Who is Doctor Who’s Ellie Wallwork?

Series 11 episode 9 It Takes You Away sees the Doctor and her companions rescue a blind girl named Hanne, played by Ellie Wallwork. Here's what you need to know...

Ellie Wallwork, Screen shot BBC trailer

In what may be one of the creepiest Doctor Who narratives this series, episode nine sees the Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) and her Tardis team find themselves in an eerie present-day Norwegian fjord. There they come across — cue haunted house film music — a boarded-up log cabin that’s *apparently* been abandoned.

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Of course, it’s not abandoned, and the Doctor discovers Hanne (played by Ellie Wallwork), a blind girl who’s convinced that there’s something sinister lurking outside in the woods…

But who is Hanne actor Ellie Walwork, and what have you seen her in before?


Who is Ellie Wallwork?

Ellie Wallwork is an 18-year-old blind actor who currently attends The Royal National College for Blind (RNC). She’s also a singer-songwriter, and posts her original songs and performances on her YouTube channel.

Who does Ellie Wallwork play in Doctor Who series 11 episode 9?

In the episode, written by Ed Hime (Skins) and titled It Takes You Away, Wallwork plays Hanne, a blind Norwegian girl who’s waiting for her father to return home, and who seeks help from the Doctor.

“What has happened here?” the synopsis from the BBC teases. “What monster lurks in the woods around the cottage – and beyond?”

Wallwork praised showrunner Chris Chibnall for including more diverse characters throughout the series, explaining to What’s On TV: “The more characters like mine are on mainstream TV, the more people like myself feel like they belong and that they’re accepted by society.”

On finding out she’d won the part, Wallwork said, “[I] danced around the living room, screaming.”


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Where have I seen Ellie Wallwork before?

Wallwork has had several roles in film and television before, although It Takes You Away will mark her first major speaking part. She’s previously appeared in BBC1’s Call the Midwife as one of the residents at St Gideon’s Children’s Home, which Dougie Roberts (Jamie Thomas King) and his wife visit when their son is born with spina bifida in series two episode four.

She also appeared as a student in the award-winning Polish film Imagine (2012), about a teacher who tries to explain life’s everyday pleasures to his blind class.

Ellie Wallwork, Imagine trailer
Ellie Wallwork (left), Imagine trailer

Is Ellie Wallwork Norwegian?

Nope, she’s British, and has a British accent, judging from her YouTube videos — not that you’d know it from the episode, in which she uses a convincing Norwegian accent.


Doctor Who airs on Sunday at 6.30pm

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This article was originally published on 2 December 2018