We talked to Sylvester at the Cowal Highland Gathering, Scotland’s biggest Highland Games, where the 67-year-old actor was in attendance as honorary Chieftain.
Of the current Doctor, Sylvester said: “Matt is wonderfully strange. He’s got a great, strange look to him, a great face, and his timing is terrific, his concentration and everything.
“And he’s very young! I wasn’t mad about the idea of him doing it, but now he’s done it I think he’s done a really good job.”
Despite globe-trotting, Sylvester still tunes into the show, and said: “I watch it. I’ve been working all over the world so I don’t see it always, but I do dip in now and again. Partly out of duty, but I enjoy the duty, especially because of Matt Smith, I like what I’ve seen of him.
“And David was terrific, you know. I also liked Christopher Eccleston because he was the first real working-class Doctor, I was disappointed in a way that the next one wasn’t equally.
“I would have loved it if someone like Billy Connolly came out, and said [doing Billy impression]: ‘Oh my God, look at that planet, I love it! Bleep bleep bleep, I love it.’ I would have liked more of that, but apart from that it’s good.”
So what does it take to make a good doctor then? Fittingly, Sylvester replied: “Eccentricity, I think. As an actor, I think you’ve got to be slightly off the wall, batty and unusual, slightly. God knows why they gave it to me?”
Not content with one blockbuster role, Sylvester is now being sized up to appear in the blockbuster The Hobbit, which is set to be directed by Peter Jackson and continue the Lord of the Rings franchise.
However, at the Cowal Highland Gathering he was content in his role as honorary Chieftain, which the Dunoon-born actor described as a “great honour” in the first part of our interview - before pulling a knife out on our interviewer!