Blogtor Who profiles the career of Percelle Ascott, who appears in The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos as Delph
Doctor Who has a long tradition of bringing aboard guest stars just before their career rockets upwards to make them a household name. Felicity Jones, Carey Mulligan, and Andrew Garfield are just a few of the notable names casting director Andy Prior has cannily brought on board right before they found massive international success. Now, with The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos guest star Percelle Ascott, they’ve potentially managed it again.
Ascott was born in Zimbabwe in 1993. He’s earned an impressive thirty screen credits to his name in the nine years he’s been appearing on our screens. His career began with roles as various teenagers in supporting parts. He was in the schoolyard drama Excluded and crime procedural Silent Witness, but he soon moved on to larger roles.
On Youngers, he was one of the main supporting characters. Across the sixteen episodes of the South London set drama, he played the fantastically named Yunga Baby Tinie Winie. Youngers told a tale as old as time – of a band that have massive success just within their reach. But inevitably, their greatest enemy is their own relationship drama. As one of the three not-so-old, not-so-wise men eternally dispensing their unwelcome advice from their favourite neighbourhood wall, Ascott’s Yunga Baby Tinie Winie was a frequent scene stealer. So much so, that ‘Mandem on the Wall’ even got its own stage show spin-off.
Ascott starred in Russell T Davies’ Wizards vs Aliens as Benny
Following Youngers Ascott formed one of the central cast of Russell T Davies’ Wizards vs Aliens. As Benny, he was the ‘unenchanted’ sidekick to best friend Tom, a wizard defending the Earth from alien invasion. Benny’s huge intelligence and knowledge of science was often the vital component in saving the world.
When Wizards vs Aliens finished in 2014, the next couple of years were spent in almost constant work. From New Tricks (where he again played a teenager who unwittingly holds the solution to a murder) to The Coroner and Casualty, Ascott was rarely off our screens. During this period he also made a series of powerful short films. These, with Yaz actor Mandip Gill, included the outstanding RWD/FWD, dealing with themes of recrimination, regret and forgiveness. And as part of the Fright Bites series of shorts on Channel 4, he appeared in Tickle Monster. A perfect horror story in miniature with a concept so superbly Doctor Who, somewhere Steven Moffat is crying that he didn’t think of it first.
Currently starring in Netflix drama The Innocents, Ascott is also making horror movie The Dare
This year saw Percelle Ascott cast in The Innocents. Dropping just two months ago on Netflix, the Anglo-Norwegian drama stars Ascott as teenage runaway Harry Polk. His and his girlfriend June’s escape from their bleak northern town for the big city soon spirals out of control. Because June discovers her ‘gift’ of uncontrollably shape shifting into random people she meets. From there they find themselves inescapably drawn to Guy Pearce’s ‘sanctuary’ for such women which may well be anything but.
The cliffhanger ending to the first season left audiences clamouring to know Harry and June’s fate, and the commission of a second season seems likely. Next year Ascott will also have a major role in new horror movie The Dare. And he’s one of the stars of new comedy Inner Bull. Both of these will reunite him with frequent collaborator Joivan Wade, who played Rigsy during the Twelfth Doctor’s era.
Doctor Who is a series’ which episodes have an unusual longevity, with new fans constantly rediscovering older episodes. With Ascott evolving into a true international star of television and film, The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos may well be another cast, like a Blink or Unicorn and the Wasp, where later viewers will express surprise and pleasure to discover a name as big as Ascott among its cast.
Ascott, along with co-star Mandip Gill, is currently fundraising for Shelter’s Sleep Walk for Shelter. You can support them on their Just Giving page.
The adventure continues…
Doctor Who concludes this Sunday at 6.30pm GMT on BBC One and at 8pm EST on BBC America with The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos by Chris Chibnall. For further broadcast times in your region, check local listings. Series 11 stars Jodie Whittaker (The Doctor), Mandip Gill (Yasmin Khan), Bradley Walsh (Graham O’Brien) and Tosin Cole (Ryan Sinclair).
The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos guest stars Mark Addy (Paltraki), Phyllis Logan (Andinio), and Percelle Ascott (Delph) and is directed by Jamie Childs.
On the planet of Ranskoor Av Kolos, lies the remains of a brutal battlefield. But as the Doctor, Graham, Yaz and Ryan answer nine separate distress calls, they discover the planet holds far more secrets. Who is the mysterious commander with no memory? What lies beyond the mists? Who or what are the Ux?
The answers will lead the Doctor and her friends towards a deadly reckoning.