Dervla Kirwan was interviewed in the Telegraph this weekend, talking about her casting in The Next Doctor.
She has previously been cast by Russell T Davies – the writer of The Next Doctor – in the BBC drama Casanova as the mother of the eponymous character played so memorably by David Tennant. Kirwan believs her casting is based on Davies previous experience of the actress:
"…he trusts me to deliver under pressure. There isn’t much time. And the acting, although important, does take a slight step back to the effects and the extraordinary filming schedule that has to be adhered to. We’d be filming in a graveyard with polystyrene effects for snow falling, and it was like trying to speak through a pillow fight."
While there’s nothing in the interview that gives anything away (although she believes that should David Morrissey literally be The Next Doctor then she believes he is "wonderful" and "a worthy replacement") there is a fascinating insight into how continuity is applied.
"On set they had this woman who was knowledgeable about every nuance of Cyberman etiquette," she says. "How they would address you, their hand gestures, how they would salute rank and officer… Just astonishing. I had no idea how fastidious people were."
If anyone was in any doubt that Doctor Who was running out of guest stars, take a look at this final quote from Dervla Kirwan…
"In television at the moment there’s a paucity of great work, it’s a grim time," she says. "So to get a job like this… You can’t quite believe it. You’re standing on this massive sound stage, talking to an actor dressed as a Cyberman. It’s fun, just fun, you know?"
I suppose the real point of this is: would an actor rather be playing an insane leader of alien aggressors in a period drama or a constable on the beat in North London…?