Benedict Cumberbatch to appear in Doctor Who?

Benedict CumberbatchReports claim Sherlock actor Benedict Cumberbatch is to appear in Doctor Who for its 50th anniversary.

Warning: May contain spoilers.

The Daily Express is claiming that Cumberbatch is being lined up to appear in Doctor Who for its 50th anniversary next year. The actor has been linked to roles in Doctor Who before – he was tipped by some to play the 11th Doctor the role which eventually went to Matt Smith. The Express is now claiming that the actor will take on another role in the BBC sci-fi series; The Master, the arch rival of the Doctor.

“It’s fitting that the Doctor comes face to face with his ultimate enemy, The Master, for the 50th anniversary and it’s felt Benedict is the perfect choice if schedules can work,…Fans will love the idea of the man who plays Sherlock Holmes taking on the Doctor’’. –
A “source” told the paper

Benedict Cumberbatch is currently filming Star Trek 2, the sequel to J.J Abrams 2009 reboot of the Star Trek film franchise. Cumberbatch also has a role in The Hobbit movie alongside his Sherlock co-star Martin Freeman and will be starring in a third series of the sleuth drama.

The character of The Master was last seen in David Tennant’s last story, The End of Time, in which he was played by John Simm. Speculation over exactly what the 50th anniversary will entail for Doctor Who is rife with rumours about a possible multi-Doctor story ala The Three Doctors (10th anniversary) and The Five Doctors (20th anniversary). Fans will be hoping though that whatever the series does plan for the 50th anniversary it will celebrate Doctor Who’s long and rich history.

The character of The Master was first introduced to Doctor Who in 1971 by producer Barry Letts and script editor Terrance Dicks. The first version of The Master, seen on-screen, was played by Roger Delgado whose tragic death in 1973 saw the character “rested” for several years. The production team had originally planned to kill the character off in a final story with the Doctor but Delgado died before the story could be produced. In 1976 producer Phillip Hinchcliffe and script editor Robert Holmes brought the character back for a one-off story in which he was played by Peter Pratt and the character returned in 1981, re-introduced by John Nathan Turner, in which he was played by Geoffrey Beevers who handed over to Anthony Ainley at the end of his only television story in the role.

John Simm as The MasterAnthony Ainley played The Master on-screen until Survival in 1989; the final story of the original run of Doctor Who. Ainley played the character once more in the computer game Destiny of the Doctors. In the 1996 television movie, which starred Paul McGann as the 8th Doctor, the character was briefly played by Gordon Tipple at the start of the movie and then by Eric Roberts for the remainder of the movie.

In 2007 the character was revived once again by Russell T Davies and was played by Derek Jacobi who, after one story, handed over to John Simm who has portrayed the charatcer since.