5 actresses who nearly played ‘Doctor Who’ companions

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It was recently revealed that the Doctor Who production team auditioned 70 actresses for the part of new companion Bill, which of course eventually went to Pearl Mackie.

Assuming a similar number were looked at for previous companions, multiplied by how many of them there have been over the past fifty or so years, and that means that potentially a whole football pitch full of people have almost become the Doctor’s best friend.

Doctor Who 9 companion

Let’s have a look at five that we know of…


Louise Brealey

Sherlock Molly Louise Brealey

Years before she first appeared as lovesick Molly Hooper in Sherlock, Louise Brealey auditioned for the part of Rose Tyler.

Apparently, though, it was her worst audition ever. Brealey was also a journalist back then, and one of her pieces came back to bite her at the audition…

She later recalled “Chris Eccleston saying ‘I remember you, you did that interview for Premiere’ (into which my editor had crowbarred a couple of less-than-flattering comments).”


Pauline Collins

Pauline Collins DOctor Who The Faceless Ones

In 1967’s ‘The Faceless Ones’, lively Liverpool girl Samantha Briggs was intended to be a new companion for the Doctor – complete with a burgeoning romance with Jamie!

Things were all set to go until actress Pauline Collins decided she didn’t want to commit to a regular role on the show and so the idea was nixed. Instead, the character of Victoria was introduced in the following story, ‘The Evil of the Daleks.’

Much later, Pauline Collins got another shot at Doctor Who fame when she played Queen Victoria in 2006’s ‘Tooth and Claw.’ How… amusing.


Sara Griffiths

Doctor Who Sara Griffiths

Similarly, gutsy Welsh biker Ray was created to be Bonnie Langford’s replacement at Sylvester McCoy’s side, when the actress was set to leave in ‘Delta and the Bannerman’. Late in the day, however, Langford decided to stay for another story and Sara Griffiths did not get the chance to become a companion.

The following tale ‘Dragonfire’ brought in Sophie Aldred’s Ace in her place, who became the Seventh Doctor’s definitive companion.


April Walker

Doctor Who April Walker

Another companion you can’t imagine Doctor Who without is, perhaps the greatest of them all, Sarah Jane Smith. Across nearly 40 years, Elisabeth Sladen inhabited the role so perfectly, you would never know that she was not the first choice for the part.

Originally, actress April Walker was cast as the intrepid reporter. However, during rehearsals for ‘The Time Warrior’ it was felt that she and Jon Pertwee did not have the required chemistry.

Instead, producer Barry Letts called up a young actress he had worked with on police drama Z Cars. Sladen and Perwee hit it off, and the rest is television history.


Georgia Moffett

Doctor Who Jenny Doctor's Daughter Georgia Moffett

Yup, Peter Davison’s daughter/David Tennant’s wife/Jenny, the Doctor’s daughter Georgia Moffett has yet another connection to Doctor Who. She originally wanted to play Rose Tyler.

Moffett applied to Russell T Davies and his team for the part but they decided not to ask her to audition, feeling she was too young at the time. In 2008, she tried to land the role of Robina Redmond in ‘The Unicorn in the Wasp.’ She didn’t get that one either, but Davies had another character in mind for her this time…

To clarify: the Fifth Doctor’s real-life daughter auditioned to play the Ninth Doctor’s friend, before she became the Tenth Doctor’s real-life wife, having recently played his daughter. Got it?


> Buy the complete Season 9 box set on DVD on Amazon.

> Buy the complete Season 9 box set on Blu-ray on Amazon.

Which other almost-companions have we missed? Let us know below…

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