If Doctor Who Had Been Created In America
This November marks the 50th anniversary of "Doctor Who," one of the most venerable institutions of British television. But what if "Doctor Who" didn't originate in England? What if it had been created in America (though filmed in Canada to save money)? How would that have greatly/regrettably/horrifyingly altered the very nature of the series?
Sonic screwdriver replaced with 647 guns
Sure, the sonic screwdriver can come in handy during all manner of trap, obstacle, or unpleasantness. But an automatic rifle or machine gun would let The Doctor put a big hole in things, unleash a big noise, and momentarily make him feel like a big man before he runs out of bullets and realizes he doesn’t have a “Plan B.”
The Doctor has a wisecracking male sidekick/partner
Building off years of buddy cop films and the theory “women are for romancing,” the usual Doctor female partner would instead be a dedicated but constantly joking guy who plays by his own rules. Unless The Doctor is supposed to be the rebel in the dynamic. Then the male partner would be older, wiser, and more cynical but able to give this brash upstart a chance because, what the hell, even with all that time travel he still only has a few weeks left until retirement.
The Doctor has a first name and it's "Josh"
Believing both that American audiences would never be able to warm up to someone who doesn’t have a name outside of “The Doctor” (along with a nickname from his fraternity days) and that they would be put off by addressing someone by their title because who is he to think he’s better than they are, studio execs would insist The Doctor always be referred to by “Josh,” “J-Man” or in emotionally charged scenes “Dude.”
TARDIS is a clear telephone booth
Since America never had the famous public police boxe, the TARDIS would instead be the public payphone booth seen up until the 90’s, thereby never allowing anyone to utter the phrase “It’s bigger on the inside!” because they could clearly already see everything inside, including a phone, the chain that was once attached to a ripped-off Yellow Pages, and a penis carefully etched into a side glass panel. Besides, if it worked for such patriots as Superman and Bill and Ted, then it’s good enough for The Doctor/Josh.
In season five The Doctor's adorable nephew moves in
Unlike British series that have a total of seven episodes spread over the course of six seasons, the American “Doctor Who” would need to churn out 22 episodes if it were on network TV. And that means running out of storylines a lot faster before the studio would have to start generating new plots by introducing beloved family members that had never, ever been mentioned in the show before. And if that family member is a little tyke with a lisp, a puppy, and a need for a double-heart transplant, all the more endearing.
The Doctor is all about the ladies
As mentioned before, until rather recently female characters were used almost entirely as love interests for the male lead in American TV shows. So while his immediate sidekick would be male there would be at least one woman on the team that The Doctor would have a flirty, tempestuous will-they-or-won’t-they relationship for several seasons until they finally do it and the show is ruined forever.
Every time The Doctor regenerates he gets younger and his t-shirt gets tighter
If there’s one thing American TV studios don’t like it’s having their sexy male lead age out the program’s desired viewer demographic. So after every third or fourth episode The Doctor would regenerate, looking younger, more toned, and starring whatever actor’s name was trending that particular month.
The Doctor has a catchphrase
He would also make a quip each time he defeats an enemy, smirk whenever things improbably go his way, and say, “I’m getting to old for this sh*t” right before he regenerates from an ancient 22-year-old into the new junior in high school.
Moral at end of each episode is "Humans kick ass"
In the British version The Doctor beautifully sums up his view on humans with one line—“In 900 years of time and space, I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t important.” To him every person was a fantastic creation full of contradictions but also almost unlimited potential if they just didn’t hold themselves back with fear, jealousy, and hatred. In the American version The Doctor’s view would be best summed up with a Michael Bay outtake involving explosions, a waving U.S. flag, and a fist-pump as he proudly looks out on humanity and his line “F*** yeah!” is bleeped by censors.
Which one was your favorite? Let me know in the comments!