Blogtor Who takes a look at Shaun Dooley, one of the guest stars in this week’s episode of Doctor Who, The Ghost Monument.

Unlike the majority of Series 11’s guest stars, we’ve known about Shaun Dooley’s casting for a while, with the actor popping up for the briefest of moments during the first official trailer for the series released at San Diego Comic-Con back in July.

Doctor Who Series 11 - Trailer #1 (July 2018) - Shaun Dooley - Screenshot
Doctor Who Series 11 – Trailer #1 (July 2018) – Shaun Dooley – Screenshot

The Barnsley-born actor trained at the Arden School of Theatre in Manchester before embarking on a wide and varied career to date in British television, theatre, film and radio. Read on to discover just some of his many career highlights…

Whittaker and Whitaker

Chris Chibnall has clearly not yet exhausted what must be an extensive list of contacts, as Dooley – like Jodie Whittaker herself – has previously starred in the showrunner’s hit ITV whodunnit Broadchurch. Dooley was a surprise addition to the second series (2015) as Ricky Gillespie, the father and uncle of two missing girls – and an eventual suspect in their disappearances.

Two years after co-starring with future Doctor Whittaker in Broadchurch, Dooley went on to play the Rev. Michaelmas Whitaker in the first series of the Sky One show Jamestown. The 17th century historical drama focuses on a group of British settlers looking to make a new life in the New World, and is set to return for a third series.

From Weatherfield To Walford

Dooley’s earliest roles were in two of the country’s biggest soaps. His first regular television role (1997-1998) was in Coronation Street as Richie Fitzgerald, the estranged husband of barmaid Samantha Failsworth (Tina Hobley).

Dooley followed this up in the early 2000s with a recurring role in EastEnders. As the Rev. Tom Stuart, Dooley was a part of some of the soap’s most iconic moments, including the wedding of Dot and Jim Branning, the funeral of Jamie Mitchell, and that time Alfie Moon gatecrashed Kat Slater’s wedding to Andy Hunter:

And The Award Goes To…

In 2007 Channel 4 aired The Mark of Cain, a film by Red Productions which told the powerful and disturbing stories of a group of young soldiers based in Iraq. The fictionalised version of real-life events won a TV BAFTA for Best Single Drama, with Dooley also picking up an RTS North West Award for his role as Corporal Gant.

More recently as part of BBC Radio 4’s The Gothic Imagination series, Dooley starred in an audio dramatisation of the classic Mary Shelley novel Frankenstein. His portrayal of the Monster went on to earn him a 2014 BBC Audio Drama Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Last year, meanwhile, saw Dooley win Best Male Lead at the Sick Chick Flicks Film Festival for his role in the horror short Blood Shed. Dooley stars alongside Sally Phillips in the award-winning dark comedy, which was co-written by Cat Davies and former Doctor Who and Torchwood writer James Moran.

Superheroes On Probation

In 2012-13 Dooley played the recurring part of Greg in the BBC Three hit comedy Misfits. The sci-fi comedy drama, which ran for five series, followed a group of young offenders sentenced to community service where an electrical storm gifted them with superpowers – that’s happened to all of us, right? Dooley played one of several probation workers in the series tasked with keeping the delinquent teens in line – and even broke out his singing voice along the way:

Remember, Remember, The Fifth Of November…

Dooley’s most recent television role came in last year’s BBC mini-series Gunpowder, starring Game of Thrones’ Kit Harington as his own real-life ancestor Robert Catesby. Dooley played the ‘splendidly and wickedly scary‘ Sir William Wade, Lieutenant of the Tower of London at the time of the Gunpowder Plot and right-hand man to Mark Gatiss’ spymaster Robert Cecil.

What’s Next For Shaun Dooley?

As well as this week’s episode of Doctor Who, Dooley has a number of projects on the go. He can currently be heard in the BBC Radio 4 series Home Front. Dooley appears as Silas Morrow in the series charting the lives of those on the home front during the First World War, with the next episode centered around his character due to air on Monday (15.10.18).

His roster of upcoming films includes Pond Life, which follows a group of friends from a quiet mining village in Doncaster as they embark on an unforgettable fishing expedition. Other films in production are the contemporary crime drama The Corrupted and political thriller Official Secrets, a Keira Knightly-led project also set to star former Doctor Matt Smith.

Dooley has also been announced as one of the cast of the upcoming historical drama series Gentleman Jack, commissioned by the BBC and HBO. Written by Sally Wainwright (Happy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax), the series tells the story of the industrialist and landowner Anne Lister (Suranne Jones). Dooley plays Jeremiah, the brother and business partner of one of Lister’s fiercest rivals, Christopher Rawson (Vincent Franklin). Gentleman Jack, which boasts a star-studded cast including former Doctor Peter Davison, is currently filming in Yorkshire.

The Ghost Monument

Doctor Who - Series 11 - Episode 2 - Epzo (SHAUN DOOLEY), Graham (BRADLEY WALSH), The Doctor (JODIE WHITTAKER) - (C) BBC / BBC Studios - Photographer: Coco Van Opens
Doctor Who – Series 11 – Episode 2 – Epzo (SHAUN DOOLEY), Graham (BRADLEY WALSH), The Doctor (JODIE WHITTAKER) – (C) BBC / BBC Studios – Photographer: Coco Van Opens

So, what do we know so far about Shaun Dooley’s role in Doctor Who? As ever when it comes to Series 11, very little! The cast list reveals that his character is called Epzo but anything beyond that remains a mystery, as the synopsis for the episode reveals:

Still reeling from their first encounter, can the Doctor and her new friends stay alive long enough, in a hostile alien environment, to solve the mystery of Desolation? And just who are Angstrom and Epzo?

Doctor Who continues this Sunday 14th October with The Ghost Monument, starring Jodie Whittaker (The Doctor), Mandip Gill (Yasmin Khan), Tosin Cole (Ryan Sinclair) and Bradley Walsh (Graham O’Brien). 

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