Doctor Who series 12: Yes, that was The Sarah Jane Adventures’ Anjli Mohindra as a scorpion queen

Mohindra returned to the Whoniverse after a nine-year absence

Anjli Mohindra as Queen Skithra in Doctor Who

Anjli Mohindra, a veteran of the Doctor Who universe, appeared again in tonight’s episode Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror… though fans might not have recognised her under layers of impressive prosthetics.

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Mohindra first entered the Whoniverse in 2008, playing series regular Rani Chandra on spin-off show The Sarah Jane Adventures until it ended three years later.

Her return saw the Bodyguard star play a very different character – Queen Skithra, an alien resembling a giant scorpion who led her race in scavenging tech from across the galaxy and attempted to kidnap revolutionary inventor Nikola Tesla (Goran Višnjić).

It was a big departure from her SJA character in both personality and appearance – in fact, her old co-star Bradley Walsh (who appeared in two episodes of The Sarah Jane Adventures in 2008, also playing a different character to his Doctor Who role) didn’t recognise her on-set!

Anjli Mohindra as Rani in The Sarah Jane Adventures
Anjli Mohindra as Rani in The Sarah Jane Adventures
BBC

“He didn’t actually recognise me as I was under three hours of prosthetics,” Mohindra previously revealed.

“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.

“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,’ and it was at that point that I was like, oh, he really doesn’t [know], he really hasn’t twigged.”

Since The Sarah Jane Adventures, Mohindra has gone on to appear in Cucumber (2015), Bancroft (2017), Bodyguard (2018) and Wild Bill (2019).

In October, she was selected as one of 21 participants for the BAFTA Elevate Initiative, supporting actors from under-represented backgrounds, including disability, race, sexual orientation and people from lower socioeconomic groups. She will next be seen in BBC One’s thriller series Vigil, appearing opposite Suranne Jones, Shaun Evans, Rose Leslie and Martin Compston.

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Doctor Who continues next Sunday at 7:10pm on BBC One