12. Eddie Izzard
The notion of Eddie Izzard as the Doctor first came up back in 2003, when Tom Baker - the Fourth Doctor, himself - suggested that hed be an excellent choice to take on the role in the new series. In retrospect, I wouldnt part with Christopher Ecclestons Ninth Doctor for all the whiskey in Ireland, but at the time, he seemed such a perfect choice, I was surprised and disappointed that he didnt get the role. In 2008, Izzard vocally suggested himself as a replacement for David Tennant, and again though I have no regrets he was passed over. In the intervening years, Izzard has proven time and again that, not only is he a superlative comedian and stage performer, hes also a gifted, versatile actor whos more than capable of carrying a TV series.
WHY HIM: Izzards stand-up is a tour-de-force of hyper-literacy, fierce intelligence, off-the-cuff silliness and manic energy. His dizzying tangents and digressions display a byzantine mind working at lightning speed. (Stop me when this sounds familiar) And yet, in his dramatic work, he evinces a quiet intensity - even a dark and sinister quality that suggests hes got more going on behind his eyes than youd really care to know. Brilliant, charming, eccentric, witty, fun, mysterious and maybe a little dangerous Sound like anyone we know?
SEE HIM IN: The criminally underwatched and underrated television series The Riches, in which he runs the gamut from wry comedy to gritty drama and back again as Wayne Malloy, the scheming father to a family of gypsy grifters. Or, if you dont feel like sitting through two seasons of television, do a double feature of Dress to Kill, one of his funniest stand-up specials, and The Cats Meow, in which he plays a decidedly unfunny Charlie Chaplin.