Whoopi Goldberg has just about done it all, but there’s one missed opportunity she still longs for. Goldberg lobbied for the titular role in Doctor Who earlier in her career, wanting to play the time-traveling extra-terrestrial who reincarnates as a different star every few years on the BBC. This weekend, she told Deadline that she understands why she hasn’t gotten the role, but she has not given up on it either.
“I wanted to be Doctor Who and I still do,” Goldberg said. “I think it would mean an evolution into being American and I don’t know that that’s correct for Doctor Who. I don’t know I can usurp that. As much as I love it, I love watching it still in all the iterations. There are certain things that are blatantly all English. Doctor Who is like that to me. It’s like Marmite. It’s very English and needs to stay that way.”
Goldberg has talked about her love of Doctor Who before, and has said that she has tried to get for herself when it seemed like her clout was high enough. Earlier this year, she admitted that producers turned her down when she went after it the hardest.
Doctor Who has been running on the BBC since 1963, with different actors taking on the titular role for each new generation. It centers around an alien called a “Time Lord,” who explores the universe in a vehicle called a TARDIS which travels through time and space. The Doctor needs to transform into a new body when their current one becomes too badly injured to heal, explaining the rotating cast.
So far, 13 actors have played the Doctor in total, all of them British. The most recent is Jodie Whittaker, the first woman to lead the show, but she will be leaving at the end of the current season.
There have been some attempts to adapt Doctor Who in the U.S. and other countries, with versions that would exist separately from the BBC version of the show. These have never done well or lasted long before, although the age of streaming has caused a surge in Doctor Who fandom all over the world, so the time may be right for Goldberg to take another shot.
With or without Doctor Who, Goldberg is an acclaimed star with the rare honor of winning an Emmy, Grammy, Osctor and Tony (EGOT) all in one career. She spoke to Deadline at the Edinburgh TV Festival this weekend, where she looked back on her career in general. Goldberg continues to appear on The View on ABC.