Elspeth Gray

  1. 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 suggested 14 ladies as Lady Tanha, for when Doc5 Peter Davidson landed on Manussa. The others were Gray, Jill Bennett, Eleanor Bron, Sheila Hancock, Jean Marsh, Anna Massey, Kate O’Mara (the future Time Lady Rani), Barbara Shelley, Elizabeth Spriggs, Wanda Ventham (mother of Benedict Cumberbatch) and Fiona Walker. The Scottish O’Neill had scored 77 mainly UK credits by 2016.
  2. Dinah Sheridan, Doctor Who #129: The Five Doctors, TV, 1983.      One of the various ideas for the 20th anniversary episode (five Docs, Daleks and Cybermen, etc) was having Colin Baker, Elspeth Gray and Leonard Sachs reprise Commander Maxil, Chancellor Thalia and Lord President Borusa – from  #123: Arc of Infinity,  None proved available. They were subbed by Stuart Blake as an unnamed Commander, Dinah Sheridan as the thinly disguised Chancellor Flavia and Philip Latham as Borusa.
  3. Miranda Richardson, Blackadder II, TV, 1986.      In the pilot – then called The Black Adder – taped in June 1982, Elspet’s Queen was not called Elizabeth I but closely resembled her. When Her Majesty returned as Queenie she was the divine Miranda in the second season, also set in Elizabethan times – “an interesting example of getting it right first time,” proclaimed The Guardian.


 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  3