Not one, not two but three actresses all with one thing in common. Yes, they’re all about to appear in “Doctor Who” for the first time but, more particularly, they’re also all about to do battle with the Daleks. At the top is Sheridan Smith who must be so drunk by now, after all those pints, that I don’t think she’ll even be able to see those mutants from Skaro. We won’t either. She’ll join eighth Doctor Paul McGann as his new companion Lucie Miller from New Year’s Eve on BBC Radio 7 in the first of a two-part story, “Blood of the Daleks”. The narrative follows on from the 1996 TV movie rather than the previous Big Finish audios and is written by Steve Lyons. The new episodes are being released on CD one a month, from round about now, and this first story also features “Hellraiser” Ken Cranham, fresh from his appearance in the unsatisfying “Doc Martin” Christmas Special, and Queen guitarist Brian May’s other half, ex-“EastEnder” Anita Dobson.
In the middle is Freema Agyeman, in a screen cap taken from the Season Three teaser at the end of “The Runaway Bride”. She has three episodes to settle in, as tenth Doctor David Tennant’s new companion Martha Jones, before coming face-to-face with the metal meanies. This means only four episodes separate the Daleks next appearance, in another two-part story, from their previous one in “Doomsday”, which fleetingly saw the Black Dalek escape. Their return, however welcome, strikes me as somewhat hasty. It smacks a little of must have the new girl meet the old baddies as soon as feasibly possible! Before then, the time travellers will face the dreaded Sontaran look-alikes the Judoon in opening episode “Smith and Jones”, battle fearsome flying witches in “The Shakespeare Code”, and in a return to New Earth, in the third as yet untitled episode, encounter the Face of Boe for the third and final time, assuming he’s a man of his word!!
Appearing with David and Freema, in the fourth story of the third season of new “Doctor Who”, is “Spooks” actress Miranda Raison, pictured above as Jo Portman in a screen cap taken from episode five of the recently transmitted fifth season (the story which saw the emotional departure of Ruth Evershed). I love the way Miranda’s character was introduced last year, it was like a breath of fresh air, but have been disappointed in how Jo hasn’t really developed in the latest series. She seems to be in the show, almost solely, to provide backup and make up the numbers. I do hope the lack of good writing for her in this year’s “Spooks”, coupled with her up-coming appearance in “Doctor Who”, doesn’t mean we’ve seen the last of her in the spy drama. However, Miranda is playing a New York showgirl in her “Who” adventure, set in the 1930s, and I have to admit to being quietly chuffed, as I bet she is, that her appearance in the programme coincides with the inevitable return of the exterminators!