Another guest star joins the Doctor Who universe this Sunday in Vinay Patel‘s latest story, ‘Fugitive of the Judoon‘. But where have we seen actress Ritu Arya before?
Ahead of her appearance as Gat in this week’s episode, BlogtorWho recaps some of her best-known roles to date!
Many Doctor Who viewers will most likely recognise Ritu Arya from her recent role in Channel 4‘s 2015 sci-fi drama Humans, which ran for three series before its untimely cancellation last year.
Inspired by Swedish series Real Humans, the show envisioned an alternate present day where artificial intelligence is far more advanced. In this universe, humanoid robots known as ‘Synths’ have been created to do the jobs humans would rather not. Humans followed the typical, suburban Hawkins family, whose new household Synth Anita (Gemma Chan) may not be quite what she seems…
Ritu Arya featured in the show’s second and third series as Flash, another household Synth who suddenly gains consciousness. She appeared alongside a number of other former Doctor Who guest stars. These included the aforementioned Gemma Chan (The Waters of Mars), as well as Colin Morgan (Midnight) and Letita Wright (Face the Raven).
The Good Karma Hospital
Around the same time as her appearance in Humans, Arya also took an a recurring role in ITV medical drama The Good Karma Hospital. The series follows junior doctor Ruby Walker (Amrita Acharia) who swaps life in the UK for a coastal town in south India, where she takes up work at the titular Good Karma Hospital.
Ritu Arya appeared throughout the show’s second and third series as Barsha Nambeesan. The Good Karma Hospital has also featured appearances from familiar faces from the Doctor Who universe, most notably current companion Mandip Gill (Yasmin Khan), who starred as Padma Kholi throughout the show’s first series.
Prior to her appearances in Humans and The Good Karma Hospital, Ritu Arya played a prominent role in long-running BBC daytime soap Doctors. Having made a one-off appearance as Sukhinder Nain in 2013, she returned four years later as recurring character Dr. Megan Sharma.
One of Ritu Arya‘s earliest television appearances was in Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss‘ Sherlock back in 2014. She appeared in the second episode of the show’s third series The Sign of Three, which centred around John Watson (Martin Freeman) and Mary Morstan (Amanda Abbington)’s wedding day. Arya played Gail, a victim of the elusive Mayfly Man.
More recently, Arya appeared in festive rom-com Last Christmas. Inspired by the George Michael song of the same name, the film was written by Emma Thompson and starred Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding. It followed Kate (Clarke), a disillusioned employee at a year-round Christmas shop in London, whose life begins to change when she meets the mysterious Tom (Golding).
Ritu Arya starred as Kate’s friend Jenna, who briefly lets Kate crash at her house after she’s kicked out by her flatmate.
Sticks and Stones
Last year also saw Arya star in ITV‘s Sticks and Stones, created by previous Doctor Who writer Mike Bartlett (Knock Knock). This three-part psychological thriller explored the competitive world of sales, and focused on hard-working father and husband Thomas Benson (Ken Nwosu), whose life begins to spiral out of control as he struggles to recover from a disastrous sales pitch.
Ritu Arya starred as Becky Mills, a junior member of Benson’s team.
The Umbrella Academy
Looking to the future, Arya is set to take on one of her biggest roles to date, as she stars as Lila Pitts in the second season of Netflix series The Umbrella Academy, which is due to air later this year.
Based on My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way and artist Gabriel Bá‘s comic series of the same name, The Umbrella Academy follows a dysfunctional family of adopted children who all possess superpowers. Arya will star alongside a number of familiar faces who make up the regular cast, including Ellen Page (Juno, Inception), Robert Sheehan (Misfits, Mortal Engines) and Tom Hopper (Doctor Who, Merlin).
Little is known about Arya‘s character Lila at this point, save for her brief introduction given via the show’s official Twitter feed:
.@ritu_Arya_ is Lila.
☔︎ A chameleon who can be as brilliant or as clinically insane as the situation requires.
☔︎ Unpredictable, mischievous, sarcastic
☔︎ Twisted sense of humor pic.twitter.com/HFJIWxb6Nb
— Umbrella Academy (@UmbrellaAcad) September 10, 2019
Fugitive of the Judoon
This Sunday will see Ritu Arya take on the role of Gat in returning writer Vinay Patel‘s ‘Fugitive of the Judoon‘.
Although we don’t know much at all about Gat at this stage, her distinctly unearthly appearance has already piqued many fans’ interest. That, combined with an intriguing teaser from Doctor Who‘s official social media, has led some to speculate that she might in fact be a character we’ve encountered before.
— Doctor Who Official (@bbcdoctorwho) January 23, 2020
I think it could be the Black Guardian as Ritu Arya's character is in very similar clothing to the Black Guardian (even the headdress is very similar).
— Someone with a name (@R80488326) January 23, 2020
— J a k e (@SPACE_JODIE) January 23, 2020
In the meantime, we’ll have to wait and see just who Gat is and how she becomes involved with the Judoon in this Sunday‘s episode!
Doctor Who continues this Sunday 26th January with ‘Fugitive of the Judoon‘ on BBC One and BBC America. Written by Vinay Patel, and directed by Nida Manzoor. Guest-starring Ritu Arya, Jo Martin, and Neil Stuke.
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?