Ingrid Oliver: I was just as upset as fans when Doctor Who killed off Osgood

The actor talks about about the posthumous return of Osgood in series 9, and why the UNIT scientist is such a refreshing role for women…

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Like a bespectacled, Time Lord-loving Lazarus, Osgood is back from the dead – and Ingrid Oliver is pretty happy about it. 

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Speaking to Doctor Who Magazine, the actor has been chatting about the impact of the fan-favourite role, which appeared to come to an end in the series 8 finale when Missy blasted UNIT scientist Osgood into dust.

“I didn’t even think people would necessarily know what the character was called or that they had had time to really care about her,” she says. “So to hear it was trending… and then my agent sent me over a couple of tweets, which were written in that brilliantly over-emotive way teenage fans do. ‘YOU’VE KILLED MY BAE! MOFFAT, YOU BASTARD!’ We were laughing about it, but it was also such a nice feeling. I felt, ‘Good! I’m glad other people are upset that I’m dead because I’m upset!’

Steven Moffat came to the rescue earlier this year, though, by revealing that Osgood would return for episode 7 and 8 of series 9. However, it’s not clear whether she’s actually alive, or if there is some sort of shape-shifting Zygon business going on. 

Of course, Oliver doesn’t reveal anything specific about the two-parter but does talk about how her and co-star Jemma Redgrave, who plays Kate Lethbridge-Stewart, now occupy roles that previously would have been played by men. 

“I was sitting in the make-up chair this morning, and looking at the scripts for these two episodes and – without giving too much away – the majority of people in the cast are women. And a lot of it is set in a military-type situation. So, it’s noticeable to me that parts which traditionally would have featured men blowing things up are actually women… blowing things up.”

I think that’s really important. I think it’s important to show that women can be as dastardly as men! …I love sci-fi and big films like Guardians of the Galaxy, but there aren’t very many relatable female characters in them. To have someone [like Osgood] who’s not an amazing kung fu artist or, you know, wearing a spandex outfit, it’s refreshing. And, having seen the fans, it’s a 50-50 gender split, which I’m sure wasn’t always the case in the past. So it makes sense that they’d want to see people on the screen who represent them.”

Elsewhere, Oliver explains how a pair of stolen glasses originally landed her the role, how she turned into an autograph-hunting fan herself while working with Peter Capaldi and that she once kissed John Barrowman…

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To read the full interview, though, you’ll have to buy Doctor Who Magazine, which is out now.