Michael Jackson as Doctor Who? It nearly happened

MANY names have been put forward to replace Matt Smith as Doctor Who, including Dame Helen Mirren, Idris Elba and current hot favourite Rory Kinnear.  Michael Jackson is not a name 'Who-vians' have widely considered before today. But it has been suggested the King of Pop was once a genuine contender for a spell in the Tardis. Can this possibly be true? Here are five key questions about the weirdest casting choice in this universe or any other.

Was 'Jacko' a serious choice? Believe it or not, yes. In his new book, Now On The Big Screen: The Unofficial And Unauthorised Guide To Doctor Who At The Cinema, author Charles Norton reveals that Paramount Pictures had agreed to back a Doctor Who film on condition that the title role went to Michael Jackson, The Times reports. Though the choice seems batty now, it made more sense (well, relatively) at the time. Jackson had just appeared in the Warner Brothers hit Moonwalker and was hot to trot at the box office.

Was he the only choice? He was the first choice, but according to Peter Litten, co-founder of British production company Daltenreys, American comedian Bill Cosby was also considered if Jackson was unavailable.

Would Jackson have done it? Yes, he would. Radio Times says the pop star was "quite keen" to become Time Lord. Sadly, audiences were denied the opportunity of seeing the Thriller singer wielding a sonic screwdriver because the project was scrapped before making it to the silver screen.

So, we'll never see a Jackson in the Tardis?  Unlikely, although Michael's daughter Paris was mistakenly linked to the role. After hearing that Matt Smith was quitting Doctor Who, she tweeted: "omg I wanna be The Doctor ... they said any age and gender, right?" Within hours the Daily Star had published a story under the headline : 'Jacko's Girl Lined Up To Be New Dr Who'. It was all rubbish, of course. "That conversation escalated quickly," tweeted an astonished Paris.

How would Jackson's Doctor Who have ranked in the pantheon of great Time Lords? The Guardian calls Paramount's Jackson Doctor Who project "one of the weirdest casting decisions of all time", but can't help wondering if Jackson might have been better as a Doctor Who villain. Meanwhile, Den of Geek points out that it's quite a stretch to assume the acting talents Jackson displayed in Moonwalking would make him a contender for the critically-acclaimed Doctor Who franchise. "A quality Venn diagram is just waiting to be drawn there," it says. · 

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