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New Dr episodes set to be a real Who's who of talent

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FORMER EastEnder Michelle Ryan and cheeky comedian Lee Evans have been unveiled as the latest Doctor Who guest stars, appearing in an Easter special called Planet Of The Dead.

Ryan, who is best known for playing troubled Zoe Slater in EastEnders, will be taking on the role of enigmatic Lady Christina de Souza, who takes a "detour into danger" on a bus trip with the Doctor, the BBC announced yesterday.

Ryan said: "I'm a huge fan of Doctor Who and very excited to be joining David Tennant and the Doctor Who team. It's such a fantastic show and I can't wait to get started".

The casting follows speculation that Ryan, who has been spotted on the Doctor Who set in Cardiff, would be cast as the new Doctor's assistant next year when Matt Smith replaces current Timelord David Tennant.

The Easter special will be the first of four to air this year - in place of a 2009 series - with details of the others yet to be announced.

Caleb Woodbridge, 23, of Gabalfa, Cardiff, a writer of Doctor Who short stories, said it was a shame therewas less of the BBC Wales hit on screen this year but was pleased the specials were being aired to "refresh" the ordinary formula.

Doctor Who enthusiast and podcaster Peter Bell, 27, from Cathays, Cardiff, said: "The weight of expectation is always that much greater for specials".

But he was confident Ryan and Lee would fit the bill.

"A lot of casting has been unexpected," he said. "It was a pleasant surprise to see Lee Evans had been cast".

Evans will be joining Bionic Woman star Ryan as a character called Malcolm, whose life connects with the doctor's in "unbelievable circumstances".

Fan Darren Floyd, 37, from Splott in Cardiff said he would rather see the likes of rocker David Bowie be picked for the role.

But he added: "The specials are big, brassy and a lot of fun".

Executive producer and writer Russell T Davies said, "Michelle is one of the most sought-after young actors in the country and we are delighted to announce that she will be joining the team.

"As always the script is being kept under wraps. However, we can reveal that Lady Christina is a woman with a mysterious past who's going to have a huge impact on the doctor."

Filming for Planet Of The Dead, written by Gareth and David Roberts, started this week in Cardiff and will be aired in Easter 2009.

GRAPHIC: GUEST APPEARANCE: Dr Who David Tennant with Michelle Ryan and, below, comic Lee Evans

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  • APA 6th ed.: McMillan, Hayley (2009-01-23). New Dr episodes set to be a real Who's who of talent. South Wales Echo p. 14.
  • MLA 7th ed.: McMillan, Hayley. "New Dr episodes set to be a real Who's who of talent." South Wales Echo [add city] 2009-01-23, 14. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: McMillan, Hayley. "New Dr episodes set to be a real Who's who of talent." South Wales Echo, edition, sec., 2009-01-23
  • Turabian: McMillan, Hayley. "New Dr episodes set to be a real Who's who of talent." South Wales Echo, 2009-01-23, section, 14 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=New Dr episodes set to be a real Who's who of talent | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/New_Dr_episodes_set_to_be_a_real_Who%27s_who_of_talent | work=South Wales Echo | pages=14 | date=2009-01-23 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=14 July 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=New Dr episodes set to be a real Who's who of talent | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/New_Dr_episodes_set_to_be_a_real_Who%27s_who_of_talent | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=14 July 2024}}</ref>