Agyeman in July 2019
20 March 1979
|Alma mater||Middlesex University (BA)|
Freema Agyeman (/ /; born Frema Agyeman; 20 March 1979) is an English actress who is known for playing Martha Jones and Adeola Oshodi in the BBC science fiction series Doctor Who and reprising the role of Jones in its spin-off series Torchwood, Amanita Caplan in the Netflix science fiction drama Sense8, and Dr. Helen Sharpe in the NBC medical procedural series New Amsterdam.
Following her departure from Doctor Who and a role in the BBC series Little Dorrit, Agyeman held a starring role as Alesha Phillips in the crime procedural drama Law & Order: UK between 2009 and 2012. In 2013, she made her US television debut on The CW's teen drama The Carrie Diaries as Larissa Loughlin, a style editor at Interview magazine. Other television appearances include Old Jack's Boat, Silent Witness, and Survivors. Agyeman also appeared as Penny in the 2015 film North v South.
Agyeman was born in London. Her mother, Azar, is Iranian, and her father, Osei, is Ghanaian. They divorced when she was young. Agyeman has an older sister, Leila, and a younger brother, Dominic. Although her mother was raised as a Muslim and her father was raised as a Methodist, Agyeman grew up to be a practising Roman Catholic. Agyeman attended Our Lady's Convent RC High School, a Catholic school in Stamford Hill and during the summer of 1996 she studied at the Anna Scher Theatre School in Islington and studied performing arts and drama at Middlesex University, graduating in 2000.
When Agyeman began her professional acting career, she chose to use a different spelling of her birth name, Frema, as her professional name, to avoid pronunciation problems.
Before securing the part of Martha Jones, Agyeman's most famous television role was playing Lola Wise in the revived series of ITV soap opera Crossroads. She also had small guest roles in other TV series such as Casualty, Mile High and The Bill, in which she appeared on two occasions as two separate characters. In 2005, Agyeman played Mary Ogden, a scene of crime officer, in an episode of Silent Witness.
Agyeman starred as Nana in the independent film Rulers and Dealers, written and directed by Stephen Lloyd Jackson.
Doctor Who (2006–2010)
Agyeman auditioned for three roles in the 2006 series of Doctor Who. On 24 June 2005, she auditioned for the part of Sally Jacobs in "The Christmas Invasion", but the role went to Anita Briem, who better fitted the production team's concept of the character as an "ice cool blonde". Agyeman later auditioned for the roles of Esme and Adeola Oshodi, in the "Rise of the Cybermen"/"The Age of Steel" and "Army of Ghosts", respectively. Esme was ultimately cut from the final script, but Agyeman was successful in her audition for Adeola. She filmed her role in the series in December 2005 and appeared on screen as Adeola on 1 July 2006. Agyeman studied dance and practiced horse riding, martial arts and gymnastics, a fact that the producers exploited in order to provide her with more physically arduous action scenes.
The production team were impressed by the versatility shown by Agyeman across her three auditions and called her back as a serious candidate for the new companion. She attended another audition (ostensibly for an episode of Torchwood) before a final screen-test with Tenth Doctor actor, David Tennant. Tennant left a reassuring note under the door of Agyeman's hotel room, and this helped calm any nerves the actress had. Following extensive speculation on who would replace Billie Piper, Agyeman was confirmed to the press as new companion Martha Jones on 5 July 2006.
—Freema Agyeman, July 2008
Agyeman began filming for the third series in August 2006 and finished in March 2007. She made her screen debut as Martha on 31 March 2007 in the episode "Smith and Jones". A line of dialogue explains that Adeola was Martha's cousin. Agyeman continued to portray the character Martha throughout every episode of the 2007 series. Agyeman returned as Martha in series 4 for five episodes. Following the final episode of the fourth series, Agyeman stated that she would be open to reprising the role. She later returned to the series along with several other former cast members to mark David Tennant's final appearance in "The End of Time". Concurrent with her appearance on the show, Agyeman read abridged audiobook adaptations of five of the Doctor Who New Series Adventures novels featuring Martha, namely The Last Dodo, Wetworld, The Pirate Loop, Martha in the Mirror and The Story of Martha.
In between series three and series four of Doctor Who, Agyeman appeared in three episodes of series 2 of Doctor Who spin off Torchwood, namely "Reset", "Dead Man Walking" and "A Day in the Death". She also had a starring role in the Torchwood radio play, Lost Souls, broadcast on BBC Radio Four on 10 September 2008 to promote the activation of the Large Hadron Collider at the CERN research facility. It was later revealed by Torchwood: Children of Earth director Euros Lyn that the production team had intended for Agyeman to appear in that production, but she was already committed to Law & Order: UK. In a video interview conducted at the Law and Order: UK press launch, Agyeman does not rule out a return to Torchwood, stating that "it's always a possibility." Torchwood creator and head writer Russell T. Davies, also responsible for Doctor Who, subsequently affirmed that he would be open to casting Agyeman in a future series of Torchwood.
