Billie Piper, Doctor Who, BBCFormer Doctor Who actress Billie Piper has joined the cast of Showtime’s new horror series Penny Dreadful.

Pipers casting in the Showtime drama was confirmed by her agent. The actress joins the confirmed cast which includes Rory Kinnear – who was tipped by the press to be in the running to replace Matt Smith in Doctor Who – as well as Josh Hartnett and Camelot actress Eva Green.

Penny Dreadful is being written by Skyfall duo John Logan and Sam Mendes who are both expected to be involved in the 24th James Bond film which is as yet untitled. Penny Dreadful represents their first collaboration for television. The eight part series is due to begin production in September and will tell the origin stories of literary horror characters such as Count Dracula and Frankenstein’s monster.

The term Penny Dreadful originates from the 19th century and was the term for a type of popular fiction published during the Victorian era. The ‘penny dreadfuls’ were typically enjoyed by the working classes and contained ‘lurid’ but popular stories – in some ways the serialised format of the novels were an early form of soap opera. The novels were a penny to buy, hence the term, with storylines spread over multiple editions.

Bille Piper will be familiar to Showtime audiences for her role in the British drama Secret Diary of a Call Girl; the drama aired on the broadcaster in Ameirca. Showtime opted to show the original British series rather than remaking the drama.

Piper will next be seen on British screens in the 50th anniversary Doctor Who special in which she reprises her role of Rose Tyler alongside David Tennant, Matt Smith, Jenna Louise Coleman, John Hurt, Joanna Page and John Hurt.

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