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Top 10 Recycled Actors in Doctor Who

VO: Ashley Bowman WRITTEN BY: Lucas Garbera
Are we seeing double? Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Recycled Actors in “Doctor Who”. For this list, we’re looking at actors from “Doctor Who” who have played multiple roles throughout the series – since the 2005 revival. Special thanks to our user WordToTheWes for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Recycled Actors in Doctor Who


Are we seeing double? Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Recycled Actors in “Doctor Who”.

For this list, we’re looking at actors from “Doctor Who” who have played multiple roles throughout the series – since the 2005 revival.

#10: Alexander Armstrong

Although he’ll always hold a special place in our hearts as the host of “Pointless”, Armstrong is also a respected actor, in both comic and dramatic roles. It comes as little surprise then that he’s had not one, but two roles in the “Doctor Who” universe. He first appeared in “The Sarah Jane Adventures” as her supercomputer Mr. Smith. Despite being a purely vocal role, Alexander brought charisma to the machine. He later appeared as Mr Smith in two Tenth Doctor episodes, and in the flesh as Reg Arwell in the 2011 Christmas special. Charming and relatable, both of Armstrong’s characters were filled with a sense of wonder.

#9: Adjoa Andoh

Portraying the caring yet, short-tempered mother of Martha, you may be left wondering what other role Andoh has played. Although her larger part was as Francine Jones from series three onwards, Adjoa Andoh first appeared in series two, under heavy makeup. Starring in the first official series two episode, “New Earth”, she played Sister Jatt, one of the feline Sisters of Plenitude. Her role as Jatt is clearly a unique one, but she definitely became more appreciated by audiences as Martha’s mum, especially following this emotional moment in the series three finale.

#8: Jennifer Hennessy

A very talented, character actress, Hennessy has acted in small parts on many different programmes. Her two roles on “Doctor Who” were also small in scale, yet still memorable. First appearing in the series three episode, “Gridlock”, she played Valerie, the wife of cat-person, Thomas Kincade Brannigan – who himself was played by the always welcome Ardal O'Hanlon. The Doctor encountered the husband and wife, and their kittens, on the high-flying motorway. Hennessy would then go on to star exactly ten years later as the foster mother of the Twelfth Doctor’s companion, Bill.

#7: Chipo Chung

It was the third series episode “Utopia” that first brought Chung into the Who universe. Playing Chantho under extensive makeup and starting every sentence with “chan” and ending it with “tho”, Chung was able to create a unique but also engaging character, making Chantho seem real. After a memorably tragic turn of events at the Master’s hands, Chung would later appear in series four – but in a completely new role. Attaching the beetle to Donna’s back, a move that would have major repercussions for the rest of the series, Chung’s part as the Fortune Teller was small, yet significant.

#6: Eve Myles

“Torchwood” and “Doctor Who” obviously crossover in many ways. Myles however portrayed two different characters. First appearing in series two of “Doctor Who” as Gwyneth, viewers would become more familiar with the actress as Gwen Cooper in “Torchwood”. In either case, Myles was able to bring respect and emotion to both women. When Gwen and the Doctor finally meet, he even addresses their physical resemblance leading to the theory that Gwen may be a physical copy of Gwyneth due to the time rift in Cardiff, making Myles’ work one of the few dual roles that’s actually acknowledged on the show.

#5: Mark Gatiss

Originally known for “The League of Gentlemen”, Gatiss has become one of the leading writers in British television. The “Sherlock” co-creator has written multiple “Doctor Who” episodes, and appeared as three different characters. Gatiss first showed up as Doctor Lazarus in series three, a man who wanted to make himself forever young. He also had a small role under Matt Smith’s tenure as the Doctor as Gantok… Before finally, appearing in the 2017 Christmas Special, where he had a more significant role which had close connections to a classic and beloved “Who” character, the Brigadier.

#4: Karen Gillan

Before she played fan favourite, Amy Pond, Gillan had a small, but significant role in “The Fires of Pompeii”. But, of course, it was her portrayal of Amy that allowed mainstream audiences to see her talents as an actress, and things have only thrived for her from there. After becoming firmly entrenched in Who-lore, Gillan was able to take on the role of Nebula in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and a wide range of film and television roles followed. Although she’ll no doubt always be remembered as one of the Doctor’s most popular companions, that Pompeii episode does seem to be a breeding ground for repeat actors … but more on that later.

#3: Freema Agyeman

Seriously, who doesn’t love Martha Jones? The second lead companion in the revived series, Agyeman’s Martha was endearing, brave and funny. Slowly developing feelings for the Doctor over the course of series three, she ultimately became a fully established character in her own right. Making multiple guest appearances after her main run, she’ll forever be part of “Who” history. However, her role as Martha wasn’t actually the first time she appeared on the show. Playing Adi, later revealed to be Martha’s cousin, Agyeman had actually co-starred in “Army of Ghosts” in the second-to-last episode of series two.

#2: Vinette Robinson

Gaining massive news coverage for her role opposite the Thirteenth Doctor, Vinette Robinson played historical civil rights activist, Rosa Parks, in series eleven. Bringing a real person to life on screen is no doubt a difficult task, but the actress was widely praised for her respectful and dignified performance. Yet, this wasn’t the first we’d seen of Robinson across the Doctor’s adventures in space and time. She also appeared much earlier on, in a supporting role on the third series episode “42”. Playing out like a science fiction horror film, her character met a pretty unenviable fate as part of an unfortunate spaceship crew.

#1: Peter Capaldi

Who else could top this list besides the actual Doctor? Following on from Matt Smith was no small feat, but Peter Capaldi brought a new perspective to the time-travelling icon. Initially seeming slightly cold and distant, the hard exterior Capaldi brought opened up new ways to show a lesser-seen emotional depth to the Doctor. But, here’s where we head back to that “Fires of Pompeii” episode from earlier, where Peter plays Caecilius – the head of a family who encounter the Doctor and Donna. Of course, Capaldi later also played the tragic John Frobisher in “Torchwood: Children of Earth”. There are few actors as engrained into “Doctor Who” as this man is.
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