Benedict Cumberbatch could be taking on Doctor Who, according to rumours.

The Sherlock Holmes star is tipped to play the Time Lord’s deadly nemesis The Master for the show’s 50th anniversary, the Daily Express reported.

As the Master, the 35-year-old actor – who was linked with the role of the Doctor himself ahead of David Tennant’s departure in 2009, but reportedly turned it down – is likely to clash with current Doctor Matt Smith when the series celebrates the milestone next year.

“It’s fitting that the Doctor comes face to face with his ultimate enemy The Master for the 50th anniversary and it’s felt Benedict is the perfect choice if schedules can work,” a source told the paper.

“Fans will love the idea of the man who plays Sherlock Holmes taking on the Doctor. Benedict has often been asked about whether he would like to play the Doctor, so it will be ironic if he now ends up being The Master instead.”

The Master, who is a rogue Time Lord and is described as his biggest enemy, was last portrayed by John Simm when David wore the Doctor’s robes.

Benedict, who last starred in Steven Spielberg’s War Horse, has won awards for his performance as super-sleuth Sherlock, and will be embracing his darker side after being cast as a villain in JJ Abrams’ forthcoming Star Trek sequel.