Doctor Who alum Matt Smith is set to star in the biopic Mapplethorpe as famed 1970s photographer Robert Mapllethorpe, releasing today (March 1). He’s been racking up the roles of late and it made us think what he and his fellow cast members from season five of Doctor Who are up to these days.
The latest roles might be on your radar already, with previously announced projects being known, but might call for a little bit of a reminder, and some being completely new to you. Here’s a roundup of the goings-on all in one place, to make it easier for you to catch up with some of your DW favorites:
1. Matt Smith
Matt Smith will always be the Eleventh Doctor, but when he hung up his fez for the last time in 2015, he made his way onto other projects. One of his first movies post-DW was 2016’s fun and quirky mashup Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, opposite Lily James. Both played zombie hunters set in 19th century England. From there he went a more formal route, taking on the role of real-life royal Prince Philip, husband to Queen Elizabeth II (Claire Foy), in the biopic series The Crown (2016-2017). The first two seasons depict their courtship and how they managed to balance family life and the running of a nation. In 2018, we saw Smith return to sci-fi, starring in Patient Zero, opposite Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones). Smith’s character survives a global pandemic unchanged, and has the ability to communicate with those who have been infected. Also in 2018, Smith took on the controversial role of serial killer Charles Manson in Charlie Says.
Speeding up to now, he has just been recently cast in Edgar Wright‘s forthcoming Last Night in Soho. The film is predicted to come out in 2020, with absolutely no plot details yet to be released, leaving a lot to the imagination.
2. Karen Gillan
Karen Gillan has been heaps of busy since her days as time-traveling Amy Pond. Amy met the Doctor as a small child and then again as a young adult. For Amy to leave the Timelord’s side as his companion was quite difficult, but Gillan as an actress made the transition and is another DW success story. We’ve recently seen her write, direct and star in the Glasgow-based The Party’s Just Beginning (2018). This was a passion project for her, as she went back to her native home of Scotland to address the high suicide rate.
Prior to the huge accomplishment of taking on all three moviemaking roles, Gillan enjoyed another milestone, joining the Marvel Universe as Nebula in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy. She’s already reprised the shapeshifting superhero in the 2017 sequel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War. We can also look for her as Nebula in 2019’s Avengers: Endgame. Good get, Karen — the role that keeps on going!
In addition to MCU, she joined the Jumanji franchise, starring in the 2017 reboot, opposite an all-star cast made up of Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart and Jack Black. She is currently filming the 2019 sequel, Welcome to the Jungle, out on December 13.
3. Arthur Darvill
Arthur Darvill played Amy’s husband, Rory. He had a rocky start with the Doctor, thinking Amy fancied the Doctor more than himself. But, they squashed that tension, as saving the world came first. Since his time in the TARDIS, Darvill has made some major moves on TV, starring in the critically acclaimed Broadchurch, which aired on BBC America in the U.S. Darvill took on the role of Rev. Paul Coates in the crime drama starring fellow DW alums David Tennant and Olivia Colman and the current Doctor Jodie Whittaker (that’s a lot of DW in one space).
Following Broadchurch, Darvill returned to sci-fi, taking the lead in Legends of Tomorrow as time-traveling rogue Rip Hunter. He was tasked with recruiting a crew of both superheroes and villains to stave off an apocalypse. Not an easy task! The series ran from 2016-2018 and can be streamed over at Netflix. We can look for him next on stage, starring in the London-based musical Sweet Charity, opposite Anne-Marie Duff. The story revolves around a dancer in NYC named Charity Hope Valentine (Duff). Darvill will play Oscar, a shy tax accountant, who is sweet on Charity. The production will run from April 6 – June 8 at the Donmar Warehouse.
4. Jenna Coleman
Jenna Coleman stepped in as the Doctor’s companion when Amy Pond made her exit. The new companion, Clara, witnessed him regenerate into his Twelfth incarnation (Peter Capaldi). While filming DW, Coleman found time to work on other projects during hiatus, like the 2013 miniseries Death Comes to Pemberley as Lydia Wickman. The series picks up six years after the ending of Pride and Prejudice, written by P.D. James in homage to Jane Austen. She also starred in the 2016 feature film, Me Before You, opposite fellow Anglo regulars Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin.
When it was time for Coleman to say goodbye to DW, she then moved onto the 2o18 miniseries The Cry, taking the lead role as an inconsolable mother, whose baby disappeared without a trace. From there, she took on the role of Queen Victoria in the dramatic series Victoria. The series kicked off in 2016, with season three currently on air. The series begins with the young princess becoming queen at the age of 18, and the love affair with Prince Albert that flourishes into a marriage and family. We can also look for Coleman in the National Theatre Live performance of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons as Ann Deever, opposite Sally Field and Colin Morgan.
