offered the part, though he turned it down. Who is the mystery actor, though?
The Radio Times cites a source that says it was none other than Chiwetel Ejiofor — star of “12 Years a Slave” — that said no to “Doctor Who.” According to the Radio Times, the actor and the BBC simply couldn’t agree on terms for the role, leading him to walk away.
In the end it was Matt Smith who took the park, becoming the 11th Doctor. Don’t feel too bad for Ejiofor, though. After snagging an Academy Award nomination for “12 Years a Slave,” the actor has now joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe and will next be seen in “Doctor Strange.”
In the meantime, the current Doctor (Peter Capaldi) will be paired with a new companion when “Doctor Who” returns. It was announced Pearl Mackie would be joining the show as a new character named Bill.