As Doctor Who changes its supporting cast every week, it means the hit BBC show can have a revolving door of famous actors and actresses jump aboard the series for one episode and then jump off again. In particular, the show’s been home to many up-and-coming stars who went on to be major Hollywood names. Just a few who spring to mind include Andrew Garfield, Carey Mulligan and Felicity Jones.
Another is Olivia Colman. The recent Oscar nominee and soon-to-be star of The Crown appeared in Matt Smith’s first episode as the Eleventh Doctor back in 2010. She had a minor role as a woman whose form is impersonated by an alien shapeshifter. It was a fun part for the actress, who got to chase Karen Gillan down a corridor and attempt to eat her with a set of CGI fangs, but it’d be fair to say it wasn’t her most demanding role.
In fact, it turns out casting Colman in such a small part is something former showrunner Steven Moffat regrets to this day. While speaking to Radio Times, the Sherlock creator expressed his frustration at how underused the actress was in the episode, titled “The Eleventh Hour.”
“In my first series there was Olivia Colman… just a heartbeat before she was stratospheric. I think, ‘Oh we wasted that, didn’t we!’ Bloody hell.”
Colman might not have had a big role in that episode, but funnily enough, that’s not her only Doctor Who-related cameo. In 2013’s The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot, a short comedy film made by Fifth Doctor Peter Davison to celebrate the show’s 50th birthday, Colman showed up as one of the many stars involved. In one hilarious scene, she complains that she’s not in the 50th anniversary special because she’s “usually in everything.”
Still, maybe there’s a chance she could return to Doctor Who in a different role. Colman worked with current showrunner Chris Chibnall on Broadchurch, so perhaps she could do him a favor by playing, say, the next incarnation of the Master or something. Now that we’d like to see.