Saturday, 6 June 2009

New assistant for a new doc...

Have you all heard about the casting of the new Dr Who companion?

She's Karen Gillan, a 21 year old Scottish actress who will be playing the new companion to new Dr, Matt Smith. I have to admit I'd never heard of her, until I read that she had also played the soothsayer in last season's "Fires of Pompei":

But then she does look slightly different. Who knew? (Or perhaps he did).

A few observations:
1. Karen Gillan is very young to be cast as a companion. But then, so was Billie Piper. And actresses like Janet Fielding and Sarah Sutton back in the day were young 'uns too, and all of the aforementioned did a decent enough job.

2. Although there's already been a lot of talk by Steven Moffatt and the BBC bigwigs about what a great energy and presence Karen G has, I do wish they'd decided to break the trend of "Earth girl companion" and go for an alien companion instead. So far we've had Rose, Martha, Donna and now ... Karen (or whatever her character will be called, obviously not yet revealed). Why can't they have an alien like Nyssa or Turlough? Okay, so Jack was alien, but very human-like in other respects...

3. As it appears that Ms G is going to play the character as a genuine Scot I take it this means she will have an, erm, proper Scottish accent? (As opposed to David Tennant who for three years managed to successfully imitate a Southern English accent, in spite of the fact that he is actually a bona fide Scot - although the geeks amongst you will of course remember that he did temporarily slip into Scottish speaking mode in "Tooth and Claw"... It might actually have been more appropriate in some respects if Karen G had been cast opposite him rather than Matt Smith!) And will there be lots of conscious nods to Scottish culture and society? Will Karen G regularly don tartan outfits, scoff haggis and do the highland fling inside the TARDIS control room? Okay, perhaps something slightly more subtle, before any Scots people reading this come and lynch me for perpetuating crude stereotyping...

4. I should really just withold opinion until Ms Gillan appears on our TV screens next Spring. After all I went on a massive rant about the return of Catherine Tate and what a big error of judgement that was, when in fact it turned out to be ... a rather good move, with Ms Tate proving many of her detractors wrong. So let's wait and see, eh?

And if you want to know more about Karen G, try here or here.


  1. After Catherine's outing I'm ginger confirmed... so I'm more than willing to give her a go and see how she shapes up in the Tardis. But you're right - a non earth companion would have made a refreshing change.

  2. Well, we had a long chat about Planet of the Dead. There was an air of sadness while we watched it really especially from the Young 'Un - we know that we have almost seen the last of David T (and I know he's not everyone's cuppa cider)...I personally felt the show lacked a bit of "sense" and that while the chick in the tight outfit squirmed her way about the set (and DT) I don't know that we really felt she had much purpose (other than to squirm around DT).
    Anyway, he would have won us all over if he had stuck to his own accent but thats another story.
    I am looking forward to a new series. The Kid ain't because she's not used to the Drs changing yet.

  3. Steve - yes, another ginga. Oh well, maybe they'll tire of earth companions next time round. I can kind of see why they do it though - more of a role model for the youngsters watching the show.

    Amanda - I know what you mean about the Lady Whatserface - she was kind of a distraction who didn't really go anywhere (other than flying off in a London bus at the end). The problem with the specials is they give us "one off" companions who we barely get to know, then they leave, never to be seen again...Well actually that didn't happen with Donna Noble, who DID come back. But in the next special we've got Lynsey Duncan and it's a pity an actress of her calibre won't hang around longer...And again funny that your young 'un doesn't like the idea of a new Dr - very kid-like indeed! I remember feeling the same when Tom Baker bowed out and Peter Davison arrived. You get used to it though!