Episode notes

There was a time when being in Doctor Who was something of a death sentence. This is a sentiment that has been stated on many a DVD commentary. Unless you were already a big star, chances were, Doctor Who would sadly be the only big thing you did. The BBC and the world at large just didn’t respect Doctor Who like it does now.

Tom Baker takes on the Sontarans in Dragons Claw
Tom Baker takes on the Sontarans in Dragons Claw

Nowadays things have changed though. It seems that once you’ve done Doctor Who, you can do anything! Included in this anything category is the Superhero genre. Whether it is film or television franchises, below are some of the lucky stars of Doctor Who, who got to don a cape, suit, helmet and a heroic attitude.

 

Tennant looking sinister as Killgrave
Tennant looking sinister as Killgrave

DAVID TENNANT – MARVEL’S JESSICA JONES AKA THE PURPLE MAN

Tennant’s portrayal of infamous Marvel Comics’ villian, Michael Killgrave – AKA – The Purple Man was a stark contrast to his fun loving Tenth Doctor. His Doctor had travelled the universe with many friends and allies having lots of adventures. The Purple Man however was darker and could control people to get them to do whatever he wanted. He took particular delight in torturing Jessica Jones whether directly or through the use her friends, Luke Cage, Patsy Walker and many others. But despite the stark differences between the Tenth Doctor and Killgrave, there were moments when little glimmers of the Doctor came through into Tennant’s darker performance. Almost with a twinkle in his eye, Tennant delights in playing the murderous and sadistic Killgrave, while never letting us forget he was the Doctor…

 

Darvill sporting a Tennant-esc coat in DC's Legends of Tomorrow
Darvill sporting a Tennant-esc coat in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow

ARTHUR DARVILL – DC’s LEGENDS OF TOMORROW – AKA – RIP HUNTER

Arthur Darvill seems to be no stranger to time travel. Not only has he travelled in the TARDIS but also on his time ship, the Waverider in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Rip Hunter is a rogue Time Agent who, like the Doctor, defied his kin and broke away, although his reason for leaving was different. While the Doctor was bored with his life and everything else on Gallifrey, Rip Hunter went rogue after the Time Agency refused to help him going back in time to save the lives of his wife and child. Although the reasons behind their going rogue might have been different, there are plenty of similarities. They both have an affinity for long coats. The Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Tenth Doctors have worn big coats. Rip’s jacket is particularly similar to the Tenth Doctor’s. Oh and did I mention he has a time machine?! Darvill also seems to know that the character is being written in a similar way to that of the Doctor. He has all the quirky eccentricities and a strict moral code, even if that does get muddled sometimes…

 

Barrowman as The Dark Archer in Arrow
Barrowman as The Dark Archer in Arrow

JOHN BARROWMAN – ARROW, THE FLASH, DC’s LEGENDS OF TOMORROW + SUPERGIRL – AKA – MALCOLM MERLYN

Like David Tennant’s Purple Man, Barrowman’s character Malcolm Merlyn is the complete opposite of his Doctor Who character. Unlike The Purple Man however, Merlyn, much like Captain Jack Harkness has come back to life time and time again thanks to something called the Lazarus Pit. Though he seemingly died in the Season 5 finale, saving the life of his daughter Thea in the seemingly heroic act of rescuing her from a landmine, Merlyn caused trouble in the lives of all the heroes in the Arrowverse. Barrowman terrorized Oliver Queen and his family since he was rescued from his life of solitude on a secluded island. Like Harkness, Merlyn was skilled in hand-to-hand combat as well as weapon training, though his favourite weapon was a bow and arrow. John Barrowman was fantastic in the role, effortlessly differentiating Captain Jack Harkness and Merlyn…

 

Could Nebula spell the birth of the Cybermen in the Marvel Universe?
Could Nebula spell the birth of the Cybermen in the Marvel Universe?

KAREN  GILLAN – GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY – AKA – NEBULA

Following on from her horror movie debut with Oculus, Gillan announced she was to feature in the upcoming Marvel Studios movie, Guardians of the Galaxy. Nebula, the daughter of Thanos burst onto the silver screen, swords and knives blazing. Amy Pond was badass, not one to take nonsense from anyone and so was Nebula even if Amy was less likely to cut someone’s tongue out afterwards! Nebula and her sister Gamora spent much of the first picture in battle. Thanos had gradually replaced Nebula’s body with cybernetic organs because she always failed in battle with Gamora. That sounds like the birth of some other cybernetic creatures if you ask me! Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2 saw Gillan return to Marvel, though this time she was a little less villainous. Unlike any of her other Doctor Who co-stars, she is nearly unrecognisable underneath her heavy makeup and prosthetics. So unrecognisable that when she came back to Doctor Who at the end of Matt Smith’s tenure, she had to wear a wig because had shaved her head for the role of Nebula…

 

Eccleston is the lord of the Dark Elves
Eccleston is the lord of the Dark Elves

CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTON – THOR: THE DARK WORLD – AKA – MALEKITH

The lord of the Dark Elves was a million miles away from the Ninth Doctor. Eccleston has made it no secret that he wants to distance himself from the world of Doctor Who, though he did comment recently that he would come back when the show it 100! And a role like Malekith was just about as far away as you could hope to get. Like Karen Gillan, Eccleston is nearly unrecognisable underneath his costume and makeup, only his voice helps you tell it is him. And that is made even more confusing thanks to him speaking in the language of the Dark Elves! What is it with actors who have played the Doctor going on and playing baddies. Say what you want about The Purple Man, he didn’t smash a spaceship into London! One wonders if that scene might have had some connection to the Slitheen ship, smashing into Big Ben…