Agyeman appeared several times on The Bedtime Hour on CBeebies reading the story broadcast shortly before 7.00pm. She narrated the first series of BBC Three's hospital documentary series Bizarre ER which ran from 14 February 2008 to 3 April 2008 and also provided the narration for a second series which began airing on Tuesday 21 April 2009. Agyeman hosted a Doctor Who-themed portion of the BBC Proms on 27 July. A one-hour cut-down version of the prom made its TV début on BBC1, New Year's Day, 2009.
Agyeman played foundling girl Tattycoram in the Emmy Award winning 2008 BBC adaptation of Charles Dickens' Little Dorrit, which began on 26 October 2008, starring alongside her fellow Torchwood stars Eve Myles and Ruth Jones. Some of Agyeman's scenes for the first episode were shot in the grounds of Deal Castle, Kent, which doubled for Marseille, France. Agyeman was delighted to have appeared in Little Dorrit, as it had always been a dream of hers to appear in a period drama. In 2008 Agyeman also appeared in Survivors, a BBC 1 remake of the cult 1970s TV series, as Jenny Walsh (surname originally reported to be Collins), although her character was killed off in the first episode in a shock twist despite featuring prominently in promotional materials for the series. Between 2009 and 2012, Agyeman starred as Crown Prosecutor Alesha Phillips in Law & Order: UK, a UK adaptation and spin-off from the US Law & Order franchise. Agyeman is a self-professed "massive fan" of the original Law & Order series, especially Seasons 3 and 4. In preparation for the role, Agyeman sat in on live trials, toured the Old Bailey, and conferred with her law-degree holding sister, Leila: "She's great and really patient at explaining things to laymen, because I was coming at it completely blind. She's been a good source." She remained with the programme for its first six series departing the cast before the seventh series due to other filming commitments.
In March 2012, it was announced that Agyeman would play Larissa, "an easy-going party girl who works at Interview magazine" in the pilot of Sex and the City prequel The Carrie Diaries. In early 2013, she starred in the Cbeebies television series Old Jack's Boat as Shelley.
Agyeman appears in the Netflix series Sense8, released in June 2015, created by J. Michael Straczynski and Lilly and Lana Wachowski. She is a series regular and plays Amanita, the girlfriend of Nomi, a sensate.
Awards and recognition
In June 2007, Agyeman was named "Best Newcomer" at the 2007 "Glamour Women of the Year Awards". The same year she won the 2007 People's Choice category for "Female TV Star" in the 5th annual Screen Nation Film and TV Awards, held on 15 October 2007 at the Hilton Metropole in London.
In 2007, Agyeman was one of the top four nominations for best actress in the National Television Awards, for playing Martha Jones in the 2007 series of Doctor Who. She was also nominated for Best Actress in the TV Quick Awards the same year for her role in Doctor Who.
Agyeman was also longlisted for the 2010 National Television Awards for best dramatic performance for her role as Crown Prosecutor, Alesha Phillips.
In 2016, Agyeman was also nominated for "Female Performance in a Film" at the Screen Nation Film and TV Awards for her performance in North v South  and for the "Female Performance in TV" Award for her performance in Sense8 
Agyeman is a Catholic, but she is not a regular churchgoer, saying doing good is her way of believing in God and expressing Catholic Christianity.
