Miriam Margolyes says Tom Baker wanted her for his Doctor Who companion

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In her book, Oh Miriam!: Stories From An Extraordinary Life, Miriam Margolyes recalled the time when Tom Baker requested that she portray his Doctor Who companion.

“I’ve never been a science-fiction fan – quite the opposite – but I have always loved the various Doctor Whos (or is it Doctors Who?) I’ve met. Some forty-six years ago, the delicious rainbow-bescarfed former monk, and fourth Doctor Who, Tom Baker, had requested me to play his assistant. But it was not to be. The BBC baulked at a bulky sidekick for the Doctor. Instead, they chose the lovely Louise Jameson as Leela and the robotic dog K9. (Fools!) But almost half a century later, things have changed and I’ve been allowed to join Doctor Who in November 2023.”

Since the release of her autobiography, Margolyes gave more insight into Tom Baker’s thoughts about casting her as his companion to Doctor Who Magazine 596.

“When I think of Doctor Who I think initially of Tom Baker, whom I loved and worked with. And I remember he said he’d asked for me to be the sidekick many years ago and they wouldn’t consider it. I only heard about this via Tom years later. Not at the time. He told me, ‘I really asked for you and wanted you but they said no.’ He thought I was slightly off the wall, and he wanted somebody slightly off the wall. I would love to have done it, it would have been amazing. But I wasn’t the sort of person they wanted. In those days, the whole point was to have a very conventional pretty little thing. I was never that.”

In conjunction with the release of her new book, Margolyes was announced as voicing a Doctor Who character called Meep in the Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials. Meep makes an appearance to the teaser trailer for the first special titled The Star Beast.

Beep the Meep - voiced by Miriam Margoyles

“[Seventh Doctor actor Sylvester McCoy] told me about travelling around the world, being paid to appear at events called ‘Comic Con’, ‘Awesome Con’ and ‘Chicago TARDIS’, meeting science-fiction buffs and being photographed with them. I rather liked the sound of that. Of course, I wasn’t in Doctor Who then, BUT I AM NOW! Just you wait till you meet the Meep.”

Doctor Who will return in November 2023 with three 60th anniversary specials starring David Tennant as the Fourteenth Doctor and Catherine Tate as companion Donna Noble titled The Star Beast, Wild Blue Yonder and The Giggle.

Ncuti Gatwa will star in his first full Doctor Who episode as the Fifteenth Doctor in the Doctor Who Christmas special alongside Millie Gibson as companion Ruby Sunday in December 2023.

A new 8-episode Doctor Who series starring Ncuti Gatwa as the Doctor and Millie Gibson as Ruby will debut in Spring of 2024.