The great thing about the internet is that just about anything you need to know is always at your fingertips. Plug in a few characters on your device and you instantly get whatever it is you need to know in seconds.
The less great thing about the internet is that everything you have logged, photographed, posted and clicked on still exists somewhere in the digital sphere. And we mean EVERYTHING… from that hilarious blog you wrote about getting thrown out of a IHOP because the staff mistook you for Dick Cheney, right down to that Instagram pic of you streaking the hallways of a senior’s home, remains frozen in perpetuity for cyber consumers to mock forever and ever.
For celebrities, and specifically for actors, this can be a double edged sword. For every You Tube clip of them rattling off an Oscar calibre speech, there are always links to their less known and less flattering work.
Doctor Who alum have been pretty fortunate in that even their early work hasn’t been particularly embarrassing (translation: low budget porno) and that even the bombs they worked on weren’t particularly career damaging (translation: anything directed by Joel Schumacher)
Here’s 5 (Almost) Forgotten Roles from Who Actors…
SYLVESTER MCCOY – DRACULA 1979
Before he took command of the TARDIS console in 1987, the 7th Doctor was working his way around the UK in stage roles and bit parts where he could find them, and in 1979 he secured a role in a film about the Prince of Darkness.
Starring Sir Laurence Olivier as Van Helsing an Frank Langella as the titular vampire, the movie was received with mixed reviews but McCoy at least earned a pay cheque for appearing as Walter, a grave digger.
TOM BAKER – DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS
A feature film based on the monstrously popular RPG Dungeons and Dragons seemed like a slam dunk box office smash when it was announced in the late 90s. The finished product…didn’t exactly deliver on those expectations.
Despite a talented cast including Jeremy Irons, the movie flopped badly. So much so that it’s fallen into virtual obscurity today, but the hardcore Whovian will remember that Tom Baker was among the cast, starring as Halvarth the Elf.
JENNA COLEMAN – CAPTAIN AMERICA
The Impossible Girl got her big break on ITV’s Emmerdale as spunky Jasmine Thomas, but after four years on the series she left the UK shores in search of (more) fame and fortune in America.
It didn’t go as well as she anticipated, and soon she was back in Jolly Ol’ saving The Doctor time and time again as Clara Oswald. But her move to Hollywood wasn’t a total bust; she did land a blink and you’ll miss it spot in the Marvel Cinematic Universe alongside Chris Evans in Captain America: The First Avenger.
Fun Fact! Fellow Who veteran John Barrowman was among the final candidates considered to play Cap before Evans was eventually cast.
BILLIE PIPER – THINGS TO DO BEFORE YOU’RE 30
To quote David Tennant from The End Of Time…”(2005 was) a really great year” for Billie Piper; she had overcome the few naysayers who doubted her acting acumen to excel as Rose in NuWho and almost overnight propelled herself into the conversation of “best companion ever” among Who fandom.
But her road to success wasn’t without bumps; her music career had fizzled in the early 2000s and the few films she did before Who didn’t generate much positive buzz. Specifically, the 2004 comedy Things To Do Before You’re 30 is probably one event Billie wishes The Doctor would wipe from her mind. Despite opening at Cannes, it bombed at the box office after early reviews called it a ….”charmless film full of gender clichés and lumpen dialogue…”. OUCH.
CHRISTOPHER ECCELSTON AND DAVID TENNANT – JUDE
And finally, the 1996 period piece Jude gave us not one, but two Time Lords before they were…well Time Lords. Starring Christopher Eccleston as the titular lower classmen dreaming of a University education and featuring David Tennant in a brief scene as Drunken Graduate. Or, as we might refer to it today, “That time 9 and 10 got pissed in a pub”
What do you think of our list? Did we miss any long lost movie roles for Who Alumni? Let us know in the comments!!