Veteran actor Brian Blessed once turned down the lead role in Dr Who as he was "too busy," he told the Radio Times.
The 77-year-old, famed for his booming delivery, said he was offered the role in the mid-1960s, but it "clashed with other things."
Asked if he would play the Time Lord now, Blessed said he would "jump" at the chance.
But he added: "I think they need to re-examine his surname - "Who" is very oriental. It's about time they had an Asian actor as the Doctor. And a female one."
Blessed, who is also fondly remembered for another sci-fi role as Prince Vultan in the movie Flash Gordon, will examine his roots in a new BBC series of Who Do You Think You Are?
Doctor Who returns to BBC1 on August 23 with Peter Capaldi starring as the latest regeneration of The Doctor.