- You may be looking for the real world actor.
Peter Cushing was a veteran Earth actor in the 20th and 21st centuries. Cushing was friends with the Doctor, who took him on as an occasional companion, allowing Cushing to appear in films made long after his historical death. Among the roles he played was a fictionalised version of the Doctor.
Prior to taking on the role of the Doctor, Cushing was known for appearing in horror films; (PROSE: Salvation) Lady Penelope referred to him as being "at home" in the Dracula and Frankenstein film series. (PROSE: Lady Penelope Investigates the stars of the Sensational new film Dr. Who and the Daleks!)
Association with the Doctor
At some point, Peter Cushing befriended the Doctor, who allowed him to appear in movies made after his death. (PROSE: The Day of the Doctor) In 2065, eighteen months after the Thal-Dalek battle on Skaro, Cushing starred in Dr. Who and the Daleks, a Technicolor film based on these events, as "Dr. Who". (PROSE: Peaceful Thals Ambushed!) The Doctor loved the film, and lent him a waistcoat for a second one, Daleks: Invasion Earth. (PROSE: The Day of the Doctor)
Ongoing film career
By 1969, Cushing had starred in a film once watched by William Bishop, whose plot concerned a cursed stone. (PROSE: Mind of Stone) Cushing attended Iris Wildthyme's party in Hobbe's End in 1972. (PROSE: From Wildthyme with Love)
In the 1970s, the Third Doctor, unfamiliar with Cushing, aka Van Helsing, watched two films in succession in a local cinema. The first film depicted a man sitting upon a box of chocolates, causing the Doctor wipe away tears of laughter. A pair of two older ladies who were sitting beside him weren't impressed, shushing him. After the first film ended, the second one played, with its title "appear[ing] amidst a mass of orangey-red". There was a scene with a food machine, which again caused to Doctor to burst out in laughter. At the end of the feature, one of the older ladies exclaimed that she hoped that the Doctor picked up a few manners from Mr. Cushing. (PROSE: A Visit to the Cinema)
After attending the Star Wars premiere at Mann's Chinese Theatre with Frobisher in May 1977, the Sixth Doctor remarked that Tarkin looked familiar and that he seemed to remember meeting his granddaughter once. (PROSE: Mission: Impractical) Clara Oswald later knew of Cushing as "the guy from Star Wars". (PROSE: The Day of the Doctor)
A new "Dr. Who" movie
After the 2013 negotiations between the Zygons and UNIT in the Black Archive (TV: The Day of the Doctor) entered their ninth hour, the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors decided to blow off some steam by watching a VHS tape of Daleks: Invasion Earth. They greatly enjoyed the experience and subsequently pitched a third "Dr. Who" movie to Cushing over the TARDIS telephone. (PROSE: The Day of the Doctor)
Cushing subsequently starred in the 1980 science fiction film Prey for a Miracle, which was inspired by the UFO / gods scare caused by the Latter-Day Pantheon in New York City in March and April 1965. He played the lead role of "the mysterious government adviser, Doctor Who", a character loosely based on the First Doctor. However, a film critic for the magazine Film in Focus noted upon the film's release in November 1980 that Cushing's "endearingly eccentric professor [was] as fictional as the rest of Prey for a Miracle" as what little was known about the real life "Doctor" suggested that he was "a shadowy, manipulative figure." (PROSE: Salvation)
Lawrence Burton wondered to himself if the Enemy might be "those outer space robot people" that appeared in "at least two films with Peter Cushing". However, he dismissed the possibility as implausible. (PROSE: We Are the Enemy)
Behind the scenes
- The incarnation of the Doctor who originally befriended Cushing is not firmly identified, although as the Third Doctor in A Visit to the Cinema seems unaware of the circumstances of the filming of Dr. Who and the Daleks and refers to Cushing as "Van Helsing", it is likely that it was at a later point than this point in the Third Doctor's life that the two developed a closer association.
- Film Star Wins Oscar—Misses Premiere! parodies Peter Cushing and Dr. Who and the Daleks as Seamus Vampire and Doctor Da and the Humanies.
- A publicity shot of Cushing as Dr. Who is used as one of the illustrations of Lady Penelope Investigates the stars of the Sensational new film Dr. Who and the Daleks!, purported to depict the in-universe Cushing. Thus, Cushing might be argued to have actually "portrayed" his own fictional counterpart.
Information from invalid sources
Trying to play The Universe Marathon, Peter Cushing lost his counter. (NOTVALID: The Universe Marathon) On Gallifrey, Roberta Tovey placed a classified ad looking for "her Grandfather, who answer[ed] to the name Van Helsing". (NOTVALID: TARDIS Stolen!)