Sci-fi fans worldwide know him as Mickey Smith, a two-year companion of the Tenth Doctor Who after the venerable BBC series returned in 2005—and now Noel Clarke has come to the Star Trek universe, courtesy J.J. Abrams’ 2012 feature film, playing a husband and family man.
Born in 1975 in London, Clarke’s star has burned bright the past decade since he first came to fame on British TV playing Wyman Norris in the 2002 revival of dramedy Auf Wiedersehen, Pet; just prior, he had won the Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for Most Promising Newcomer of 2002 for his performance in Where Do We Live at the Royal Court Theatre. But it was two seasons as Mickey, the first-ever black companion to the Doctor in franchise history, that really exposed audiences on both sides of the pond to him. Along with more acting credits in all media, Clark stretched his wings by writing the screenplay for 2006’s Kidulthood, then directing and starring in its sequel Adulthood; another writing credit was the episode “Combat” for the Doctor Who spinoff Torchwood. After winning the British BAFTA ‘s Orange Rising Star award for breakout talent in 2009, Clark continued with writing and directing as well as acting, with the 2010 heist film 126.96.36.199 and more in the pipeline: Fast Girls and Storage 24.