Simon Callow can't wait for female Doctor Who Jodie Whittaker

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 3 November 2017
Simon Callow

Simon Callow

Former 'Doctor Who' star Simon Callow - who played Charles Dickens in the sci-fi show - cannot wait to see Jodie Whittaker in the TARDIS as the first female Doctor

Former 'Doctor Who' star Simon Callow thinks it is "brilliant" that Jodie Whittaker has been chosen to be the first female to take control of the TARDIS because her casting has lots of "potential".

The 68-year-old actor portrayed his literary hero Charles Dickens in 2005 episode 'The Unquiet Dead' opposite Ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston and his companion Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) and also reprised the same role in 2011 adventure 'The Wedding of River Song'.

Callow very much enjoyed being part of the BBC One sci-fi show and he is very excited to see what Whittaker will do as the Thirteenth Doctor when she takes over the part from Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi as he thinks it's "about time" an actress was given the chance to be the Time Lord.

Speaking exclusively to BANG Showbiz, Callow said: "I loved playing Dickens in 'Doctor Who', it was a wonderful episode written by Mark Gatiss. I think it was inevitable that a woman would get the role and it's about time. I haven't seen much of Jodie's work but the mere fact that it's now a woman playing the part is a brilliant notion, it's fantastic. It has so much potential."

Callow has a life-long obsession with Dickens and has portrayed the Victorian era novelist on several occasions and has also written extensively about the 'Great Expectations' writer.

The thespian has revisited his hero to narrate 'A Christmas Carol' for a new album which will be released on 1 December, 175 years after the story was self-published by Dickens in 1843.

The CD features Callow telling the classic festive tale accompanied with music along with recordings of traditional Christmas carols performed by The Brighouse and Rastrick Band, including 'Silent Night', 'Away In A Manager' and 'O Come All Ye Faithful'.

For Callow, the story of Ebenezer Scrooge's redemption from money-obsessed miser to a generous man is as relevant now as it's ever been.

He said: "Dickens is inexhaustibly interesting to me, he's just the writer for me ... A Christmas Carol is inexhaustible too for me because it's such an unusual piece. Because we know it we just think, 'Oh, A Christmas Carol.' It's such a wonderful idea that this man Scrooge is cold and dead to the world and is only interested in making money and despises anybody who doesn't make money all the time. The real magic of Dickens' story is that he shows the real difference between the rich and the poor and he shows how indomitable the poor are, despite the unbearable hardship and the injustice meted out to them they actually do claw back some dignity, affection and some love and they are able to show all of those things at Christmas time, an especially loving time of year where as the capitalist Scrooge is incapable of feeling those things. But the other great thing about the book is Scrooge's redemption and his return to the community to do some good, once he's had his breakthrough he then works for other people and spreads his wealth round and becomes part of life again. It's an astounding piece, it really is.

"I'd like to think young people would heed the message of A Christmas Carol ... Dickens makes the point that Christmas is the one time of year where we treat our fellow human beings as if they were fellow passengers to the grave, we're all going to die, whatever else happens that we can guarantee, but before that point let's all cling together."

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