Mother and daughter, Dame Diana Rigg and Rachel Stirling, are to act together for the first time – in an episode of Doctor Who specially written for them by Mark Gatiss.
Rigg and Stirling are both actors but, until now, have never worked together professionally. The episode in which they appear will be broadcast in 2013 and will also star Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman.
According to BBC News, filming of the episode started today at Roath Lock in Cardiff.
Speaking earlier today, Dame Diana said, “The first time Rachie and I will be working together is on an episode of Doctor Who specially written for us by Mark Gatiss. How lucky is that?”
Equally enthusiastic, Stirling added, “I’m looking forward to the madness of Doctor Who enormously. Mark Gatiss has written a gift of a script and an on-screen relationship between Ma and I that is truly delicious.”
Diana Rigg has been acting professionally since her teens, having made her professional debut in 1955, in The Caucasian Chalk Circle, a play written by Bertolt Brecht.
As well as a long and varied theatrical career, Rigg has appeared in numerous films and TV dramas; and is probably best known for her roles in the cult British “spy-fi” series The Avengers and in the sixth James Bond movie, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
As Emma Peel in The Avengers, Dame Diana starred opposite Patrick Macnee’s bowler-hatted John Steed in 51 episodes of the ABC Television-produced show, from 1965–7.
“The name’s Bond, Tracy Bond”
In On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, she became the only Bond girl (Tracy Bond), to date, to actually marry James Bond (George Lazenby).
In the late 1990s, Rigg starred in the title role of the BBC/PBS detective series The Mrs Bradley Mysteries. In 1989, she won a BAFTA for her role of a mother obsessed with controlling her son in Mother Love.
In 1988, Diana Rigg was awarded a CBE by Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen then made her a “Dame” – the female equivalent of a man becoming a “Sir” – in 1994.
Stirling – who has been acting professionally since the mid-1990s – is remembered for her role as in Tipping the Velvet, the 2002 BBC drama series based on the debut novel of Sarah Waters.
Doctor Who’s head writer and executive producer, Steven Moffat, is delighted with the casting, saying this afternoon, “Dame Diana Rigg, Rachael Stirling and a Mark Gatiss script – a combination of talents you could only get in Doctor Who! Frankly, I'm terrified already!”
Doctor Who returns to television screens this autumn for 6 new episodes, including a Christmas special, and seven episodes in early 2013.
Later in 2013, the long-running science-fiction drama series will also be celebrating its 50th anniversary with an as-yet-unspecified number of further specials.