Dame Sheila Hancock

  1. Joan Sims, Doctor Who #143: The Trial of a Time Lord, TV, 1986.        When Joan Sims is competing with Sylvia Syms… not to mention Ingrid Pitt, Beryl Reid versus Honor Blackman, Billie Whitelaw… you realise a certain desperation has entered the casting process. Indeed, never had so many women – 20 – been flagpoled for one part… The other Katryca contenders were Linda Baron, Jill Bennett, Isla Blair, Brenda Bruce, Adrienne Corri, Janet Henfrey, Rosemary Leach, Jean Marsh, Sian Phillips, Dinah Sheridan, Elizabeth Spriggs, Wanda Ventham, Fiona Walker. The winner was, inexplicably, Sims. She didn’t enjoy it one bit. So she did not… carry on.
  2. Colette O’Neill, Doctor Who #124: Snakedance, TV, 1982.       Now it was Judi Dench and Joan Sims up for the same part  – kidding, right? Nope! Producer John Nathan-Taylor loved rocking the boat. His suggested 14 ladies for Lady Tanha were Hancock, Jill Bennett, Eleanor Bron, Elspeth Gray, Jean Marsh, Anna Massey, Kate O’Mara (the future Time Lady Rani), Barbara Shelley, Elizabeth Spriggs, Wanda Ventham and Fiona Walker. Despite 100-plus credits, Hancock never Whoved – idem for husband, John Thaw.

 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  2