Doc­tor Who

Blind ac­tress EL­LIE WALLWORK re­veals her terrifying role in this week’s Doc­tor Who

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SCI-FI BBC1 HD, 6.30pm The Doc­tor (Jodie Whit­taker), Ryan, Gra­ham and Yaz dis­cover a boarded-up cot­tage on the edge of a Nor­we­gian fjord – and a girl named Hanne in need of help.

EL­LIE WALLWORK HAS been blind since birth, but the 18-year-old re­fuses to let her dis­abil­ity stand in her way. As a tal­ented singer-song­writer and a promis­ing ac­tor, her CV in­cludes in­de­pen­dent films and main­stream hits such as Call the Mid­wife.

On Sun­day, she guest stars in an episode of Doc­tor Who that looks set to send shiv­ers down the spines of chil­dren and par­ents alike…

The ad­ven­ture be­gins when the TARDIS touches down on the edge of a fjord in present-day Nor­way, where the Doc­tor and the gang dis­cover a boarded-up cot­tage and a blind girl named Hanne, played by Wallwork, in need of help.

We asked her to tell us more…

WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO BE IN Doc­tor Who? It was amaz­ing. I was never re­ally a fan, but my dad’s been a mas­sive fan ever since he was a kid. He can’t wait for Sun­day night. When he found out that I had an au­di­tion, he didn’t speak for a few min­utes be­cause he was so ex­cited. Then when we found out I’d got the part we danced around the liv­ing room, scream­ing.

WE HEAR THIS IS A SCARY EPISODE… There are def­i­nitely a cou­ple of scary mon­sters, but not only is it phys­i­cally scary, it’s psy­cho­log­i­cally grip­ping – there are quite a few themes that you wouldn’t think would be tack­led in this kind of episode. It will sur­prise peo­ple. WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT HANNE? The Doc­tor finds her aban­doned in this cot­tage. Her dad has left her alone for a few days, but he’s been gone longer than ex­pected. There’s a mon­ster in the woods that howls at night, which is terrifying for her be­cause she thinks it’s taken her dad away. The Doc­tor and her friends want to help her get him back, but they soon re­alise the forces in the woods are far darker than they ever could have imag­ined.

THIS SE­RIES FEA­TURES LOTS OF PEO­PLE WITH DIS­ABIL­I­TIES AND FROM ETH­NIC MI­NORI­TIES. DO YOU THINK THAT’S IM­POR­TANT? It’s re­ally im­por­tant be­cause these is­sues have al­ways ex­isted – it’s just that they haven’t been raised very of­ten be­fore. The more char­ac­ters like mine are on main­stream TV, the more peo­ple like my­self feel like they be­long and that they’re ac­cepted by so­ci­ety.

DO YOU GET AN­NOYED WHEN

AC­TORS WHO AREN’T BLIND PLAY

BLIND CHAR­AC­TERS? It’s re­ally frus­trat­ing, es­pe­cially when they act in a way that isn’t rep­re­sen­ta­tive, be­cause it can ac­tu­ally end up be­ing quite harm­ful and per­pet­u­at­ing loads of stereo­types. It’s also un­re­al­is­tic be­cause of­ten they play some­one who’s not able to do any­thing for them­selves, which isn’t rep­re­sen­ta­tive. It’s also bad be­cause it’s tak­ing away a job from a dis­abled per­son. Hope­fully this episode can show that be­ing blind doesn’t have to hold you back.

DID YOU MEET CHRIS CHIBNALL?

We went out for drinks af­ter we fin­ished the episode and he was amaz­ing. He con­grat­u­lated me on my per­for­mance and I’ve never had such praise from any­one be­fore. It re­ally boosted my con­fi­dence.

ARE YOU A Doc­tor Who FAN NOW? Def­i­nitely! I’ve re­ally en­joyed this year’s se­ries and Jodie Whit­taker has been amaz­ing. I’m also try­ing to dip into the old episodes and catch up a bit, be­cause I’ve now seen how much peo­ple love it.

GRA­HAM AND RYAN (BRADLEY WALSH AND TOSIN COLE) GET A FRIGHT JODIE WHIT­TAKER’S DOC­TOR LANDS IN THE NOR­WE­GIAN WOODS

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