Doctor Who News MIchelle Gomez guests in Doctor Who Series 8

Published on July 2nd, 2014 | by James Lomond

Quality Of Guest Casting Improved In Doctor Who Series 8?

Good news takes many forms though none so mind-squeezingly delicious as the casting of MICHELLE GOMEZ in the Doctor Who Series 8 finale!

Following the recent confirmation from the BBC, Gomez has this week featured in a Twitter pic alongside fellow Scot, Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor with some familiar silvery chaps in the backround. Largely known for her role as the unhinged staff liaison officer, Sue White, in hospital comedy, Green Wing, she has also performed with the RSC and none other than Big Finish – Gomez starred alongside Sylvester McCoy in the audio drama Valhalla. Most crucially of all – I LOVE this actress. If understated comic genius was a woman, and a wee bit mental, she would be Michelle Gomez. And we are SO lucky to have her…. (here’s a nugget of Sue White as proof):

Gomez is playing a character named the Gatekeeper of the Nethersphere – sporting period costume, an anachronistic tech-accessory in her hands and looking like Mary Poppins mid-lightening strike. Holographic interface? Another Timelord? Or could she even be an alternate version of Victorian Clara all grown up? What we know for sure is that Moffat’s very pleased to have her on board,

“I’ve known Michelle for years, and I’m thrilled to welcome her to Doctor Who. She’s everything we need – brilliant, Scottish, and a tiny bit satanic.”

The Scottish Mafia swells its ranks! We’re certainly getting a combination of wonderful talent and big names on the show this season. Alongside Gomez, Ben Miller and Frank Skinner both have sound comedy credentials. In fact Miller is apparently both Doctor of Physics and an ex-Footlight and Skinner is one of very few (surely?) Doctor Who guest stars to have had a number one in the UK singles chart, twice (not counting the Beatles!) Ashes to Ashes star, Keeley Hawes is another well known face in the UK as is Hermione Norris from her work on Spooks. And Tom Riley is something of an international star in his own right thanks to the title role in Davinci’s Deamons.

Do you think Series 8 has turned a corner in casting quality? It’s a strange question to ask in a way – what do we mean by quality? It can’t be what I’m talking about above. Kylie’s had a lot more number ones than Frank Skinner (thank goodness) and Series 2 showed off top comedian Peter Kay’s acting talents. Looking back we probably had some of the “biggest” names in Series 1 with Simon Callow as Charles Dickens in The Unquiet Dead and Zoe Wanamaker as Cassandra in The End of the World (both of whom, interestingly, were asked back later).

But there does * feel * like there’s something a bit special brewing with Series 8 and not just an exciting new lead man. Perhaps it’s the tone and feel that has changed? It’s been remarked that the Moffat era has used increasingly more blue light and shadowy mists than the more day-glow sunny RTD era. Might Series 8 cranking up its eerie Gothic side even more? And do you think the casting reflects that? (Of course I’ll eat my words if Frank Skinner is running around in a green fat-suit, imbuing paving stones with life).

So are we seeing a more “mature” or “darkly comic” line up of stars for a more sinister era or am I letting my hopes for the series affect how I read the cast list? Are you looking forward to a slightly more angsty Series or do you long for the farting in Downing Street? Tell us below!..

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9 Responses to Quality Of Guest Casting Improved In Doctor Who Series 8?

  1. avatar MEKKANNOID says:

    I’m pretty sure Hermione Norris was on MI-5, not Spooks


    • Same show: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spooks

  2. avatar Endy says:

    I just want it to go on being the best thing on the Telly like it pretty much has always been. There is something brilliantly clever and unique about a show that embraces an age range of about 5 to 105. It is much easier to write for grown ups. Perhaps a little less easy to write for children, but to cover everyone (except a handful of miserable so called fans because that is impossible) is just extraordinary. I could not stop rejoicing at the 50th anniversary at the wonderful diversity of Doctor Who fans surrounding me, from little dots to people who like me had done the full fifty years. Doctor Who will always change and evolve that’s why it has 50 years under its belt, but I hope more than anything when it celebrates its 100th birthday somebody like me is blown away just like I was by the unconditional love which people of all ages have for this program.

  3. avatar simon magellan says:

    Don’t think so – last year we had Rachel Stirling, Dame Diana Rigg and John Hurt – to name just three. With the best will in the world, Skinner and Gomez hardly match this. If anything, I’d say the casting this year has been a bit ordinary. But, of course, we may not know everyone yet – Hurt was a surprise, and if Charles Dance is the new Master, we may not find out until he appears on screen.

    By the way, didn’t Gomez once say she wanted to be the first female Doctor, she was such a big fan? Which makes her the third full fan to appear this series, after Miller and Skinner!

  4. avatar DonnaM says:

    There are certainly more names I recognise. Hurt and Rigg are marquee names, but over the whole span of the series this year there have been more “oh, fantastic, he/she is brilliant” moments from me.

    Of course I am paying more attention than I did; the 50th and the regeneration have revived my enthusiasm for the next series, which may be a factor, but across the board would say yes, the guest rota this year looks like a very strong one.

    • avatar James Lomond says:

      Exactly my thoughts! Not “quality” but there is something a bit “ooh yes that’s good” about the line up…

  5. avatar Rick says:

    Series 5 had Toby Jones. I think Doctor Who has always had a lot of big names guest stars. It’s got a very well known lead in Capaldi as well.

  6. avatar tim says:

    Um, how can anything in a show featuring time travel be anachronistic..?

    • avatar James Lomond says:

      Umm… frequently? From the point of view of anyone who’s not a time traveller, at least.

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