Timothy Dalton

  1. Nick Tate, The Battle of Britain, 1969.       With A Lion In Winter safely behind him, he auditioned for one of the many (actually, “The Few”) RAF pilots.
  2. George Lazenby, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service1968.

  3. Michael York, Cabaret, 1971.  
    To accommodate Liza Minnelli, Sally Bowles was changed from Brit to Yank in the Bob Fosse musical – and so vice-versa for her pal, Brian Roberts (aka the author Christopher Isherwood, called Clifford Bradshaw on stage). About 20 Brits were seen for Brian including Tim Curry, not yet Dr Frank-N-Furter; Timothy Dalton, the most recent Heathcliff; David Hemmings, Mr Blow Up; Jeremy Irons,  not yet chosen for movies; Malcolm McDowell, the Clockwork Orange;  John McEnery,  but not his starrier brother, Peter; Paul Nicholas, singer-actor;  Leonard Whiting, the 1967 Romeo; Bruce Robinson, who after 15 acting gigs, became a writer-director of such underground hits as the classic Withnail & I. John Rubinstein was the sole American, when it looked as if Brian would be American after all. So how did York win?  “Hearing they were looking for ‘a Michael York type,  I ventured to suggest that I might still possibly fill the bill.”

  4. Jon Finch, Lady Caroline Lamb, 1971.   Tim was in – as milady’s  husband,  Wiliam Lamb, Queen Victoria’s first Prime Minister. And then… Finch aarrived and Dalton was out.  And won a double whammy. He not only sued the production company for breach of contract.  He won!  Arch critic  Pauline Kael said “the film seems to have been made by a square Ken Russell.” The auteur was, in fact, Robert Bolt, David Lean’s favourite scenarist, and wed to his star,  Sarah Miles. They both wanted Lean to direct. Bolt never directed another film
  5. Richard Chamberlain, The Three Musketeers, 1973.       Like Jon Finch, Dalton rejected director Richard Lester’s invite to be the religious Aramis – originally intended for George Harrison when – of course, of course! – the Beatles were supposed to make the movie in 1967. Chamberlain quit the third film, The Return of the Three Musketeers, 1988.  There hadn’t been a Musketeers movie since 1948, when 39-yer-old Gene Kellh, of all people, was the 20-year-old D’Artagnan. The French tried in 1960, with Jean-Paul Belmondo (reprising his 1959 TV D’Artagnan), Alain Delon Sophia Loren. The project collapsed, but Bebel made a similar Cartouche, 1962, and Delon was tres Athos as La tulipe noire, 1964, and Zorro, ten years later.
  6. Jon Finch, The Final Programme (US: The Last Days of Man on Earth), 1973.   Dalton and his then lover, Vanesa Redgrave, passed on Robert Fuest’s spin on the sf novel by Michael Moorcock – the worst possible name for any writer.. Even an acting neophyte like Mick Jagger also passed, saying the script was too weird. For Mick Jagger!
  7. Robin Ellis, Poldark, TV, 1975-1977.      Before Ellis became a BBC sensation as Ross Poldark,Winston Graham’s 18th Century aristocratic swashbuckler, was offered to Dalton, Leigh Lawson and Ian McShane.
  8. Roger Moore,  For Your Eyes Only, 1981.
  9. Roger Moore, Octopussy,  1981.
  10. James Fox, Anna Pavlova, A Woman For All Time, 1983.   Quit the first Anglo-Soviet co-production to be Hotspur in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s HenryIV.”It might be the worst decision of my career.I might make acomplete balls of it.But something in me says I should do this.”Playing Pavlova’s husband began Fox’s comeback after ten years as a religious missionary.

  11. Maurice Colbourne, Doctor Who #133: Resurrection Of The Daleks, TV, 1984.       Aunty wanted a name for Commander Lytton…like Timothy Dalton (future Lord President in #202: The End of Time, 2000), Meg Bennett, Brian Blessed, Kenneth Cope, Leslie Grantham (not yet Dirty Den in EastEnders), Alfred Lynch, Clive Merrison (BBC Radio’s Sherlock Holmes), Terry Molloy (the future Davros), John Rhys-Davies, Maurice Roëves. Plus several of the astonishing army of 203 candidates for just 18 roles in that year’s Lifeforce movie mess: Nicholas Ball, Steven Berkoff, Tom Chadbon, Paul Darrow, Michael Gothard, Don Henderson, Del Henney (he became Colonel Archer), Martin Jarvis, Michael Jayston, Edward Peel, George Sewell, Patrick Stewart, Anthony Valentine and David Warner. All 25 up for one role in Doctor Who… Preposterous!
  12. Michael Billington, KGB: The Secret War, 1985.      Dalton asked too much to be thedouble agent (KGB and CIA) Peter Hubbard.By now, Daltonwasto be Bond andBillington (the most tested of all possible 007s) was not. Walter Gotell, aka General Gogol in the 70s’ Bonds was also cast.
  13. George Corraface, Christopher Columbus: The Discovery, 1992.  The French Corraface  took over the Italian title role  from the Welsh Dalton – three  days before shooting began  on May 11, 1991. Ireland’s Gabriel Byrne had previously been  offered Columbus. Another French star, Gérard Depardieu, was also Columbus that year in  1492: Conquest of Paradise – also  made for  the 500th anniversary of Columbus discovering America.   Neither one discovered a public.
  14. Charles Dance, Last Action Hero, 1993.      Dance replaced Tim, who replaced William Atherton, who (Dance thought) replaced Alan Rickman.  “It was obviously written for him.” 
  15. James Earl Jones, The Lion King, 1993.     Two ex-Bonds – Dalton, Sean Connery – plus Liam Neeson were considered royal enough to voice King Musafa in the 32nd Disney toon – known as “Bambi meets Hamlet in Africa.”
  16. Pierce Brosnan, GoldenEye,  1994.
  17. Paul McGann, Doctor Who (The Movie), TV, 1996.
  18. Eric Roberts, Doctor Who (The Movie), TV, 1996.  
  19. Donald Sumpter, Doctor Who #: Hell Bent, 2015.       Due to the schedule of his hit series, Ridley Scott’s Penny Dreadful, Dalton was unable to reprise Rassilon from #202: The End of Time. Sumpter ably filled his presidential shoes – but as a Time Lord President without a name.
  20. Jeremy Irons, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, 2015





 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  20