Gatiss’ Rhubarb Approach to Rachael Stirling

Doctor Who is so beloved that most actors would go to great lengths to get a role, even a just as an extra, on the show. Those same actors would love to quiz anyone that has been in an episode on just how they went about getting that role in the hopes that the method might work for them, too.

So how do you get a role on Doctor Who?

Try being in a stage production with Who writer Mark Gatiss.

Rachel Stirling, daughter of the lovely Dame Diana Rigg, was in a production early last year of George Farquhar’s The Recruiting Officer with Gatiss. During one scene, the two were supposed to be in conversation in the background. But instead of the more typical nonsensical noise made to mimic conversation, Gatiss asked if Stirling had ever appeared on Who.

It was hilarious. We had to sit at the back and he had an enormous ginger wig and these painted Aunt Sally cheeks, as did I with this huge canary dress and I had a fan. But he said to me [putting on a posh voice] ‘Have you ever been in Doctor Who?’ and I said ‘No!’ And he said ‘If I wrote one for you would you be interested?’ And I said I would and it started from there.

Later that year both Stirling and her mother Dame Rigg were cast in Gatiss’ The Crimson Horror episode of the show as mother and daughter!

Guess the old saying ‘It’s not who you know…’ really was true in this case!

(via Radio Times)


Rebecca is still new to the Who world, but is no stranger to sci-fi, being a life long Trekkie. When not watching, reading, blogging, or talking about Doctor Who, she watches so many movies and reads so many books she has to keep a list of both so she doesn't forget any of them. She wishes she could have been with the Doctor and Amy when they met Van Gogh.

Please note that responses to this post are subject to our comments policy.

© 2005-2015 Kasterborous. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | SheKnows Media - Entertainment