Upcoming Doctor Who episode Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror features a pretty significant Whoniverse guest star, with Anjli Mohindra – who previously played lead character Rani Chandra in spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures – finally making her main series debut.
However, this time she’ll be playing a very different character as alien menace Queen Skithra, an insect-like monster that required hours in the makeup chair. And when it came to one on-set reunion, her new look caused a bit of an awkward moment…
“I’ve worked with Bradley Walsh because he played Odbobb the Clown, an alien in my first ever episode of Sarah Jane years ago,” Mohindra said. “So yeah, getting to work with him again was brilliant.”
There was just one problem – under all the layers of prosthetics she was wearing, Walsh has no idea who he was talking to.
“He didn’t actually recognise me as I was under three hours of prosthetics,” Mohindra laughed.
“It was hilarious because he sort of introduced himself to me and I thought he was joking. Cause I was like ‘Oh he’s probably seen my name on the call sheet’ and is pretending, was just taking the mick.”
However, as time went on Mohindra realised that this wasn’t one of Walsh’s regular practical jokes, with The Chase host genuinely not realising he was talking to an old Whoniverse co-star.
“I think an entire day had passed before he said: ‘You’re going to have to show me a picture of what you look like because I’ll probably pass you in the street at some point and have no idea,’ Mohindra said.
“And it was at that point that I was like, oh, he really doesn’t, he really hasn’t twigged.”
Anjli Mohindra’s character in Doctor Who series 12 (BBC)
“I think that make-up definitely helps with your character transformation,” she added.
“You feel very different, your skin feels very different and therefore, yeah, I think any piece of costume enhances performance or helps actors sort of transcend their current reality. So when you’ve got that much make-up on it’s great to work with.”
The one downside? None of your old colleagues will recognise you…
Doctor Who continues on Sunday at 7:10pm on BBC One