Returning to our screens for a full season after a 16-year absence, Doctor Who managed to pull in a wealth of talent for its 21st century debut.
Some of the faces, such as Anna Maxwell Martin (The Bletchley Circle), Noel Clarke (Kidulthood), Jo Joyner (EastEnders) and Eve Myles (Broadchurch) have gone on to greater success; others were a touch more familiar.
Here are five of our favourites…
Zoe Wanamaker as Cassandra in ‘The End of the World’
Cassandra, more properly known as the Lady Cassandra O’Brien.Δ17, was the self-appointed last human whom the Doctor met while viewing the destruction of the Earth from Platform One.
A racial purist, she denied all other forms of the species which had interbred with other races or evolved into other forms.
A CGI creation of a piece of stretched skin with a face, plus a brain in a jar, Cassandra was gifted with a sarcastic and self-obsessed personally, delivered hilariously by Wanamaker. Despite appearing to die, in the great tradition of popular Doctor Who villains, she reprised the character the following year in ‘New Earth’.
Simon Callow as Charles Dickens in ‘The Unquiet Dead’
Callow’s casting was a major coup for the series, with his long association with the part adding weight to what would become an annual institution; the show’s first ‘celebrity historical’.
Meeting the famed author late in his life, the Doctor professes to be an avid fan and the time-travellers enthusiasm for life reinvigorates him.
Mark Gatiss was praised by Callow for his accuracy in capturing Dickens late in life and not simply showing him as a ‘kind of all-purpose Victorian literary character”. Callow was even coaxed back for a cameo in ‘The Wedding of River Song’ some six years later.
Annette Badland as Blon Fel-Fotch Passameer-Day Slitheen in ‘Aliens of London’, ‘World War Three’ and ‘Boom Town’
While the creatures themselves were a mite cartoonish, Annette Badland’s cool demeanour as “Margaret” Slitheen was a highlight of the revived show’s first two-parter.
Successful enough in fact that Russell T Davies promptly brought her back to face the Time Lord again later in the run, for an episode which tackled the Doctor’s morality when she revealed that, should he return her to face justice, she would likely suffer an agonising death penalty.
Badland’s RTD connection has continued outside Doctor Who, with her starring in Wizards vs Aliens as Ursula Crowe, witch and grandmother to the young lead Tom Clarke.
Richard Wilson as Doctor Constantine in ‘The Empty Child’ and ’The Doctor Dances’
Wilson, best known as One Foot in the Grave’s Victor Meldrew, memorably brought to life the weary medical doctor who cared for victims of the Empty Child.
Frustrated by his inability to find a cure, he looked after them in hospital and demonstrates their affliction to the Doctor and Rose.
Eventually succumbing to the disease himself, Constantine himself transformed into a gas mask zombie in a horrific moment which was part of the build-up to the story’s cliffhanger.
Simon Pegg as The Editor in ‘The Long Game’
Uber-nerd and sci-fi fan Pegg was doubtless easily to sell on the idea of appearing in the show, having fond memories of watching Tom Baker’s Doctor while growing up.
In ‘The Long Game’, which also featured Green Wing‘s Tamsin Greig and secretly served as a scene-setter for the two-part season finale, he played the sinister Editor who controlled all the news feeds fed to Earth from the Satellite Five space station.
This was not Pegg’s first Doctor Who role, having played opposite Paul McGann in the 2002 audio adventure ‘Invaders from Mars’. He also narrated the first year of the programme’s much-missed behind the scenes show Doctor Who Confidential.
Who’s your favourite guest star in Season 1? Let us know below…