5. Alex Kingston
Alex Kingston’s role as companion River Song is a little more complicated than the three featured above. She started off as a companion, turned into a bit of a love interest, even though the Doctor doesn’t have a sex drive, and then his wife (don’t even get us started on who her parents are!!). She is a time traveler herself, so the storylines aren’t necessarily chronological. She interacted with all three incarnations of the Doctor: Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth (hmm, will she be involved with the Thirteenth Doctor at some point?).
We don’t know the future of River Song, but in regards to Kingston, in 2013 she joined the superhero series Arrow as Dinah Lance, starring in the series through 2016. She popped up in the 2016 Gilmore Girls reboot, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life as Naomi Shropshire.
You can look for Kingston in the AMC/BBC America simulcast of the eight-part series A Discovery of Witches as Sarah Bishop, auntie to Diana (Teresa Palmer), premiering on April 7 (and available for streaming via Sundance Now and Shudder). The Bishop women, who are both witches, know it’s forbidden for different species to intermix. Even so, the younger Bishop finds herself attracted to vampire Matthew Clairmont (Matthew Goode). She follows her heart… but, nothing ever good comes of that in the supernatural world. She’s also completed filming on the mystery series The Widow, which will be available for streaming on March 1 via Amazon Prime.
6. Sophie Okonedo
Sophie Okonedo joined Doctor Who in 2003 as part of the animated series, providing her voice to companion Alison Cheney. She returned to DW in 2010, joining the Doctor in season five’s “The Beast Below” and “The Pandorica Opens” as Liz 10, an immortal queen.
We’ve also seen Okonedo in other popular British series like 2013’s The Escape Artist, opposite David Tennant. And in 2016’s Undercover in the lead as Maya Cobbina. She plays an attorney who becomes the first black Director of Prosecutions in the U.K. In 2016, she starred opposite Hugh Bonneville, Tom Hiddleston and Benedict Cumberbatch in The Hollow Crown as Queen Margaret. Just last year we saw her in the drama Wanderlust, also starring Toni Collette.
She has completed filming on the forthcoming 2019 Hellboy film and is set to play Lady Hatton.
7. Bill Nighy
Bill Nighy played the uncredited role of Dr. Black in the episode “Vincent and the Doctor” when the Doctor and Amy traveled back in time to meet Vincent Van Gogh. Nighy was already an established actor before guest-starring on DW, making it even more fun to see his face pop up. He entered the world of DW in 2010, and since then we’ve seen him carry on with a successful career, starring in films like 2013’s About Time, 2014’s I, Frankenstein and 2015’s The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. We even heard him in a 2018 episode of Peppa Pig, providing the voice for Santa Claus. Just last year, we saw him in the family drama Ordeal by Innocence, where he plays a recent widower. In the TV series, his wife has been murdered and their own son is suspected. He’s already completed filming on Pokémon Detective Pikachu, which we can look for in theaters on May 10.
8. Olivia Colman
In 2010, Olivia Colman stepped into the Whoniverse, starring in Doctor Who‘s “The Eleventh Hour,” where we saw the Tenth Doctor regenerate into the Eleventh. She took on the role of a comatose mother of two children. Clearly, based on the above clip, there’s more to her character’s story than being bedridden. Former Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat reflected on working with Colman, saying to the RadioTimes it was “just a heartbeat before she (Colman) was stratospheric.”
Since her DW days, her career has flourished (that’s an understatement). We saw Colman as D.S. Ellie Miller in Chris Chibnall‘s Broadchurch, opposite David Tennant and Jodie Whittaker, as mentioned above. Ellie is a little peeved when she learns her new coworker (Tennant) has received a promotion promised to her. But, a small boy has been murdered and the two have to work together to figure out what happened. In 2015, she starred in the quirky dark comedy The Lobster, opposite Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz (her The Favorite co-star). And, we also saw her in AMC’s The Night Manager, as an intelligence operative, who recruits a hotel manager to help infiltrate an arms smuggling ring. In 2015, she joined Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Killing Eve) in the creator and star’s Fleabag as her not-so-nice Godmother.
Clearly you know what she’s up to now, at home figuring out a place to put her… Oscar!! In the recent months, she’s been collecting award after award for her portrayal of Queen Anne in the comical biopic The Favourite. And how does one follow-up such a game-changing role? The pressure is slightly off, as she’s already filmed the third season of The Crown, taking on the role of Queen Elizabeth II, swapping out Claire Foy. But, she does have some big decisions to make going forward, and… we cannot wait to see what she goes with.
Can we confidently say Doctor Who is a star maker?? Seems like it. Due to space, we did not highlight all of the guest stars of season five, but if you’re interested in finding out more about someone, please write the actor’s name in the comments and we will answer you back with details on the latest role/s.
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