Over the years, Doctor Who has felt like a rite of passage for U.K. actors. Stars like Simon Pegg, Andrew Garfield (who is a dual citizen of the U.K. and U.S), and James Corden have graced the series only to go on and lead great careers separate from the show. That's usually okay for the crew, except for the time when the show wanted a brilliant young actress from one of the show's episodes to come on as a companion: Carey Mulligan. Showrunner Steven Moffat reminisces on the companion who got away below:
Oh my God, Carey Mulligan! It's funny but 'Blink,' I say immodestly, is a very famous episode of television and yet Carey Mulligan, who was the star of it, I'm almost certain wouldn't even remember being in Doctor Who. I don't think she was much of a fan, or anything. They liked her so much, they said, 'Do you want to be the next companion?' but she said no. God, she was amazing.
"Blink," which is absolutely one of the most popular episodes of the modern revival of Doctor Who, aired in 2007 and featured Carey Mulligan in the role of Sally Sparrow. While Mulligan had some frequent television appearances in front of U.K. audiences, her episode would take place a couple years before she would start to land roles in big name feature films and appear in front of an international audience. Admittedly, it is a bit upsetting that the world didn't get to see Mulligan teaming up with then-Doctor David Tennant on a regular basis, those next two years put her career on the path to some great film roles, so maybe it was for the best.
Even if Steven Moffat might be correct in his comments to Radio Times about Carey Mulligan not remembering being in Doctor Who now, she certainly did back in 2009. An interview featured Mulligan saying she did enjoy her time on set, and she would be willing to return to the series once again. Granted, that was just months before her Oscar nomination for An Education, so it's always possible her mindset (and availability) changed a bit after that. Mulligan did mention that her one regret was appearing in an episode that didn't feature all that much of David Tennant and she couldn't brag much to friends about working with him. Still, she was a part of one of the show's most quoted moments to date:
Doctor Who is all new on The BBC on December 25th at 9:00 p.m. ET. Carey Mulligan will not be a part of the Christmas special, but perhaps with all this buzz about her past role she'll consider returning for Jodie Whittaker's run as the Doctor. For more on upcoming programming, be sure to visit both our fall premiere guide and midseason premiere guide. For a look at some shows that were cancelled in 2017, visit our cancellation guide.