A DRAMA graduate from the University of Winchester has landed on our TV screens recently as a nine-foot-tall green warrior alien in the 60th anniversary of Doctor Who. 

Actor and puppeteer Stephen Love, who studied Contemporary Performance at Winchester and graduated in 2013, was hidden within a giant green rubber suit and stood on stilts in his role as a Wrarth Warrior - a member of a terrifying intergalactic police force, who descended upon London in the first of three specials starring David Tennant and Catherine Tate. 

Six foot six Stephen’s stature helped land him the role as he was a perfect physical match for fellow actor Robert Strange. 

The pair spent 25 days filming the Doctor Who episode: 'The Star Beast', which is the first to be produced by Russell T. Davies on his return to the series, culminating in a battle scene shot at night in a Cardiff street. 

Stephen said: "For my first feature credit it was pretty full on but very exciting and so much fun".  

Before going in front of the cameras Stephen spent 90 minutes in make-up having a special headpiece glued into place. He then had to keep it on for up to 12 hours. 

Once inside the rubber Wrath outfit Stephen said farewell to solid food and instead sipped shakes and smoothies through a straw. 

His field of vision was severely restricted, as was his hearing. Stephen and Robert retained contact with the outside world through earpieces. 

Stephen said: "You are surrounded by hundreds of people on set but you are very much in your own world – it can be quite isolating."

Fortunately, Stephen had two helpers from Millenium FX, who made the costumes, whose caring duties included keeping him cool with the aid of a leaf blower. 

"It was great to work with David and Catherine who were very considerate. They kept coming up to ask: ‘Are you okay in there?’"

In 2020 Stephen, who grew up in Basingstoke, formed The Paper Puppets Workshop, based in Winchester where he now lives. It visits schools, colleges, universities and community groups to provide an introduction to the ancient art. 

Dr Richard Cuming, Senior Lecture in the Department of Performing Arts at the University of Winchester, said: “It’s excellent that Stephen is in Dr Who.  While on the course he took modules in puppetry and physical theatre and was an excellent student who really developed his skills.  I’m very much looking forward to seeing him in Dr Who."

The Star Beast can be seen on BBC iPlayer.