Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

Doctor Who takes on spiderwoman

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DOCTOR Who returns to TV screens on Christmas Day with its most terrifying monster yet. Younger viewers may find the half-human, half-spider Empress of Rachnos too scary to watch. Cutting It star Sarah Parish is unrecognisable in the role. She admitted that even her own family might run for cover at the sight of her character when they sit down to watch the festive episode, called The Runaway Bride.

"I've got four very excited nieces and I don't want them to hate me, " she said. "I think it's behind-the-sofa scary, not nightmare psychiatric ward scary."

David Tennant, who plays the Doctor, added: "It's the right side of scary." Parish endured four hours in make-up every day to effect her transformation, which involved prosthetics and a plaster of Paris body cast. She said: "It was very, very difficult to move around. I started make-up at three in the morning. I think the nose was mine and the chin was mine but nothing else. "It took me half an hour to get it off. It was a heavy, cumbersome costume but I loved it," she said.

Tennant and Parish previously worked together on BBC series Blackpool, and will pair up again for forthcoming drama Recovery. Comedienne Catherine Tate - best known as stroppy teenager Lauren with the catchphrase "Am I bovvered?"- takes a trip in the Tardis for the episode. The Doctor ends up falling for her, but she turns down the chance to be his assistant. In their final scenes he asks her to join him on his time-travelling adventures but she leaves him heartbroken by saying no.

Tennant admitted: "I was devastated. They'd have made a great team. They're a slightly unconventional pairing. "They don't really get on at first but by the end they have rather fallen for each other so it's a bit of a shame.

"The Doctor's last assistant was Rose, played by Billie Piper, who bowed out at the end of the last series. Tennant was remaining tight-lipped about his future with Doctor Who.

"I'm very careful about not hinting anything, ever, " he said. "From the moment I accepted the job, everyone was asking, 'When are you leaving?' "I've tried to remain as noncommittal as possible and I think I shall remain that."

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