Set your phasers to stunned. Early audition documents and footage have revealed that Peter Capaldi, Doctor Who himself, once tried out for the role of Commander (later Captain) Benjamin Sisko on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. And he isn’t the only one.
Images: BBC (left) and CBS (right)
Twitter account trekdocs recently dug up a UK casting session document from July 1992 for Deep Space Nine. Among the actors who auditioned that day were none other than Capaldi, who later became the 12th Doctor on Doctor Who, as well as Anthony Stewart Head, who you might know better as Rupert Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. What.
The official Twitter account for the upcoming Deep Space Nine documentary, What We Left Behind, confirmed that both Capaldi and Head tried out for the part by posting images from their audition videos.
Of course, neither of them ended up getting the part — nor did any white British actor. This isn’t exactly surprising. Deep Space Nine executive producer Ira Steven Behr previously told Trek Movie that, while they tried to keep their casting calls broad, the creators had long imagined a non-white actor in the role.
When [co-creator Michal Piller] mentioned it to me, he mentioned to me as an African-American captain. Some people say that is too specific and that it was definitely going to be a brown person, definitely not a Caucasian. They hadn’t necessarily locked in to that person being African-American. I actually have some of the auditions and some were sent in from England from some very good British actors. So they were covering on all fronts, but I think that was all just due diligence. It was always going to be a brown captain.
They eventually went with Avery Brooks, who was absolutely fantastic in the part. It worked out well for the other actors, too, who both took on iconic roles in their own respective geeky spheres. But you have to wonder what might have been if Capaldi ended up in Sisko’s shoes. I can’t imagine he’d be a really good baseball player. Maybe they would have needed to replace it with cricket.