Why Sherlock star said NO to Doctor Who (and why he'd do it again)

Contributed by
Dec 15, 2012

There's arguably a bit of the Doctor in Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock. And if you've been dreaming about the actor filling Matt Smith's shoes when he decides to leave Doctor Who in a few years, you'll sadly be disappointed. 'Cause Cumberbatch won't do it ... and here's why.

Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch is one hot commodity. Not only did he star as a modern-day Sherlock Holmes in Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss' popular BBC series Sherlock, but he also has a blockbuster spy movie coming up (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy) and he'll have not one but TWO roles in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit films as the voices of Smaug the dragon and the Necromancer, aka Sauron, as well as a big role in Steven Spielberg's Warhorse, due out this Xmas!

Whew! He's one busy dude.

Since Sherlock and Doctor Who share the same showrunner, Steven Moffat, there's one question the always-awesome Cumberbatch (we just love his name—it's so delightfully British!) often gets asked—and it's whether he'll ever get to play the famous Time Lord, or whether he'll ever make an appearance on Doctor Who.

The 35-year-old actor addressed this topic on The Jonathan Ross Show this past Friday, telling us why he declined to play Who when David Tennant left—before Matt Smith was even cast in the iconic role.

For those who just can't wait, Cumberbatch discusses Who at around the 6-minute mark, but stick around a while longer (and you should definitely also see the hilarity of what's transpiring before—we're still laughing about the Cumberbitches), because he also talks about Danny Boyle's incredible Frankeinstein play, which he did with Johnny Lee Miller earlier this year, and you'll also get to see Cumberbatch do a mean imitation of Alan Rickman, as well as a short one of the former 10th Doctor himself, David Tennant.

Are you guys disappointed about Benedict Cumberbatch's choice never to play the Doctor? Do you think he would have been perfect for the role?