Blogtor Who takes a look at Tanya Fear, one of the guest stars in this week’s episode of Doctor Who, Arachnids in the UK.

British actress Tanya Fear hasn’t been on the acting scene quite as long as her fellow Doctor Who guest stars, Chris Noth and Shobna Gulati. Nevertheless, she has an impressively diverse list of credits to her name, including a Hollywood film and one of the most intriguingly-titled theatre productions ever. Read on to discover just some of the highlights from Fear’s career…

Fear On Film

Fear’s highest-profile project is the 2013 superhero sequel Kick Ass 2. The action-comedy comic adaptation features Fear as Harlow, one of the high school ‘mean girls’ making life difficult for retired superhero Hit-Girl, aka Mindy McCready (Chloe Grace Moretz).

Other full-length films include the HBO biopic My Dinner with Herve, which had its UK premiere on Sky Atlantic just last week, and the independent docu-drama A Moving Image. Fear stars in the latter as Nina, an artist making a documentary about the rapid gentrification in her home turf of Brixton. A Moving Image – also featuring music from current Doctor Who composer Segun Akinola – was selected for several film festivals, picking up an award at 2016’s Blackstar Film Festival.

Fear has also featured in a number of short films, including Mirror directed by the RSC’s Richard Twyman, last year’s comedy musical Beauty in the Street, and the futuristic drama Touch, an early collaboration between Fear and A Moving Image director Shola Amoo.

In 2013 Fear appeared in the BAFTA long-listed short film Life Sentence. The hard-hitting drama explores the devastating effects of a fatal stabbing on the families of those involved, and was loosely inspired by events affecting the life of its writer-director Ray Panthaki.

Telly, Theatre and Other Tidbits

Fear’s screen debut was in an episode of the E4 sitcom The Midnight Beast, starring the parody music group of the same name. She has since followed this up with appearances in the BBC sitcom Boomers, ITV detective dramas DCI Banks, Midsomer Murders and Endeavour, and last year’s one-off Channel 4 drama Shamed. In 2015 Fear had a longer-running role as Claire Wiseman in the Franco-British dark comedy series Spotless.

Fear’s considerable talents also extend to the stage. In 2013 she starred as the titular Chipo in Denton Chikura’s hit African comedy, The Epic Adventure of Nhamo the Manyika Warrior and His Sexy Wife Chipo. The production at the Tricycle – now Kiln – Theatre in London also featured another former Doctor Who star, Don Gilet (The Runaway Bride), as its narrator.

Other stage roles include this year’s Royal Court Theatre production of Tiny Dynamite – a revival of the Abi Morgan romantic drama first staged in 2001 – and a full cast reading of Reflection as part of the same theatre’s Young Writers Festival in 2012.

And as if film, TV and theatre were not enough, Fear has also starred in a selection of online shorts; #Actors is a series of comedy sketches created by Tahirah Sharif and Osy Ikhile featuring a variety of up-and-coming London-based talent.

Arachnids In The UK

This week’s episode of Doctor Who will see Fear play zoologist Dr Jade McIntyre. As the Doctor and her friends finally find their way back to Sheffield, they discover something stirring in the city’s eight-legged arachnid population – but just how is Fear’s scientist Jade involved?

Doctor Who - Series 11 - Ep 4- Arachnids in the UK - Ryan (TOSIN COLE), Graham (BRADLEY WALSH), Jade (TANYA FEAR), The Doctor (JODIE WHITTAKER) - (c) BBC Studios
Doctor Who – Series 11 – Ep 4- Arachnids in the UK – Ryan (TOSIN COLE), Graham (BRADLEY WALSH), Jade (TANYA FEAR), The Doctor (JODIE WHITTAKER) – (c) BBC Studios

Doctor Who continues on Sunday 28th October with Arachnids in the UK, starring Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor, Mandip Gill as Yaz, Tosin Cole as Ryan and Bradley Walsh as Graham. Arachnids in the UK is written by Chris Chibnall and directed by Sallie Aprahamian.


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