Sara Powell is a Jamaican born actor who will bring to screen the story of another Jamaican born historical figure; Mary Seacole.
Sara Powell has had a varied career from the big and small screen to the theare. For television, Powell has made appearances in programmes including Death in Paradise, Holby Blue, Silent Witness, London’s Burning and Midsommer Murders. Recently she played the role of the Casting Director in the festive movie Last Christmas. Powell has also trod the boards on various stages including the Bristol Old Vic and the Almeida Theatre in London.
A talented voice artist, Sara Powell has also worked with Big Finish Productions. For instance, she played Emma Fremantle in the Fourth Doctor Adventure ‘The World Traders‘ and Jacklyn Karna in the Early Adventure ‘The Dalek Occupation of Winter‘. Powell has also contributed to other series including Torchwood and The Diary of River Song.
No stranger to the Whoniverse, Sara Powell now takes on the role of Mary Seacole.
Who is Mary Seacole?
Born in Jamaica to a Scottish soldier and a Jamaican mother, Mary Jane Grant married Edwin Seacole in 1936. Well travelled, Mary Seacole learnt her nursing skills from her mother who looked after invalid soldiers. Nicknamed “The Doctress”, her mother used traditional Caribbean and African herbal remedies at Blundell Hall, a hotel which also served as a convalescent home for military and naval staff. Seacole learned the importance of hygiene, ventilation, warmth, hydration, rest, empathy, good nutrition and care for the dying.
In 1854 Seacole self funded her own travel to the Crimean War, where wounded soldiers were subjected to very poor conditions. The following year Seacole established the British Hotel near Balaclava to provide better conditions and to give wounded soldiers the best chance of recovery. Her reputation rivalled that of Florence Nightingale, who Seacole also crossed paths with. Seacole also nursed the wounded on the battlefield, sometimes under fire, and became known as ‘Mother Seacole’.
Her story is rightly one worth celebrating and will no doubt feature in the latest episode of Doctor Who.
Discussing her casting in Doctor Who Sara Powell said: “A role in Doctor Who is top of any actors wish list. To say I leapt at the chance is something of an understatement. Working with Jodie Whittaker – an iconic Doctor and actor – was also on my list. She was a legend. As were the cast and crew: indoors, outdoors, in winter, in Wales in the rain and mud, everyone wearing masks and being tested every 5 minutes: I loved stepping onto their ship and riding with them for a while.”