The first time the Eleventh Doctor wore a cowboy hat in the Doctor Who episode “The Impossible Astronaut”, an idea began percolating in many heads. That is what if the character were to be remade as being distinctly American? In other words, do a version of Doctor Who that predominantly takes place in the U.S. instead of London with an American cast–or at least actors playing Americans.
Many classic American TV shows were actually based on British ones like All In The Family and The Office, and Syfy is now airing an American version of the U.K. genre hit Being Human. So would an American Doctor Who work? Of course, the idea sounds blasphemous to many die-hard Who fans but it could be pulled off, and more importantly, would demonstrate the show’s universal concept and appeal.
With that stated, what would an American Doctor Who be like? The concept would be basically the same; it would be about a slightly daffy humanoid alien who traverses time and space with Earthling Companions. It could have the same plot lines and background. The Doctor would still be near-immortal, lonely and slightly odd, only this time he would have an American accent. Plus he would also have relationship issues with his female Companions. Yes, there would be episodes that take place in England and the rest of Europe but in the same ratio as current Doctor Who episodes take place across the pond. It really doesn’t matter where the show takes place since the Doctor travels anywhere in the universe.
Police boxes are very British so the Americanized TARDIS can’t be based on that. How about a vehicle? And try something outrageous like an RV. It would fit in with the eccentric nature of the Doctor and be a tip of the hat to the Back To The Future films. Needless to say, the RV would be bigger on the inside…
As for the Doctor himself, well this Americanized Time Lord would have the basic personality traits of the Doctors seen in the BBC version. But he would have an American twist. He would be adorned with clothing from various eras in U.S. history. Just look at the current Doctor in the episodes “The Impossible Astronaut” and “A Town Called Mercy” where the Doctor sports a cowboy hat. The American Doctor could wear a cowboy outfit throughout a season or two. Then when he would regenerate he could take on the personality of a surfer dude and run around with tropical shirts and a Panama hat. Throw in some cargo shorts for good measure. Have him take on the aspects of a biker with a heavy leather jacket. It would work, look at how cool the Ninth Doctor looked with his leather jacket and jeans during his brief run on the show. Or adorn the Doctor in a mishmash of styles that would be part hippie, part cowboy, part yuppie and part something else.
There wouldn’t be a shortage of actors who could play the Time Lord. If Doctor Who made the transition into a full-length film then it’s easy to imagine Robin Williams, Jim Carrey, or Johnny Depp playing him. But for the small screen, the producers could offer the role to someone who can do drama and comedy. The show isn’t a straight comedy but the current show does have a humorous bent. For that reason, they can hire French Stewart to play the Doctor. Bryan Cranston is another good choice if they want to have the character seem a bit older, which would be more in spirit with the first few Doctors. Besides, having Cranston traveling in an RV would be nice nod to his show Breaking Bad. One advantage for producers with the Doctor being a metamorphic alien is that if an actor wants to leave the show, it would be simple storywise to replace him. Although it is easy to imagine that an actor would stay with the role much longer than in the U.K.