Doctor Who

Working Lives: Robert Strange, creature actor for Doctor Who and Star Wars

Three green Wrarth Warriors stand in the street, pointing guns at something off-camera

What is a creature actor?

A creature actor plays roles that are usually very physical, with a fantastical, non-human form. At one extreme, I am unrecognisable in costume and prosthetics, being beastly and monstrous.

But Emma Stone’s Oscar-winning performance in Poor Things is also a kind of creature performance; it’s a take on the Frankenstein character, embodying something that is not the regular human experience.

What attributes does a creature actor need?

First look images revealed of Lennie James, Sharon D. Clarke and Ariyon Bakare in Mr Loverman

Lennie James walks down the steps of a house in a white and grey checkered suit

The eight-part series adapts Bernardine Evaristo’s 2013 novel of the same name, following Barrington ‘Barry’ Jedidiah Walker. Barry has been married to Carmel for 50 years, who has begun to worry that there are other women on the side.

She’s right, in a way: he is having an affair, but not with a woman. Barry’s lover is his best friend of several years, Morris De La Roux. As they reach the end of their lives, Barry reckons with big decisions which could call his entire family’s future into question.

Andor star Varada Sethu to join Doctor Who as new companion

Millie Gibson, Ncuti Gatwa and Varada Sethu sit together smiling, with Sethu holding Gatwa's arm

Sethu will play the Doctor’s companion, alongside Millie Gibson (Coronation Street), who will be returning to play fellow companion Ruby Sunday. Gibson made her debut in the 2023 Doctor Who Christmas Special ‘The Church on Ruby Road’.

Gatwa and Gibson’s second season of Doctor Who will be the 15th series since the sci-fi staple was revived in 2005. However, Gatwa and Gibson’s first series – which sees the return of the revival’s original showrunner, Russell T Davies – will officially be known as ‘season one’.

Doctor Who to return in May

The Doctor and Ruby Sunday stand in a white corridor of the TARDIS

The Doctor last careened onto screens with Christmas special ‘The Church on Ruby Road’, which marked the debut of new companion Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson). Ncuti Gatwa (Sex Education) plays the 15th Doctor, having appeared in the last of three specials for the show’s 60th anniversary.

The new series will see the Doctor and Ruby travel to Regency England, Abbey Road studio to watch the Beatles record and distant space. Expect fun and camp in equal, multidimensional measure.

Jenna Coleman on Wilderness, dancing in Vegas and going beyond right and wrong

Jenna Coleman stands in front of a canyon

Extensive use of accents means the versatility of the actor’s work is obvious even if you watched it blindfolded. She is French-Canadian in The Serpent, cockney in The Sandman, Geordie in this year’s action thriller movie Jackdaw and Welsh in revenge tale Wilderness.

BBC releases first-look image for Jenna Coleman crime thriller The Jetty

Jenna Coleman, in character as Ember Manning, looks into the camera at the foot of a jetty

The show follows Ember Manning, a rookie detective investigating a fire in her home town, bringing her into contact with more than one of its less savoury residents.

“Bringing the complex and enigmatic character of Ember Manning to life has been an incredible experience,” said Coleman. “I can’t wait for everyone to meet this new heroine and to find out what’s lurking beneath the surface of The Jetty.”