Blogtor Who takes a look at Samuel Oatley, one of the guest stars appearing in this week’s episode of Doctor Who, The Woman Who Fell To Earth.
The eleventh series of Doctor Who kicks off on Sunday with The Woman Who Fell To Earth, which will introduce viewers not only to a brand-new Doctor, but also an equally new group of friends for her to travel with. Another face new to Doctor Who in the Series 11 opener is guest star Samuel Oatley, a acting graduate of the Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance (2004) who will perhaps be best known to the show’s audience for his television work.
Oatley has appeared in several established television dramas and soaps, including New Tricks, The Bill, Midsomer Murders and Casualty. One of his earliest roles was in the World War Two detective series Foyle’s War, with a more recent period role in Partners in Crime, the Agatha Christie mini-series starring former Doctor Who guest stars Jessica Raine (Hide) and David Walliams (The God Complex).
And while Oatley may be stepping into the world of Doctor Who for the first time, he’s already met one of the Doctor’s new friends on-screen! He appeared as Darren McKenzie, a victim of a particularly gruesome incidence of organ trafficking, in a 2009 episode of Law & Order: UK. The police/legal procedural drama not only starred new TARDIS team member Bradley Walsh as DS Ronnie Brooks throughout its entire run, but was also executive produced by Doctor Who‘s new showrunner, Chris Chibnall.
Oatley’s latest TV work has seen him turn his hand effortlessly to comedy, popping up in two sitcoms. Back in 2016 Oatley landed a role as short-lived gang member Ian in the BBC Three comedy Witless, starring Kerry Howard and Zoe Boyle as two flatmates placed into witness protection. The sitcom, which also featured Doctor Who‘s Samuel Anderson (Series 8’s Danny Pink), aired its third and final series earlier this year.
Oatley followed Witless up last year with an episode of the Channel 4 sitcom Man Down, created by and starring yet another Doctor Who guest star, Greg Davies (The Husbands of River Song). The Dad’s Club sees hapless new father Dan (Davies) attempt to ingratiate himself with the other members of his local dad and baby group – including Oatley as Ronnie – with characteristically cringeworthy results…
As well his body of work on the small screen, Oatley has also been found treading the boards on several occasions. Most recently he took on a lead role as undercover policeman Dave in Any Means Necessary, a play by Kefi Chadwick which enjoyed a limited run at the Nottingham Playhouse in 2016. The ‘bold and insightful‘ political drama delved into the scandal of undercover police duping political activists into relationships – an issue that recently came to the forefront of public consciousness with Lush’s controversial awareness campaign.
Oatley’s Shakespeare theatre credits include Richard III – also at the Nottingham Playhouse – and King Lear at the Bath Theatre Royal. His passion for Shakespeare also extends into the world of education; Oatley’s role as a Globe Education Practitioner at Shakespeare’s Globe, on London’s Southbank, sees him work with students of all ages in exploring the bard’s plays.
Another keen interest of Oatley’s is boxing; as well as acting he is also a boxing agent and content writer/director at F2 Talent. Oatley has also been able to indulge in his love for the sport in front of the camera. Several years ago he starred in the short film The Boxer, written by Nick Dearman and directed by Max Lowenbein. The film, which was shown at several festivals including Raindance and the East End Film Festival, told the story of Danny King (Oatley), a boxer who must decide whether to risk devastating consequences in pursuit of his dream championship following a brutal head injury.
As all of the above demonstrates, Oatley certainly has an impressive range, and with a talent for both drama and comedy it only remains to see which of his acting skills he’ll be bringing into play in Sunday’s episode of Doctor Who!
Doctor Who returns to BBC One at 6.45pm on Sunday, the 7th of October with The Woman Who Fell to Earth by Chris Chibnall. Series 11 stars Jodie Whittaker (The Doctor), Mandip Gill (Yasmin Khan), Bradley Walsh (Graham O’Brien) and Tosin Cole (Ryan Sinclair).