Jeremy Brett is the Doctor
Jeremy Brett is the Lost Doctor. At least so in our universe, which celebrates alternate possibilities and adventures for our favourite Time Lord. He was, frankly, an obvious choice. Back in the 1980s, his name was oft-cited by fans as potential casting for the role, and in 1994 he was long-listed for the part in the Doctor Who TV movie that would eventually see Paul McGann cast as the Eighth Doctor. And then, cruelly, his career and life were cut short in 1995 by heart failure after a long-term struggle with mental illness. Brett was admirably outspoken about his bipolar disorder at a time when few sufferers would dare speak out about their condition, including this audio statement given just two weeks before his death as part of a radio appeal for the BBC’s The Week’s Good Cause. Lost to us and gone before his time, both his “casting” and his characterisation as the Lost Doctor just fell into place.
If you have never seen Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes, then we urge you to check out the Granada series; it is, truly, one of the great television performances of all time. A 1993 piece in The Independent summed up his take on the part perfectly as “a richly comic performance. His Holmes is composed of sudden wild stares, dreamy vacancies, hoarse exclamations, dulcet murmurs which wilt into silence… Into this potent brew go a jigger of remorse, a dash of sheer lunacy, and a strong whiff of camp—the camp is held firmly in check by sincerity.” It is fair to assume that the Lost Doctor will exude all of these qualities.
Not that Jeremy Brett’s Doctor would have merely replicated his interpretation of Holmes, of course. He was an accomplished and versatile actor, as exemplified by a video retrospective aptly titled “A Journey Through Time.” Alongside aspects of his Holmes’ more energetic moments, we also imagine a performance infused with more of the actor’s warmth and charm that are self-evident in interviews—characteristics that he stripped away to deliver a more austere performance as the world’s greatest consulting detective. Consider this a tribute of sorts to one of our favourite actors, then, as the quintessential Holmes becomes our latest incarnation of the Doctor.
So join us for all-new adventures in time and space with another distinctive incarnation of our favourite Time Lord that never was, save in the infinity of our collective imaginations…