Doctor Who: best guest stars from series 5

As the clock struck The Eleventh Hour, which guest star proved they had WHO pulling power?

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Series 5 of NuWho saw Matt Smith stepping into the Time Lord’s shoes with Karen Gillen’s Amy Pond but the pair weren’t alone in the Tardis for long thanks to some special guest stars – and you can pick your favourite below.

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Olivia Colman

Character: Mother/Prisoner Zero

Episode: The Eleventh Hour

Best known for: Peep Show star Colman had audiences chuckling in Twenty Twelve (the series, and presumably the year) and utterly excelled alongside former Doctor David Tennant in ITV’s Broadchurch

The future national treasure was the most memorable of all shapeshifting fugitive Prisoner Zero’s forms, in a nasty
turn that made us wish we saw her dark side more often.


Sophie Okonedo

Character: Liz 10

Episode: The Beast Below

Best known for: An Oscar-nominated turn opposite Don Cheadle in Hotel Rwanda, several TV roles and playing The Wachati Princess in Jim Carrey starrer Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls

A kick-ass monarch with no truck for conspiracy, Sophie Okonedo’s Liz 10 was one of the rebooted series most memorable one-off characters.


Iain Glen

Character: Octavian

Episode: The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone

Best known for: Being Game of Thrones’ Ser Jorah, Downton Abbey’s Richard Carlisle and Resident Evil’s Dr Isaacs

Glen brought his trademark wounded nobility to the role of soldier/cleric Octavian, whose eventual sacrifice was surprisingly affecting.


Helen McCrory

Character: Rosanna

Episode: The Vampires of Venice

Best known for: Taking on the role of Cherie Blair in The Queen and The Special Relationship and playing Draco Malfoy’s mummy in Harry Potter, 

As a fearless alien matriarch, McCrory was oddly sympathetic as she attempted to save her species – even if her deeds were perfectly monstrous…


Toby Jones

Character: The Dream Lord

Episode: Amy’s Choice

Best known for: An outstanding turn as Truman Capote opposite Sandra Bullock in Infamous, a Marvellous potrayal of Neil Baldwin in the Bafta-winning single drama, popping up in every franchise from Harry Potter (Dobby) to The Hunger Games (Claudius Templesmith) and bringing evil to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Arnim Zola

More than a match for the Doctor, Jones’ Dream Lord was a wonderfully mischievous and unpredictable antagonist – which was somewhat unsurprising when we learned of his origin.


Meera Syal

Character: Nasreen Chaudhry

Episode: Hungry Earth/Cold Blood

Best known for: The comedian, writer, playwright, singer, journalist, producer and actress (and breathe) first rose to fame as a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me, before going on to star as husband Sanjeev Bhaskar’s grandmother, Ummi, in The Kumars at No. 42

No-nonsense scientist Nasreen was the perfect role for Syal, who impressed as a woman who would compromise for the future of two races.


Bill Nighy

Character: Dr Black

Episode: Vincent and the Doctor

Best known for: Making his name in 90s TV series The Men’s Room, causing havoc on the high seas as Davy Jones in Pirates of The Carribbean and of course, really loving Christmas and letting it snow in Love, Actually

The Richard Curtis regular out-did Matt Smith in the bow tie stakes as museum curator Mr Black, who also
contributed to one of the series’ most moving moments.


James Corden

Character: Craig Owens

Episode: The Lodger (and Closing Time in Series 6)

Best known for: Becoming the first Brit to get a full-time hosting gig on the US Late Late Show, giving the world Gavin & Stacey (and Smithy, while he was at it), hosting A League of Their Own, being one of the History Boys and winning a Tony Award for One Man, Two Guvnors

Corden’s ordinary-bloke acting style played nicely off Matt Smith’s madcap Doctor in this fun and offbeat episode.


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But who was your favourite guest star from series 5? Vote now!

Don’t forget to vote for your favourite guest stars from series 1series 2series 3series 4series 6series 7series 8 and the 2008-2010 specials too!