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Saving Not-So-Private Ryan: Former "Bionic Woman" Michelle Ryan Signs On for "Doctor Who" Easter Special

Adding more gristle to the rumor mill that Bionic Woman's Michelle Ryan will take over as the new companion for the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith), the BBC today announced that Ryan will guest star in the next Doctor Who special featuring the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant), entitled "Planet of the Dead," which is slated to air in the UK at Easter.

Ryan will play the enigmatic Lady Christina de Souza, who "joins the Doctor on a bus trip which takes an unexpected detour into danger."

"Michelle is one of the most sought after young actors in the country and we are delighted to announce that she will be joining the team," said executive producer Russell T. Davies. "As always the script is being kept strictly under wraps, however we can reveal that Lady Christina is a woman with a mysterious past who's going to have a huge impact on the Doctor!"

As in she sticks around when he regenerates into Matt Smith's Eleventh Doctor? Hmmm...

Inbound head writer/executive producer Steven Moffat, who takes over for Davies when he departs following the four specials slated for 2009, clearly likes Ryan; they worked together on BBC's fantastic mini-series Jekyll. If that's the case, I'm giving my thumbs up to Ryan. Those who didn't like her in Bionic Woman, I urge you to check her out in Merlin or Jekyll and you might very well change your minds.

Joining Tennant and Ryan in "Planet of the Dead" is comedian Lee Evans, who will play Malcolm, a man "whose life becomes connected to the Doctor's under extraordinary circumstances."

"Planet of the Dead" will also feature Noma Dumezweni, who reprises her role as Captain Erisa Magambo, who was last seen helping Rose and Donna save the world in the Season Four episode "Turn Left."

Production on Doctor Who's "Planet of the Dead" begins this week for a planned Easter transmission in the UK on BBC One.

Stay tuned.


Anonymous said…
I was not a fan of Bionic Woman but, luckily, I have seen Jekyll and Michelle Ryan was fantastic in her role and I think she'd be brilliant as the Doctor's next companion. I look forward to seeing her and Tennant together in Planet of the Dead!
Anonymous said…
Yuck. I hate Michelle Ryan.
Jace Lacob said…
Anon, as I said in the post, if you've only seen her in Bionic Woman, you might want to check her out in Jekyll, Merlin, or EastEnders. I'm quite happy with the possibility and think she could be a nice pairing with Matt Smith.
Anonymous said…
Michelle Ryan is excellent in Jekyl and Merlin. Not seen her as Bionic Woman so can't comment. Think she would make a great companion for the 11th Doctor!
Anonymous said…
I'm chuffed! She's great!
Brent McKee said…
The big problem with "Bionic Woman" wasn't Ryan, but that the writers and producers didn't know how to do with it what was done with "Battlestar Galactica". That is to say they didn't know how to update it and make it compelling. See also "Knight Rider" but there I don't think they even tried.
Jace Lacob said…
I don't blame Michelle for Bionic--the problems were more script-based and overall vision than anything else--though it should be noted that BSG's David Eick WAS a producer on Bionic Woman. Ultimately, however, the behind-the-scenes problems trumped everything else. And Michelle should have just been allowed to use her natural accent.
Brent McKee said…
I know David Eick from BSG was one of the people behind "Bionic Woman." That was one of the reasons why I expected (and desperately wanted) it to be good. Unlike "Knight Rider" which I fully expected to be a disaster and which I had no desire to see after glancing at the first episode.
Page48 said…
"Bionic Woman" was a televised embarrassment, the blame for which should not be pinned on Michelle Ryan.

"Merlin" was great family-friendly fun and Michelle never looked (or sounded) better. Beats me why NBC is delaying the debut of "Merlin" on this side of the pond. My theory is that NBC bought the series not knowing the actors spoke with English accents. Oh dear, we can't have that!

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