Gillian Anderson hears a “Who”

Friday night before Dollhouse came on, I was pondering the fact that I had actually turned down an invitation so that I could stay home and watch the show. I was able to think of only one other show that ever caused me to clear Friday nights on a regular basis — The X-Files.

The X-Files is a part of sci-fi history now (please, no more movies), but the show was responsible for introducing a number of wonderful things to the small screen. Not the least of which was Agent Scully, a.k.a. Gillian Anderson.

At the time, Anderson was 25 and known as an off-Broadway stage actress. In fact, The X-Files pilot was only the second time she had been in front of a TV camera. Although she had sworn never to do television when she moved to L.A., she couldn’t pass up the chance to play a strong, independent, intelligent woman lead character like Scully.

Now The Telegraph reports that we may get to see Anderson in another sci-fi role as the nemesis of the new Doctor Who, Matt Smith. (Potential spoiler ahead.) Producers want Anderson for the part of the Rani, a gorgeous-but-evil scientific genius and renegade Time Lady. The role was played by a campy Kate O’Mara in the ’80s version of Doctor Who.

Although the Rani appeared in only two arcs of the previous series, Who fans will remember that, in the final episode of Season 3, a woman’s hand recovered the Master’s signet ring from the ashes of his funeral pyre. Was it the hand of the Rani?

That’s what writer Russell Davies called it, but then he said he was just joking. And while currently, Anderson’s role is scheduled for a single special episode, what if the Rani became the Master — with Gillian Anderson playing the part? That’s television worth staying home for, to be sure.

Lest you think I just mentioned Dollhouse to shamelessly plug the show, here’s the connection: Currently, Anderson, who lives in London, is in preparations to star with former Doctor Who, Christopher Eccleston on stage. The production? A Doll’s House. (OK, it’s a stretch, but still kind of cool.)

What do you think of Gillian Anderson as the Rani? Is she a good fit for Doctor Who? Would you like to see the Rani become a major character?

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