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It’s curiously fitting that an actress playing a key role in Sherlock—a drama that takes a Victorian work of fiction and places it in a modern day setting—should find herself playing a character based on real people from the age that gave rise to Holmes and Watson in the first place.
Louise Brealey, who plays the put-upon pathologist Molly Hooper in Sherlock, has been cast in the third season of Ripper Street as Dr. Amelia Frayn, who takes her place in a very specific moment in the advancement of medical science:
She told Radio Times: “I’m playing one of the first women doctors. I’m really excited because I did history at university and I love a bit of research. Elizabeth Garrett Anderson blazed the trail in the 1870s and in the intervening decade or so a few extremely intrepid and unusual women started learning to be doctors themselves.”
Her character runs a clinic in Whitechapel, which means her costume is very different to that of her female co-stars: “I’m dressed very soberly and the other girls are all so ravishing. I’m like a little Jenny Wren. Literally, where are my pretty feathers?!”
She also revealed a particular bond with her co-star, Matthew Macfadyen. “He’s so nice. Just lovely, funny and very kind. His family is from Northamptonshire, which is where I’m from, so we’ve had a Rose of the Shires bond.”
Note: Rose of the Shires is an old and fond nickname for Northamptonshire, as is the county of Spires and Squires.
Read the full interview at Radio Times.
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See more posts by Fraser McAlpine
Fraser has been writing and broadcasting about music and popular culture for over 15 years, first at the Top of the Pops website, and most recently for the NME, Guardian and MSN. He also wrote BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog and reviews albums for BBC Radio 2.
He is Anglophenia's current resident Brit, blogging about British slang and running around the Mall taking snaps of the crowd at the Royal Wedding, as well as reigniting a childhood passion for classic Doctor Who and cramming as much music in as he can manage.
Fraser invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic