a real world point of view
Best known for his work on Monty Python's Flying Circus (a series to which Adams also contributed), Cleese moved on from Python to star in the classic sitcom Fawlty Towers (which was in production around the time of his Doctor Who appearance), and in the 1980s established himself as an acclaimed character actor, with roles ranging from the dramatic, as in the western Silverado, to the comic, such as his Emmy Award-winning turn on Cheers. His writing has also been acclaimed, most notably when he got an Oscar nod for his A Fish Called Wanda script.
In the 1990s he joined the James Bond film franchise as the new Q, most recently appearing in that role in 2002's Die Another Day. He also appears in several of the Harry Potter films as Nearly Headless Nick.
Although most of the Monty Python team have been rumoured to be considered for the role of the Doctor, Cleese remains as of 2013[update] the only one to actually appear on the series.
In the Doctor Who universe
John Cleese was referenced by name in PROSE: Timeless in connection to one of his Monty Python sketches set in a chemist's shop. In PROSE: Spiral Scratch, the Sixth Doctor said that "John and Connie" (Booth) were good friends of his, justifying his immediate recognition of a Fawlty Towers quote.
- Internet Movie Database at the