Side by side pics of Josh O'Connor in Challengers and Doctor Who.
(Amazon MGM Studios/BBC)

Yes, Everyone’s Latest Crush Was Once on ‘Doctor Who’! Here’s When.

Josh O’Connor’s rising popularity knows no bounds lately, with comedy-drama La Chimera and romantic sports film Challengers elevating him to stardom after his appearance in Netflix’s The Crown as Prince Charles.

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Before he became a household name, The Crown actor was seen in quite a few supporting and blink-and-miss roles in both television and movies. One such TV role was his appearance in Doctor Who season 7 episode 8 in 2013, in which O’Connor played Piotr, a soldier on board on a Soviet submarine.

The episode is titled “Cold War” and follows the Doctor (Matt Smith), and his companion Clara Oswald (Jenna-Louise Coleman) as they end up on a Soviet submarine in 1983 during the Cold War. The duo has to tackle the Ice Warrior Grand Marshal Skaldak, who is plotting revenge against humanity. The episode was watched by 7.37 million viewers and was written by Mark Gatiss (Game of Thrones, Sherlock), with Stephen Moffat exerting creative control as the executive producer. Fans of O’Connor and Doctor Who can catch seasons 1–13 of the show on Max.

O’Connor’s other significant roles before his breakout include:

  • PC Bobby Grace in Ripper Street (2014)
  • James in Peaky Blinders (2014)
  • Ed Montogomery in The Riot Club (2014)
  • Ballroom palace guard in Cinderella (2015)
  • Donaghy in Florence Foster Jenkins (2016)
  • Marius in Les Misérables (2018)

O’Connor’s upcoming projects include Oliver Hermanus’ History of Sound (a World War I love story featuring Paul Mescal), Karim Aïnouz’s Rosebushpruning (in which he will star along with Kristen Stewart and Elle Fanning), and his second collaboration with Italian auteur Luca Guadagnino titled Separate Rooms (with Léa Seydoux).

O’Connor has been the breakout star this summer, entering the conversation as one of the best young actors around. He’s already being compared to the likes of Austin Butler, Paul Mescal, and Timothée Chalamet, and it only feels like it’s a matter of time before he is billed as an A-lister, if he’s already not one.


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