Back in ‘The Wilderness Years’ for Doctor Who, specifically between 1993 when a 30th anniversary special was proposed and ultimately abandoned and the eventual 1996 Paul McGann TVM, there were many, many eddies of whatifs and neverweres. Doctor Who’s official ‘unofficial’ archivist Andrew Pixley detailed the very long and winding road to 1996 in an article in the DWM “Complete Eighth Doctor” Special back in 2003.
One of those tendrils led to John Sessions, who passed earlier this week at age 67. The Tour was first introduced to Sessions back in late 80’s with the original version of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” Sessions’ ‘otherness’ in that context laid in the notion that he was too smart, too classically trained to be doing improv compared to the other panelists even then. His other acting seemed to ooze out this same erudition.
Perhaps that’s what led a March 9, 1994 (!) audition/chat about Doctor Who, or whatever Doctor Who was at that time. Pixley in his article exhaustively notes what all of the stakeholders at that time combined to sludge up the machinery about getting something, anything, off the ground.
The fun part about this kind of what-about-ism is in seeing all of the blind alleys casting could have taken. From a geographical location considerably west of ‘the pond’ who still likes to think they’re still up on some of the actors/characters which populate British drama, even we didn’t know who some of these guys were. But as you will note from the ten pictured here, there’s Paul McGann’s brother Mark and another ‘Whose Line’ alum Tony Slattery.
Although he wasn’t part of the pack which interviewed back in 1994, Andrew Pixley noted that Peter Capaldi was also in the casting mix. Whatever happened to that guy?