Jo Martin leaves Holby for Gloucester as guest stars in Fugitive of the Judoon

Alongside Neil Stuke’s Lee Clayton, Fugitive of the Judoon’s other principle guest star is Jo Martin as Lee’s wife Ruth. Ruth’s an easy going tour guide in the Cathedral City of Gloucester.  And ‘easy going’ is an asset when putting up with leather bound rhinoceroses from space stomping all over your town. And there couldn’t be a greater contrast between her Doctor Who role and the one for which Martin is probably best known. Because, in the corridors of Holby City hospital, it’s her uncompromising manner and total lack of tact as acting CEO Max McGerry that strikes fear into the staff everywhere she goes. At the best of times Holby City is known for characters that cut, sometimes brutally, to the point. So it speaks volumes that Martin’s McGerry has emerged as the queen of them all.

It’s a particularly ironic rise to the top considering that McGerry isn’t Martin’s first foray into the Holbyverse. She appeared in a handful of episodes of Casualty in the early 00s as a firefighter called Bridgeman. A character, the true trivia fan will appreciate, created by Doctor Who’s own Paul Cornell. And, as is traditional in Holby, she popped up again a decade later as a completely different character, before assuming her regular role as Max. It’s also representative of Martin’s work during that period. She scored the British acting triple crown of multiple roles not just in Casualty, but The Bill (four different characters from 1989 to 2004) and Doctors (four different characters between 2002 and 2018).

Pre-Holby City, Martin was already a regular presence in British comedy

But, like her on-screen husband in Fugitive of the Judoon, Martin has balanced these tightly observed snapshots of people in crisis with a flair for the comic and absurd. She made appearances in classic sitcoms like The Brittas Empire, Desmond’s and My Family. And she was also a contributor to sketch shows like Comedy Nation and The Real McCoy. While in the comedy film The Jolly Boys’ Last Stand, she featured alongside future stars like Baron Sascha Cohen and Andy Serkis, as Cohen’s girlfriend Tina.

It was also comedy that gave her one of her most popular roles. As Natalie she was the matriarch of the disorderly family The Crouches, trying to keep peach in a household of husband, two children, her mother Mona Hammond (Mickey’s Gran in Doctor Who) and father-in-law Rudolph Walker (The War Games). Its cast including Don Warrington, Danny John-Jules, and Jimmy Akinbola it deserved a longer run than its two seasons.

Martin has described joining Doctor Who for a story as a dream come true. Her only disappointment is that as a child she always wanted to be a Dalek! But facing off against the Judoon will be some consolation.


Doctor Who - Series 12 - Judoon
Doctor Who – Series 12 – Judoon Captain, The Doctor (JODIE WHITTAKER) – (C) BBC / BBC Studios – Photographer: James Pardon

Doctor Who continues at 7.10pm this Sunday on with Fugitive of the Judoon

Ko Sho Blo! Trigger-happy space police the Judoon are targeting 21st-century Gloucester. The Doctor, Yaz, Ryan and Graham race back to Earth in order to prevent them doing too much damage to the cathedral city. But who are they looking for, and what did they do to incur the wrath of the Judoon?

Starring Jodie Whittaker (The Doctor), Bradley Walsh (Graham), Mandip Gill (Yaz) and Tosin Cole (Ryan). Fugitive of the Judoon guest stars Neil Stuke (Lee), Jo Martin (Ruth) and Ritu Arya (Gat) with Nicholas Birggs as the Voice of the Judoon. Written by Vinay Patel (Demons of the Punjab) and directed by Jamie Magnus Stone (Spyfall Part One).



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