Benedict Cumberbatch is winning rave reviews for his performance as mystical medic Doctor Strange, the latest comic book blockbuster from Marvel. It got me thinking about big screen doctors of the past. Here are some of the greatest… and a few that deserve to be struck off…
Stanley Kubrick’s satire of Cold War nuclear lunacy stars Peter Sellars as the USA’s (ex-Nazi) advisor, who suggests the top brass wait out the impending apocalypse in a bunker, surrounded by ‘stimulating females’ to repopulate Earth.
Omar Sharif became an international heart-throb after playing the titular medic. The epic romance plays out between Sharif and Julie Christie’s Lara, against the backdrop of Russia’s march to revolution.
Christopher Lloyd is Doc Brown, a mad scientist who invents a time machine that takes Marty McFly (Michael J Fox) back to 1955, where he must fend off the amorous intentions of his (now teenage) mum to fix history and avoid a Freudian nightmare. You would have thought the security of the space/time continuum would be the least of Brown’s worries, given that his Delorean is powered by plutonium purchased from Libyan terrorists. He’d be better off catching a lift back to the 50s with Marty if he hopes to avoid a spell in Guantanamo.
Anthony Hopkins chews up the scenery and fellow cast members as captured cannibal serial-killer Dr Hannibal Lecter. The evil genius is drafted in to help a rookie FBI agent (Jodie Foster) from his cell, when the hunt for another twisted psychopath hits a brick wall.
Dr Richard Kimble (Harrison Ford) is framed for his wife’s murder, and the middle-aged vascular surgeon, somehow evades a massive manhunt while simultaneously searching for the real killer – the One Armed Man.
A risible take on HG Wells’ novel casts Marlon Brando as a physiologist playing God on a desert island. Val Kilmer is the castaway appalled by Moreau’s splicing of humans with animals to create horrific hybrids. The film, ironically, is 100% turkey.
Eccentric writer Hunter Thompson (Johnny Depp playing his real-life pal) and his Samoan attorney Dr Gonzo (Benicio Del Toro) head for Las Vegas on a drug-fuelled bender as the idealism of their 60s hippy-dream evaporates.