OG Torchwood cast member Naoko Mori is back on our screens Monday in season two of AMC’s The Terror. It’s the perfect excuse to look back (and in one case, forward) at her most memorable roles.
Doctor Who and Torchwood
After making a one-off appearance in the 2005 Doctor Who episode “Aliens of London,” Mori became a series regular in darker spin-off series Torchwood when it launched the following year. Her character Toshiko “Tosh” Sato is a highly intelligent technical wiz who is initially quiet and reserved but later blossoms into a more confident and emotionally open version of herself. When we say goodbye to Tosh at the end of season two, it’s definitely a sad moment.
It’s no masterpiece, but the Spice Girls‘ 1997 movie has become a bit of a cult classic. Mori has a prominent supporting role opposite Baby, Ginger, Posh, Scary, and Sporty as the girls’ pregnant best friend, Nicola. As ’90s pop fans will remember, Nicola goes into labor during a visit to a nightclub, which results in her being rushed to hospital in the now-iconic “Spice Bus.” Don’t question the plot, just go with the ride!
The Terror: Infamy
Mori is a main cast member on season two of AMC’s The Terror, which centers on a strange series of deaths that plague a Japanese-American community during World War II. She plays family matriarch Asako Nakayama, co-starring opposite Derek Mia (Greek) and George Takei. The latter spent time in an internment camp for Japanese-Americans during World War II, and also consults on the series on matters of historical accuracy. The Terror: Infamy begins Monday at 9/8c.
The casting for this 2010 TV biopic is a Whovian’s dream: Ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston plays Beatles legend John Lennon and Mori co-stars as his formidable wife Yoko Ono. It’s a poignant and revealing movie that focuses on Lennon’s life between 1967 and 1971, a period in which he and Ono became a couple and got married; then ends with them moving to New York City, where they famously made a home at the Dakota building.
Mori has an amusing recurring role in the long-running British sitcom as Sarah, the even geekier best friend of Julia Sawalha‘s old-before-her-time daughter Saffy. Jennifer Saunders‘ Edina and Joanna Lumley‘s Patsy have plenty of fun tormenting poor Sarah, and it’s later implied that she might hold more than platonic feelings for her BFF. Hmm… is it too late for a Saffy and Sarah spin-off series?!
This biographical drama tells the story of the 1996 Mount Everest Disaster, which claimed the lives of eight people caught in a blizzard while attempting to descend from the summit. Mori plays Yasuko Namba, at the time the oldest woman to have climbed Everest, joining a stacked ensemble cast that includes Jason Clarke, Jake Gyllenhaal, Keira Knightley, Josh Brolin, and Vanessa Kirby. It’s difficult not to wish her role was a little more substantial, but Mori is typically impressive when she does get some screen time.
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