In the far future, the Doctor and friends face a brutal battle, across the farthest reaches of space, to protect the last of the human race against the deadly Cybermen in the start of the epic finale of Series 12!
Julie Graham, who plays Ravio, one of the last of the human race, talks about joining Series 12 and facing a new breed of Cybermen!
What was it like being part of Doctor Who?
It was like a dream come true. I’ve always been a huge fan so it was like being a kid in a sweet shop, I loved it. If you’re a fan of anything, when you get to be in the show then it’s always a thrill. It’s completely unique, there’s nothing else like it. But it also feels so familiar, because you’ve grown up with it, so it’s sort of like an old friend.
Were you a fan?
Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker were my Doctors when I was growing up, probably more Tom. Then I drifted away from it so I didn’t watch it for a long time. Then when Russell rebooted it I watched it immediately. Since then I’ve been a fan. And then I had children and my children loved it, so it’s been a big part of our household. It really is one of the few things you can sit down with young kids and watch and get something out of it as an adult as well.
What can you tell us about your character?
She is one of the last human beings in the universe. Her planet’s been ravaged by Cybermen and they’ve been wiped out so there’s very few humans left. So, they’re this bunch of survivors who are just trying to stay alive and keep each other alive. They’re very self-sufficient, they’re tough, they look out for each other like a little family. I think of them as a bunch of deer being picked off! They’re very nervous and always looking over their shoulders.
What was it like playing an action hero?
I love that description of an action hero! Everybody wants to be one, let’s face it. They are very brave… Of course, to have survived everything they’ve been through they have to be pretty special. But at the same time, they’re what makes humans human. They love and they’re compassionate and things like friendship and loyalty are important to them. But they’re very tough and brave.
Did you get to do your own stunts?
Yeah, I got to do quite a lot of them - mostly running! There’s lots of running and jumping and leaping, which was great fun. And then of course there’s lots of toys and buttons you get to play with!
The sets are amazing. You walk onto them and it does the job for you because they’re so meticulous and brilliant and inventive - it’s a superb design team. You can’t help but want to push every button and pull all the leavers! It propels you straight back into childhood, but then that’s the best part of being an actor.
What was it like working with the regular cast?
It was wonderful. Jodie is fantastic. I was a huge fan of her from the last series. She was so brilliant and a breath of fresh air. She’s also a brilliant human being - she’s so lovely, and fun and dedicated and hardworking and so welcoming. Her and the whole team welcome you with open arms, they’re so warm and lovely, it’s fantastic. It can be hard walking onto a well-established show, but we really did feel so welcome and I loved every single one of them.
What was it like meeting the iconic Cybermen?
When I was growing up the Daleks were the thing that really scared me, they absolutely frightened the life out of me. Then when I was watching it with my children when they were 8, 9, 10 years old, the ones they were frightened of were the Cybermen. They were absolutely terrified of them!
I have to say, I find them pretty frightening myself. There’s something about that robotic evil… Then when you see them in the flesh, they’re absolutely petrifying! So I was over the moon to work with them.
There were scenes where we were having to run away from them and it’s not hard to imagine being chased by a Cyberman, it’s absolutely terrifying. It makes you run five times faster than you normally would.
How would you describe your episode in three words?
Thrilling, terrifying and heroic.
Part One of the epic series finale, Ascension of the Cybermen, is coming this Sunday 23rd February at 6:50pm on BBC One, or on BBC America at 8pm ET, 7pm CT.