Showtime's Secret Diary of a Call Girl may not seem like scifi news, until one takes into account the series' star, British pop singer and Doctor Who star Billie Piper. Piper had studied acting since childhood, but was discovered by a record producer at the age of 15. Her pop career never took off in the states, but she was the youngest artist to ever achieve a number one in the UK. Her music career eventually fizzled, and she left the industry to return to acting. She was cast to play Rose Tyler in the reincarnation of the legendary British science fiction series, Doctor Who. Opposite Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant, Piper was enigmatic as Rose, a bored chav teen who is whisked away from her dull life to travel through time and space with The Doctor.
Rose approached her adventures with enthusiasm and compassion, bravely facing tragedy and danger, but never losing her brilliant wide-eyed wonder. Piper easily played both classic British camp and dark drama, all while running around the universe in a track jacket, trainers and hoop earrings, with too much eyeliner and a bad dye job. She may not have been the reincarnation's most brilliant companion (Martha, season three), or the funniest (Donna, season 4), but Rose was the most inquisitive and adaptable. Plucked from her boring shop girl existence, she easily fell into the life of a traveler, always moving from one place to the next.
After her debut as Rose Tyler, Piper racked up awards and critical acclaim, and became the darling of the BBC. Definitely a grand example of a washed up pop star made good. She is currently playing the lead role in four BBC films based on fantasy writer Philip Pullman's Sally Lockhart series, and last fall she starred in the first season of Secret Diary of a Call Girl. The series will start airing in the U.S. this Monday at 10:30 EST on Showtime. Initially Showtime considered buying the rights to the series to re-shoot it with American actors, but according to Showtime's president of entertainment, the British version was so fantastic, he couldn't bring himself to change it. For a glimpse of Piper as Call Girl's Belle du Jour, check out the trailer.
And okay, fine. Because I know you want to see some of her pop videos from the 90's, here's "Day and Night"
And "Something Deep Inside"