Sorry Doctor Who Fans – Here's Why You've Been Robbed Of A Helena Bonham Carter Cameo

Here's why the actor never appeared on the show.
Jeff Spicer via Getty Images for Warner Bros

Doctor Who, the BBC’s sci-fi standby, has been going since 1963 ― and over the years, it’s attracted its fair share of celeb cameos.

Kylie Minogue, Bill Nighy, James Corden, Carey Mulligan, and many more have shown their face on the small screen beside the Doctor.

But Helena Bonham Carter, known for playing roles like Bellatrix Lestrange in Harry Potter and Princess Margaret in The Crown, isn’t among them ― partly due to advice from Russel T. Davies, who works as an executive producer and head writer on the show.

Speaking on the Jo Whiley BBC Radio 2 show, on which Helena Bonham Carter with Russell were both guests earlier this week, the pair discussed why she never made an appearance ― despite once having been offered a part.

What happened?

When Jo Whiley asked Russell why Helena had never made it to the Whoniverse, he answered, “She’s been offered and madam was too busy. ‘Not this time’ came back the answer.”

“There are better parts coming,” he added (ooh).

But it turns out that Helena had actually been asked to appear on the show, with the Harry Potter actor asking Russell, “What was it [that meant the show didn’t go ahead]? You said, you actually said, ‘This isn’t quite good enough.’”

“I did, oh gosh,” Russell admitted, before clarifying that “Actually it wasn’t... no, I mean it wasn’t big enough, it wasn’t good enough for you. It was a lovely part and they offered it, but I secretly sent you a note saying turn this down. We’ll get you something better.”

Apparently, the writer had kept the change secret

“Oh god, I never told the team that. I am completely hung and drawn and quartered now. I said, ‘Don’t do this!’”, Russell revealed on the show.

But all is not lost. When asked if there was any chance of Helena appearing on upcoming shows, Russell said “I know what’s coming up in the future. I know there’s a better part coming.”

“Of course I’d do anything,” Helena stated. Let’s keep our fingers crossed...


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