Hey, it’s another Doctor Who themed list… Deal with it.
Based on the number of spinoffs, reboots and random sequels in the world, there’s a good chance that more than one actor is going to play the main character in a successful franchise. For instance, it won’t be too long before we see another set of actors play the cast in a Harry Potter reboot.
In some instances, recasting a famous role works out for the best and shows a natural progression of a series/franchise. I think it’s safe to say that the only way we could explain some of these characters and their changing appearance is to call them what they are – Time Lords. The term Time Lord (the race of the Doctor) is from the Doctor Who universe. They are humanoid aliens that have a non-linear perception of time, and can see everything that was, is, or could be at the same time. Whenever one of these Time Lords dies, their bodies regenerate to a new humanoid form. They have the same memories they gained as their previous incarnations, but have slightly different personalities.
It’s safe to say the following five fictional characters are most assuredly Time Lords.
5 – Jack Ryan
Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan has played a critical part in some very major international crises. We first saw skinny Alec Baldwin play Ryan as an experienced CIA analyst helping to bring down a renegade Soviet submarine in Hunt for Red October. Patriot Games follows the chronology of Red October, but there’s a big shift as Harrison Ford plays Jack Ryan. In that movie, Ryan and his family fight for their lives against the IRA. The second Jack Ryan survives that encounter and is promoted to acting CIA Deputy Director of Intelligence. In Clear and Present Danger, he finds damning information about the government and confronts the President. While the movie ends there, it’s safe to say that he was hunted down and killed.
Little did they know he would regenerate and travel to 2002 as Ben Affleck. He starts out as a young analyst again and attempts to stop a great war between the U.S. and Russian. This was the least popular version of Jack Ryan. His series was cancelled until his fourth incarnation appeared (played by Chris Pine) 11 years later. Jack starts out as a lieutenant turned undercover stock broker/analyst. He just can’t seem to shake the CIA analyst gig. His goal, this time around, is to stop a Russian plot to collapse the U.S. dollar. It’s safe to say that Jack Ryan just can’t escape those Russians.
4 – Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes has gone through more versions than any other character, with 70 people playing him in movies alone. The theory that Holmes is a Time Lord is basically fan-fic fantasy. Fangirls around the world would implode if the modern versions of the Doctor and Holmes traveled together in the Tardis (There is a fanmade short called “Wholock” for those interested). The most iconic classic version of Holmes was played by Basil Rathbone. After Sherlock relived his adventures countless times and dying just as many times, he has finally made it from turn-of-the-century England to the present. Benedict Cumberbatch plays the best version of Sherlock. Meanwhile, in a timey-wimey way, Robert Downey Jr plays an pit-fighting Holmes in old school England, while Jonny Lee Miller’s Sherlock is stateside with Lucy Liu playing Watson.
Which brings up another point, Time Lords have been known to have companions. Typically, these companions shuffle in and out of the adventures after a time. Yet, Watson is Sherlock’s constant companion throughout his adventures. Which means that Watson must be a regenerating Time Lord as well.
Fun fact: Peter Cushing played Sherlock Holmes in 1959. He also went on to star in the non-canonical Doctor Who movies in the ’60s. (Have I lost your attention yet? Stay with me.)
3 – James Bond
James Bond has undergone six different versions of himself, give or take a David Niven or two. When a new Bond is announced and the story presumably starts from square one, no one calls the movie a reboot, they just go with it. The only rational explanations are that James Bond is an official spy title or that he is a Time Lord. How else do you explain his immortality from the swingin’ ’60s to the present day? Time Lords typically try to maintain peace and avoid killing if possible. James Bond, however, has killed 378 people in his espionage career. He has also has an incredible amount of “companions.” Over 53 to be more specific. Surely living such a risky life would hasten his arrival at death’s door.
Obviously, he has died several times and regenerated with slightly different quirks but having the same goal. The third version of James Bond (George Lazenby) was sadly not as successful as his other forms. As with the Doctor, James Bond feels a loyalty to the UK and will fight tooth-and-nail to protect Queen and country.
2 – Hannibal Lecter
Time Lords are not always humanitarians. The Master, for example, is a Time Lord sociopath who is bent on destruction and madness. Hannibal Lecter is of the same disturbed ilk as The Master. His Gallifreyan name would be the Cannibal. Lecter was first played by Brian Cox is the Michael Mann film, Manhunter. That movie showed the first interaction of Lecter and Will Graham. In an unofficial sequel, Lecter, most famously played by Anthony Hopkins, made the character iconic. He went on to star in the sequel, Hannibal, and also the adaptation of Red Dragon (originally made into Manhunter) a prequel, which still showed Lecter in prison.
This is apparently the franchise that just doesn’t give up. In 2006, Lecter (Gaspard Ulliel) got his own origin story with Hannibal Rising. No one cared for that version much. The fourth version of Hannibal is played by Mads Mikkelsen. His version of Lecter is more of a psychological consultant for Will Graham this time around. Meanwhile, he is up to his old culinary habits.
1 – Bruce Wayne
I’m often asked what makes the Doctor such a great character and hero. People ask if, because he’s an alien, if he has any super powers or does anything special. The answer is no, he’s basically a regular guy who’s good at running, is incredibly smart and utilizes handy tools to get out of dire situations. Not to mention, his reputation precedes him wherever he goes.
Bruce Wayne could be described the exact same way. He has no powers, but manages to strike fear into the hearts of his enemies. Also, remember once again that the Doctor commonly relies on a companion to keep him grounded. How else do you explain the multiple people who donned the Robin suit? Also, much like the Doctor, it’s his companions who often suffer/die, which then leads Bruce to mourn and carry the sadness with him.
Batman has gone through countless phases since his comic introduction 75 years ago and has gone through just as many cinematic styles since his big screen debut 25 years ago.
If there’s one running truth in comics, it’s this: Characters can always come back from the dead. This is especially true for Batman. Whether he’s Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, bobble-headed Clooney or Christian Bale, one thing is certain. He will always come back. This is true even if you don’t want him to come back yet, as say, Ben Affleck.
Batman is definitely a Time Lord. DC, make this crossover happen.