Former Doctor Who companion Catherine Tate has admitted she hasn’t yet watched Jodie Whittaker’s new episodes – because she’s not a big sci-fi “aficionado” and “wouldn’t understand them”.
Tate starred opposite David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor as his outspoken companion Donna Noble, first appearing in the show in 2006 and then returning two years later. Since Donna made her final appearance in 2010, the Doctor has been through several regenerations and is now played by Whittaker as the first woman in the role.
Asked whether she’d watched any of Whittaker’s episodes, Tate told Jason Manford on Absolute Radio: “I haven’t yet – only because I won’t understand them and it makes me feel inferior. But I know she’s brilliant because she’s fantastic.”
And despite how much she loved playing Donna, the actress and comedian says she went in pretty much blind – having only watched one episode since Christopher Eccleston kicked off the revival. Even now, she hasn’t been transformed into a big sci-fi fan.
“I kind of just jumped into Doctor Who saying, oh this’ll be an adventure,” she explained. “It was a real game-changer actually in my life, Doctor Who. I absolutely loved it. But it doesn’t make me a sci-fi aficionado – I still don’t know what goes on, and I wasn’t quite aware what was going on to me.”
Looking back on when she was cast in the show, she added: “It was a real dream job. I got a message to say Russell [T Davies] has written a part for you in a Christmas special, would you do it? And I said ‘absolutely’. I didn’t want to see a script because I just thought, what a great thing. I didn’t want to know what it was or anything like that… I didn’t even know what the part was.”
Asked whether she’d ever return to the role of Donna in Doctor Who, she joked: “It wouldn’t be up to me because you can’t just turn up on the set uninvited. They don’t like it. Even with my wedding dress.” Laughing, she added: “But that would be nice.”
Tate was also caught off-guard by a question from one listener, who said she had heard rumours that a feature film of The Catherine Tate Show’s BBC1 spin-off Nan was in the works.
“There is one in the pipeline, that is true, yeah,” she admitted. “That is good fun. I am thinking of doing that.”
This article was originally published on 17 January 2019