 

A flying car was only the first fantastic sci-fi sight Jenna-Louise Coleman would see
A flying car was only the first fantastic sci-fi sight Jenna-Louise Coleman would see

JENNA-LOUISE COLEMAN – CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER – AKA – CONNIE

Jenna-Louise Coleman made her name on Emmerdale, so of course, as many Doctor Who companions seem to do, the next logical step from soap opera was to appear in the world’s longest running science-fiction show. And most Doctor Who stars go into Marvel. But Jenna-Louise Coleman did it the other way around. Her character of Connie was on a date with Bucky Barnes in Captain America: The First Avenger, when Steve Rogers, Barnes, her friend Bonnie and she went to the Howard Stark Expo. On screen fleetingly, she sees a hovering car and then goes off with Bucky to dance while Rogers enlists. This is the last we see of her as her current whereabouts are likely to remain unknown in the movies. Needless to say, a flying car wouldn’t be the weirdest thing Coleman saw when she joined the Doctor Who universe as Clara Oswald!

 

Dinah had no idea that both her daughters had been the crime fighter, Black Canary
Dinah had no idea that both her daughters had been the crime fighter, Black Canary

ALEX KINGSTON – ARROW – AKA – DINAH LANCE

With one of her daughters missing and presumed dead, Dinah had split up from her husband, police detective, Quentin Lance and moved to Central City to teach Greek and Medieval history at a university. She then literally turns up on her surviving daughter’s doorstep and says she believes Sara Lance to be alive. Kingston would have guest appearances in the first four seasons of Arrow and her character of Dinah was pretty similar to River Song in their outlook on life. Like River, Dinah is kind, caring, compassionate, selfless, intelligent and a reasonable person. Though she never to say her famous, “spoilers” line and the fact that she never starred alongside John Barrowman in any of her scenes, it is clear Kingston has a thing for playing professors. Alex Kingston’s Dinah Lance left the show after Laurel, her other died, following the resurrection of Sara, having found out that Laurel was the Black Canary. What she did next we don’t know. Maybe she went away and became an archeologist…

 

The Lady could hardly go around calling herself Missy, now could she?!
The Lady could hardly go around calling herself Missy, now could she?!

MICHELLE GOMEZ – GOTHAM – AKA – THE LADY

The Lady is just as an ambiguous name as Missy. But she was right, she couldn’t have gone around calling herself the Master! The Lady appeared a few times in the second season of Gotham, apparently running Gotham’s criminal underground. Having made her appearance in Doctor Who, Gomez plays The Lady just like Missy but if she were in another city! Could her underground club/hideout have been where she first contacted the Cybermen?

 

Andrew Garfield is one of many guest actors who have broken out in the comic book universe.
Andrew Garfield is one of many guest actors who have broken out in the comic book universe.

 

It hasn’t just been regulars that have appeared in different comic book properties though, guest stars like Toby Jones and Tony Curran have gone on to appear in Captain America, Thor and Daredevil. Andrew Garfield went from running around in the sewers of Manhattan from pig men and Daleks to swinging through the Manhattan skyline as Spider-Man in The Amazing Spider-Man and it’s sequel. Even Ian McKellan, already a big named star and the X-Men’s very own Master of Magnatism, appeared as the disembodied voice of The Great Intelligence. Hayley Atwell, star of many Doctor Who audio-drama’s with Big Finish went on to be Agent Peggy Carter in both Captain America: The First Avenger and her own, sadly short-lived, television series, Agent Carter, something which Toby Jones even had a cameo in it! Most recently Russell Tovey as been announced as The Ray and will appear in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Arrow, The Flash and Supergirl in the upcoming crossover epic, Crisis on Earth X.

 

Given how Doctor Who has been associated with Marvel Comics UK, does this confirm the Doctor's existance in Marvel Canon?
Given how Doctor Who has been associated with Marvel Comics UK, does this confirm the Doctor’s existance in Marvel Canon?

 

The Doctor Who connections to the comic book universe don’t stop there though. In an Avengers comic from 2012/13, a set of characters who look suspiciously like the Tenth Doctor, Rose, Captain Jack and Mickey make appearances. DC’s Legends of Tomorrow’s time machine, The Waverider, is seemingly slightly bigger on the inside and even has an even more familiar five sided console in the middle of its bridge. In the pilot episode when it vanishes into the time-vortex for the first time, it even makes a familiar wheezing-groaning sound. Oh and the Time Agency looked suspiciously like the Time Lords…

It is The Flash that has the most Doctor Who references though. Whenever they have to make a rudimentary time machine, it is always blue. Cisco has shouted, “reverse the polarity of the neutron flow!”. The end of season one featured a metal hat coming through a portal in a similar way to the Eleventh Doctor’s fez in Day of the Doctor. And in a recent episode, Girls Night Out, the show makes a direct mention of the show when Joe West says he didn’t know someone was a fan of Doctor Who. The girl says she is now, that the Doctor is going to be a woman and follows the comment up with #feminism.

 

Doctor Who - Series 11 Team
What will the future hold for this new TARDIS gang?

 

With this many references and appearances in comic book products both on-screen I wonder what the future will hold for the next generation of Doctor Who actors. Will Jodie Whittaker, David Bradley, Mandip Gill and Tosin Cole star in any comic book franchises? I guess only time will tell…

Jordan Shortman

Jordan has loved Doctor Who for as long as he can remember and television in general. Many people blame his old teacher for what they believe his is obsession, he doesn't care though, his head is off in time and space most of the time.

Your Comments

Instagram

Send this to a friend