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Julian Barratt knows who should be the next Doctor Who

Comedians Julian Barratt and Simon Farnaby talk about their new film "Mindhorn", eye patch acting and being turned into a Star Wars action figure.

Steffan Hill
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Julian Barratt, star of "The Mighty Boosh" and new movie "Mindhorn", has a great idea for who should play the next Doctor Who: Richard Thorncroft.

If you've never heard of Richard Thorncroft, don't worry -- he's not actually real. In "Mindhorn", Barratt plays Thorncroft, a washed-up (fictional) actor who starred in a (fictional) 1980s TV show about a (fictional) crime fighter from the Isle of Man.

Julian Barratt is Richard Thorncroft, who was "Mindhorn".

Steffan Hill

If that sounds confusing, imagine trying to sell it to puzzled movie execs. Barratt co-wrote the film with Simon Farnaby, who revealed the difficulties of pitching such a meta story. "We wrote it in two hours", jokes Farnaby, "but it took ten years to raise the money".

Barrett's crime-fighting alter ego battles injustice with a high-tech truth-detecting eye patch. The eye patch required some intense acting craft from Barratt, who claims to be able to focus acting from any part of his face -- even his teeth. If he doesn't pick up this year's Oscar for Best Eyepatch Acting then there's no justice in the world.

Simon Farnaby in "Mindhorn".

Steffan Hill

Farnaby also appears in the film as a stuntman on the fictional TV-show-within-the-film. He played another action role recently as rebel fighter pilot Blue Five in "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story".

As well as filming his scenes, he was scanned in costume to potentially create a Blue Five action figure. While that action figure has yet to appear, Barratt reckons they can still find a use for the scans: the virtual Farnaby could be Richard Thorncroft's hologram mate.

"Mindhorn" is in cinemas in the UK from 5 May.

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