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Who Is Cassandra?

Naomi Ryan: Cast in Doctor Who Series 7?

It’s a loaded name, one that has appeared in Doctor Who several times, most recently in 2006’s New Earth.

So why the fuss about the character “Cassandra”, apparently played by actress Naomi Ryan in Series 7 according to the actress’ Spotlight page?

Well, it seems that a lot of Tenth Doctor/Russell T Davies era fans (have they read Ultimate Regeneration?) are getting their knickers in a twist over a supposed “re-casting” of Lady Cassandra O’Brien, the “bitchy trampoline” from End of the World (2005) and New Earth.

After all, why would Steven Moffat reuse a character name?

It’s not like he’s already called the maid of his Victorian-era Silurian adventurer Vastra something along the lines of “Jenny”, now is it?

Similarly, it’s not exactly the case that Doctor Who has already tackled the the topic of the Cassandra from Greek legend. We’d all remember if the First Doctor and companions had found themselves in a version of Troy as described in Homer’s Iliad, wouldn’t we? Or if Frances White had been cast as prophetess “Cassandra” in 1965?

Note to name-grumblers = all of the above has previously happened. Why not congratulate Naomi Ryan (who you might recognise from EastEnders, Coronation Street, Dream Team) on her role and move on? Or at least email her agents and let them know that the current series of Doctor Who is 2012, not 2011…

(With thanks to Scott)

Christian Cawley


A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

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