Top 10 Guest Stars: The Tenth Doctor Pt2

The best guests of “The David Tennant Years,” eh? That’s a hard one.

Remember Agatha Christie, a brilliant author who thinks she’s worthless, wonderfully played by Fenella Woolgar? How about Anthony Head as Mr. Finch? That scene by the swimming pool – that was great. Oh, and Peter Kay! Okay, Love & Monsters is nobody’s favourite episode – and yes, even Kay regrets it, somewhat – but Victor Kennedy was wickedly sly!

These fine people are not in the Top Ten. So imagine how awesome those who did make the list are, if the above are just honourable mentions!

…Well, imagine no longer.

5. Harry Lloyd as Jeremy Baines/ Son of Mine.

Jeremy Baines/Son of Mine, as played by Harry LloydFrom the off, Baines was detestable.

In the critically-acclaimed Human Nature/ The Family of Blood, Harry Lloyd presents us with a bullish public schoolboy; leader of the gang, and very much a product of the early 1900s. He’s the Yin to Tim Latimer’s Yang.

It’s no coincidence that he is the first to be consumed by the Family of Blood.

And Son of Mine is scary; unerring and driven by a need to survive, at any cost. He can be loud and brash, then calm and collected – but always confident.

It might be why his monologue when the Family are defeated is so chilling and dead.

4. Sarah Parish as The Empress of the Racnoss.

Sarah Parish is completely unrecognisable, but she certainly doesn’t hide behind the prosthetics.

The Empress of the Racnoss in 2006’s Christmas Special, The Runaway Bride, is fantastically realised. The giant red spider is instantly malevolent, her ambitions driven by hatred and a creepily- relatable maternal instinct.

Her anger and sadness is wonderful, and Sarah Parish is surprisingly energetic – for an incredibly static alien.

It’s all in the fangs.

Doctor Who: The Waters of Mars3. Alan Ruscoe, Sharon Duncan-Brewster and Chook Sibtain as Andy Stone, Maggie Cain and Tarak Ital.

Okay, so I’m cheating a little bit, but maybe I can say that all three played one character: The Flood. The thing is, nearly everyone on Bowie Base One was infected – and they all play it magnificently – but these three were the initial victims. Every scene they’re in is incredible creepy. Seeing them actually transform must be one of the scariest bits of Doctor Who… ever.

The Waters of Mars is a simple base-under-siege story. But because of the performance of all its cast, it has to be the definitive one.

2. Lesley Sharp as Sky Silvestry.

Midnight was a huge highlight of series four, pitting the Doctor against… well, everyone!

And the one stirring it all up was Sky. Wickedly manipulative, unrelenting and genuinely chilling – even when she’s only crouched on the floor – Lesley Sharp put everything she had into her surprising performance.

Just watch her opposite the Doctor; repeating, then synchronising everything he says. Wow.

A work of genius.

1. Derek Jacobi as Professor Yana/ The Master.

Derek Jacobi - the best Master yet?It had to be, right?

Jacobi is such a huge name; it shows how big Doctor Who is. And to have him play the Master – !

Chan- Professor Yana was so likeable-tho. He reflected the Doctor expertly; accompanied by an ever-faithful companion, he was compassionate, tired but forever hopeful.

That’s why it was so thrilling and heartbreaking when Martha noticed the fob watch. We knew which Time Lord he was, really. It was never going to be K’anpo, Romana or Keith From High Gallifreyan Accounts.

“I. Am. The Master.”

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  1. castellanspandrel says:

    Can’t agree with most of the choices here, but then what else are such lists for, eh?

    Scooti Menista?Sarah Parish as the hammy Racnoss? are you serious?

    I suppose I need to put my money where my mouth is now. My list:

    Anthony Head – Mr Finch (School Reunion) – how he isn’t on your list, I really don’t know; a proper, old-school (N.P.I)powerful villain of the calibre we don’t get so often in Who now.

    Mark Gatiss – Prof Lazarus (Lazarus Experiment)

    Harry Lloyd – Jeremy Baines (Human Nature/Family of Blood)

    Carey Mulligan – Blink – again, how did you miss her off your list?

    Derek Jacobi – Prof Yana/Master (Utopia)

    Chippo Chung – Chantho (Utopia); a distinctive character under the latex mask

    Lesley Sharp – Sky Silvestry (Midnight)

    Julian Bleach – Davros (Stolen Earth/Journey’s End)

    David Morrissey – Jackson Lake (The Next Doctor)

    Timothy Dalton – President (The End of Time)-another powerful baddie; we need more of them!

    That was tough! Honourable mentions for the likes of Marc Warren for carrying a not-very-good Dr-lite episode, Peter Capaldi for Fires of Pompeii, Jessica Hynes for HN/FOB and countless others.

    I haven’t listed returning companions/semi-regulars such as Lis Sladen or John Leeson, Bernard Cribbins (particularly brilliant in End of Time) or River Song, Harriet Jones, etc.

    • Philip Bates says:

      Thanks for your comment.

      I can rationalise why some of those you mentioned aren’t in the Top Ten. But as you say, lists are there to spark debate. Come back to me in five years, and I’ll probably have a slightly different Top Ten.

      Anthony Head was in the running, right up until the final cut. But he just didn’t leave a big enough impression on me, I’m afraid.

      Carey Mulligan and Davis Morrissey – now this was a tough one. I left them out because they are – arguably – companions, and it felt like cheating to just have the 10 populated with the likes of Lindsay Duncan, Kylie Minogue and Michelle Ryan, et al. I’m not 100% sure if I class them as companions, because there’s always been huge debate over the classifications of the Doctor’s friends. But I know some people do. So that’s why they’re not in there.

      Chippo Chung was good as Chantho, but she was never in the running for the Top Ten. Sacrifices must be made.

      Julian Bleach – you’re right. He was fantastic in both Doctor Who and Torchwood. And he should’ve been on the list. My bad.

      And Timothy Dalton dirtied the name ‘Rassilon’ for me. He just stood there. Doing nothing but spout super-villain-esque nonsense. Maybe they could’ve gotten away with it if they called him Keith. But not Rassilon. Never Rassilon.

      And yep, it was tough. As you say, there are countless others.

      Let the debate continue…!

  2. castellanspandrel says:

    Ha ha! Laughing at your Rassilon comments – meaning that I can see your point, as much as I enjoyed his performance.

    Interesting idea for a list, though, and I realised while watching Inferno today, and thinking about top guest star performances in the Pertwee era, that I’d struggle to come up with 5 of ’em for some past eras of Who.

  3. ChrisL says:

    Lists such as these are always going to be highly subjective and are therefore not open to criticism or any form of fault finding. One man’s golden goose is another man’s turkey and so your selection (good as it is) is just as valid as anybody else’s selection…
    However I am struggling with your reason for excluding the magnificent Carey Mulligan as Sally Sparrow!
    I know you left her out because you consider her to be a companion but for me she was the companion who should have been, but sadly never was.

    ‘Blink’, as we all know, was one of the best episodes of the modern era, and Sally Sparrow one of the best characters of this era. For me she will always be ‘the one who got away’ and remains my favourite ‘one-off’ character from the whole history of the show.

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