Tasha Lem: The Time of the Doctor

Tasha Lem: Friend Or Foe?

She’s mysteriously “from the Doctor’s past” and is “a descendant of humans”, but who is Tasha Lem? In a recent interview the actress who plays her, Orla Brady (Fringe, Sinbad), tries to explain her character without spoiling the surprises of Christmas.

Although she watched Doctor Who as a child, she had not seen it since. How did Ms. Brady research the storylines, including one in particular?

I asked the script editor to recommend what he thought I should watch, and said ‘I’m happy to watch as much as you like’, and he gave me [laughing] truly a stack of DVDs from my feet up to my shoulder and …I just stayed in and had this Who-fest, where I watched Christopher’s and David’s and Matt’s of course, a lot of Matt’s, because I was catching up on particular story strands.

When asked if those strands dealt with Trezalore, she replied simply, “Yes.”

And Ms. Brady seems to have scenes with both the Doctor and at least one of his enemies:

There were a couple of moments between Tasha and the Doctor that made me laugh out loud, but she’s not a particularly funny character…

I did have a scene with one of the above (Daleks or Cybermen)…when I did stand in front of them I did think ‘ooh, I’m slightly scared and nervous.”

When questioned about the tone of the special episode, she tried not to steer into spoilers:

Several of the writers of the series have managed to weave things together. There’s a very strong spirit of Christmas in this woven together with an element of dread, ending, and what looks like a death. That’s coming up…it has been predicted that this is a death, an ending, and it’s coming down the line pretty rapidly, so there is that element, but also, woven through that dark element is a very beautiful Christmas spirit.

So, Tasha Lem is someone who the Doctor apparently already knows, has something to do with Trenzalore, and may be there as he dies (or regenerates?). That all seems to bring up more questions than it answers–but at least we’ll find out soon when The Time of the Doctor airs on Christmas Day.

If a person rearranges the letters of her name, it’s pretty obvious that Tasha Lem is really “Tame Lash” or “Aha! Melts!” Kasterborites, who do you think she really is?

(Inspired by Den of Geek)


Drew has been a fan of Doctor Who ever since he flipped through the channels late one night and saw a girl blowing up an army of funny robot men with nothing but a slingshot and some old coins. He currently lives somewhere in the woods of Missouri with his beautiful wife Barbara.

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