Honor Blackman


  1. Anne Francis, Honey West,TV, 1965-1966,  Impressed by the way Blackman threw James Bond  around in Goldfinger, top US TV producer Aaron Seplling  invited her to be the delectable detective.  Multiplying Honor by three (Pussy Galore, and The Avengers’ Cathy Gale and Emma Peel) and we have Spelling’s more succxessful series, Charlie’s Angels, 1976-1981.
  2. Susan Engel, Doctor Who #100: The Stones of Blood, TV, 1978.         The Doctor  scores a century! Only took 15 years…To celebrate, director Darrol Blake wanted a classy Vivien Fey – opposite Doc4 Tom Baker.   Blake asked Honor, aka Cathy Gale-cum-Pussy Galore, and she told him “but Beatrix Lehmann has all the best lines.”   Maria Aitken, likewise,was not keen on any part of the Season 16’s arc known as The  Key To Time. In 1986, Honor joined Doc6 Colin Baker in #143: The Trial of a Time Lord,  as the leader of the scientists responsible for the Vervoids… it says here.
  3. Barbara  Murray, Doctor Who #120: Black Orchid, TV, 1982.      Despite a wish- list of 18 actresses, this was not a rehash of Sophia Loren’s 1958 Hollywood melo, but an adventure (with cricket!) in 1925 England for Doc5 Peter Davison. The choices for Lady Cranleigh were inevitable – such definitive ladies as Blackman, Jean Anderson, Renee Asherson, Claire Bloom, Faith Brook, Kathleen Byron, Rachel  Kempson (Vanessa and Lynn Redgrave’s mother), Virginia McKenna, Muriel Pavlow, Maria Redmond, Dinah Sheridan, Elizabeth Spriggs… and 40s’ UK screen queens Phyllis Calvert and Joan Greenwood. But also two comic character stars Beryl Reid and Joan (Carry On) Sims and a Hammer horror icon, Barbara Shelley!
  4. Ingrid Pitt, Doctor Who #130: Warriors of The Deep, 1984.      The nine potential faces of Dr Solow were: Pitt, Blackman, Eleanor Bron, Diane Keen, Rula Lenska (she became Dr Styles in #133: Resurrection of the Daleks), Maureen Lipman, Bond 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 wrere James, Lynda Bellingham, Eleanor Bron, 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 (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: Polly Adams, Eleanor Bron, Rachel Davies, Diane Keen, Maureen Lipman, Kate O’Mara, Jacqueline Pearce, Sheila Ruskin, Fiona Walker and Penelope Wilton. Two years later, Blackman Whoved as Professor Lasky in the season-long special, #143: The Trial of a Time Lord.
  7. 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, Isla Blair, Jill Bennett, Brenda Bruce, Adrienne Corri, Sheila Hancock, 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.

 Birth year: 1925Death year: 2020Other name: Casting Calls:  7