Eleanor Bron

  1. Diana Rigg, The Avengers, TV, 1965-1968.        Better known as a TV satirist, Eleanor  said No. Elizabeth Shepherd said Yes. Producers said No and  called on Diana  to take over Emma Peel halfway through Shepherd’s  first episode, The Town Of No Return, 1956.  The series became the greatest export since The Beatles  – Bron co-starred  with them in Help! 1965.  
  2. Colette O’Neill, Doctor Who #124: Snakedance, TV, 1982.         Judi Dench and Carry On star Joan Sims up for the same part  – kidding, right? Nope! Producer John Nathan-Taylor loved rocking the boat. He suggested 14 ladies as Lady Tanha, when Doc5 Peter Davidson landed on Manussa. The others were Bron, Jill Bennett, Elspeth Gray, Sheila Hancock, Jean Marsh, Anna Massey, Kate O’Mara (the future Time Lady Rani), Barbara Shelley, Elizabeth Spriggs, Wanda Ventham and Fiona Walker. The Scottish O’Neill had scored 77 mainly UK credits by 2016.
  3. Isla Blair, Doctor Who #128: The King’s Demons, TV, 1983.        Due opposite Doc5 Peter Davison, Isabella was lined up for Bron – the finest eater of figs in screen history. (Play Women In Love sometime). Starting as a satirical comic, Bron moved on through 100 screen roles – Absolutely Fabulous, Alice in Wonderland, A Month in the Country, Help! (with The Beatles) and Vanity Fair
  4. Ingrid Pitt, Doctor Who #130: Warriors of The Deep, 1984. The nine potential faces of Dr Solow were: Pitt, Bron, Honor Blackman, Diane Keen, Rula Lenska (she became Dr Styles in #133: Resurrection of the Daleks), Maureen Lipman, Bon Girl Pamela Salem, Sylvia Syms, Wanda Ventham (mother of Benedict Cumberbatch) and Fiona Walker.   Not the happiest of Whoverse shoots – and not just because Doc5 Peter Davison followed Doc2 Patrick Troughton’s rule. Three seasons and out.
  5.  Polly James, Doctor Who #131: The Awakening, TV, 1984.         Imagine Glenda Jackson and Helen Mirren up for the same Whoverse role. Plus Bond ladies, Honor Blackman, Judi Dench, Diana Rigg and Pamela Salem. Well, producer John Nathan-Taylor had a female casting/dart) board, as well as one for the guys.   As proved by his 18 choices for Jane Humpden in Doc5 Peter Davison’s four-parter. The others were James, Bron, Lynda Bellingham, Pauline Collins, Diane Keen, Jean Marsh, Sheila Ruskin, Barbara Shelley, Sylvia Syms, Wanda Ventham, Fiona Walker, Penelope Wilton.
  6. Rula Lenska, Doctor Who #133: Resurrection of the Daleks, TV, 1984.         Fourteen ladies, including four Bond Girls and a future M (Honor Blackman, Jenny Hanley, Joanna Lumley, Pamela Salem and Judi Dench) were in the melting pot for Dr Styles… strangely lacking any scenes with Doc5 Peter Davison. Also listed: Lenska, Bron, Polly Adams, Rachel Davies, Diane Keen, Maureen Lipman, Kate O’Mara, Jacqueline Pearce, Sheila Ruskin, Fiona Walker and Penelope Wilton.
  7. Barbara Shelley, Doctor Who #134: Planet of Fire, TV, 1984. In the mix for Sorasta for the Doc5 Peter Davison tale shot on Lanzarote. After a walk-on (with John Cleese) in the largely Paris-made #105: City of Death, 1979, Bron ws Kara in #142: Revelation of the Daleks, 1985, with Doc6 Colin Baker.

 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  7