Britpop singer Robbie Williams nearly starred in Doctor WhoS

Justin Timberlake wants to play the Riddler in the next Batman movie — but he should aim higher. Robbie Williams, lead singer from Take That!, came surprisingly close to playing the Doctor on Doctor Who. In the animated adventure "Scream of the Shalka," that is.

The 2003 animated story, which appeared on the BBC website, is finally getting the DVD release it deserves in a couple of weeks. And according to Blogtor Who, the "making of" featurette includes the bizarre fact that Williams was seriously considered as the next Doctor.

Producer Muirinn Lane Kelly says, "We got word that Robbie Williams was interested in playing The Doctor. We all sat around wondering, 'Is this a good idea? Is this a crazy idea?' Although, when it all shook down it turned out he wasn't available and it wasn't that possible." Writer Paul Cornell and producer James Goss are both quoted as saying, in different ways, that this casting could have helped bring Doctor Who to the attention of a bigger mainstream audience.

Although in the end, the more credible Richard E. Grant wound up playing the role instead, holding his own opposite Sophie Okonedo as Alison and Sir Derek Jakobi as a version of the Doctor's nemesis, the Master.

Also coming on DVD: William Hartnell's final story "The Tenth Planet," with the final episode animated as well as reconstructed from surviving footage and telesnaps; and "The Moonbase," the second Cyberman story, with the two missing episodes likewise animated.