Sherlock’s Amanda Abbington Wants to Play the Doctor’s “Arch-Enemy”

Former Sherlock star, Amanda Abbington wants to satisfy a long-held ambition to appear in Doctor Who and would love to play a villain opposite Jodie Whitaker’s Doctor.

The actor was speaking to Radio Times as she promoted the recent adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Crooked House, screened on Channel 5 in the UK:

“I’m going to ask my agent but I want to be [the Doctor’s] nemesis. I could be her arch-enemy. I’ve never done Doctor Who and I’ve always wanted to. My kids say to me, ‘How come you’ve never done Doctor Who?’ And I say, ‘I don’t know’. On my list of next things to do is be in Doctor Who.”

Abbington, who played John Watson’s wife Mary Morstan in Sherlock, was full of praise for the new choice of Doctor:

“[Jodie] will be brilliant – she’s an amazing actress and she’s glorious. My son is very excited about the new series and I think she will only be brilliant; what it will do is set a different dynamic and dimension to the show and that’s only a good thing.”

The first-ever screen version of Crooked House boasted an impressive cast including Glenn Close, Gillian Anderson, Christina Hendricks, and Terrence Stamp as Channel 5 made a rare foray into high-profile peak-time drama.

“It was one of those very fun jobs which just came out of nowhere and you think, ‘Of course I’m going to do this because it’s got this pedigree of actors in it and I’ve got quite a nice part in it and why wouldn’t I want to be part of that?’”

Read the full interview at Radio Times. And there’s a more in-depth conversation with the magazine’s website, exploring Crooked House, Abbington’s thoughts on returning to Sherlock, and speaking her mind on social media here.

Crooked House (a ‘bloody good book’ according to DWC editor, Philip Bates) is released on DVD in February 2018.

  • Liam

    I really didnt like her in Sherlock. That might be because of what they did with her character, she was very annoying. She’s probably not a bad actress.

  • ColeBox

    Unless you’re a big name, like Sigourney Weaver asking to appear in Doc Martin, is it customary for a jobbing actor to get their agents to ask for parts to be written for them? As much as I like Amanda Abbington, she’s no Hollywood star. Or do actors now dictate the writing?

    • Robert Carnegie

      Susan Calman wants to BE Doctor Who. I presume her agent knows because she’s mentioned it several times in programmes.

      Doctor Who has an arch-enemy most episodes, but a different one who usually gets blown up or eaten by their own monster or something, unless they are the monster. So you need another one next week. Some besides The Master have survived to be arch in additional appearances. Amanda Abbington could be a new The Rani. Or a new, politically insecure Rassilon. Imagine the political commentary. Or perhaps a new Cyber Queen.

      • ColeBox

        I think there is a bit of a difference in requesting a specific role to be written for them, than announcing a wish to be a particular existing part. Being Doctor Who is something that a lot of actors get asked in interviews anyway, especially if they are rumoured to be linked to the part. Calman may have expressed a wish to be play the Doctor, but then when I was at school I told friends that I wanted to be Doctor Who one day…

  • The Lazy Womble

    She was my preferred choice for the Doctor this time and last.

  • Rick714

    I wasn’t really that crazy about the last two series of Sherlock and I hope they’re done for good. I think one of my main sources of displeasure was her character. I just found that whole character to be ridiculous and far fetched, even within the scope of Sherlock. Beyond that, I don’t think she really brought much to the part as an actor. Also, if she’s trying to lobby for the Master, she’s under qualified and really, isn’t she about 20 years older than Jodie? The Doctor and Master should be about the same age as usual.

  • reTARDISed

    “Arch-enemies” are fundamentally boring. Repetition tends to dull their impact, and ultimately reduces them to a joke. Douglas Adams made that point very pertinently about the reintroduction of the Master in season 18: someone dressed in black and”acting evil” is boring, especially when the motives for such behaviour are not explored or explained.

    • Robert Carnegie

      But most actors say being the baddie is more fun.

      When The Master wanted to seize the supply of Oddsyllable Gas from somewhere, Turlough suggested he was going to bottle and sell it, and yes The Doctor did say at the time that that wasn’t very funny, but it’s a plan.