|2004||Aisha the American||Shaheen||Short film|
|2006||Rulers and Dealers||Nana|
|2015||North v South||Penny|
|2003||Crossroads||Lola Wise||Unknown episodes|
|2004||The Bill||Jenna Carter||Episode: "Episode 232"|
|2004||Casualty@Holby City||Kate Hindley||Episode: "Casualty@Holby City: Part One"|
|2005||Mile High||Girl #1||Series 2, episode 26|
|2005||Silent Witness||Mary Ogden||Episode: "Choices: Part 1"|
|2006||The Bill||Shakira Washington||2 episodes|
|2006||Doctor Who||Adeola Oshodi||Episode: "Army of Ghosts"|
|2007–2008, 2010||Martha Jones||Series 3, Series 4, 2008–10 specials|
|2007–2008||Doctor Who Confidential||Herself||Recurring role|
|2007||Totally Doctor Who||Herself||7 episodes|
|2007||The Infinite Quest||Martha Jones (voice)||13 episodes|
|2007||The Omid Djalili Show||Herself||Series 1, episode 3|
|2008||Torchwood||Martha Jones||3 episodes|
|2008–2010||Bizarre ER||Herself||Narrator (series 1–3); 30 episodes|
|2008||Torchwood Declassified||Herself||2 episodes|
|2008||Little Dorrit||Tattycoram||Miniseries; 8 episodes|
|2008||Survivors||Jenny Walsh||2 episodes|
|2009–2012||Law & Order: UK||Alesha Phillips||Main cast (series 1–6); 39 episodes|
|2013–2015||The Carrie Diaries||Larissa Loughlin||Main cast; 22 episodes|
|2013–2015||Old Jack's Boat||Shelly Periwinkle||Main cast (series 1); 12 episodes|
|2015–2018||Sense8||Amanita Caplan||Main cast|
|2017||Panorama||Narrator||Episode: "When Kids Abuse Kids"|
|2018–present||New Amsterdam||Dr. Helen Sharpe||Main cast|
Audio and radio
|2007||The Last Dodo||Narrator||Doctor Who audiobook|
|2007||Wetworld||Narrator||Doctor Who audiobook|
|2007||The Pirate Loop||Narrator||Doctor Who audiobook|
|2008||Martha in the Mirror||Narrator||Doctor Who audiobook|
|2008||Lost Souls||Martha Jones||Full cast audio drama|
|2008||The Story of Martha||Narrator||Doctor Who audiobook|
|2014||Six Degrees of Assassination: An Audible Drama||Ellen Townsend|
|2020||Torchwood: Dissected||Martha Jones||Full cast audio drama|
|2001–2002||When Snow Falls||T||By Chris Elwell|
|2001||Twisted Roots||Anya Starr||By Emily Nightingale|
|2002||Lords and Ladies||Various roles||Originally by Terry Pratchett|
|2008||Doctor Who Prom||Host||Musical celebration, 27 July 2008|
|2017||Apologia||Claire||By Alexi Kaye Campbell|
- "Thank You Letter From Freema Agyeman". Archived from the original on 10 May 2010. Retrieved 8 April 2008.
- Agyeman, Freema. AfterBuzz TV Interviews Freema Agyeman @ CW's The Carrie Diaries Premiere. AfterBuzz TV.
- Jury, Louise (23 March 2007). "From council estate to Tardis: rise of the Timelord's sidekick". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 19 October 2007. Retrieved 18 September 2007.
- Deeley, Laura (16 February 2008). "Dr Who's sidekick, Freema Agyeman". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
- Hugo, Simon (June 2008). "Where's Your Head At? Freema Agyeman". Torchwood Magazine. p. 60.
- 
- Davies, Russell T. Companion Piece, Doctor Who Magazine: Issue 373.
- Companion Piece, Doctor Who Magazine: Issue 373.
- "Get to know: Freema Agyeman - 3 Things to Know About 'The Carrie Diaries' Actress" Archived 12 October 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Clutch.
- "Doomsday!! Gaspode Chats Up The Director of WHO's Second-Season Finale!!". Ain't It Cool News. Retrieved 16 July 2008.
- "Meet Martha, an interview with Freema Agyeman", Doctor Who Magazine: Issue 372.
- "Press Office – Freema Agyeman is new companion to Doctor Who". BBC. Retrieved 29 March 2009.
- "Freema Agyeman — She walks in her own way", Doctor Who Magazine: Issue 398.
- Writer Russell T Davies, Director Charles Palmer, Producer Phil Collinson (31 March 2007). "Smith and Jones". Doctor Who. Cardiff. BBC. BBC One.
- "Doctor Who | Archived Headlines – June 2007". Eye of Horus. Retrieved 29 March 2009.
- "Doctor Who Wetworld audio CD review". Den of Geek. Retrieved 29 March 2009.
- "The UK Sci-Fi TV Book Guide: Forthcoming Releases". Homepage.ntlworld.com. Archived from the original on 26 January 2009. Retrieved 29 March 2009.
- "Doctor Who: New Adventures: WITH The Many Hands AND Martha in the Mirror AND Snowglobe 7 (Dr Who)". Amazon.co.uk. 9 October 2008. Retrieved 29 March 2009.
- "(UK) : Dan Abnett – Doctor Who: The Story of Martha (new reading) – Abridged Audiobook". Play.com. Archived from the original on 25 March 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
- "More Martha!". BBC Official Doctor Who site. 2 July 2007. Archived from the original on 18 July 2007. Retrieved 2 July 2007.
- "Outpost Gallifrey: Doctor Who RSS News Feed". Gallifreyone.com. 26 April 2008. Archived from the original on 5 July 2008. Retrieved 29 March 2009.
- McCabe, Joseph (19 February 2009). "Exclusive: Eve Myles and Director Euros Lyn Talk Torchwood Season 3!". Fearnet.com. Retrieved 22 February 2009.
- "Freema talks Doctor Who return". Digital Spy. 7 February 2008. Retrieved 8 February 2009.
- "Russell T. Davies talks Doctor Who & Torchwood". NJ.com. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
- Bizarre ER episode 1
- Bizarre ER episode 8
- "Three Programmes – Bizarre ER, Series 2, Episode 1". BBC. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
- "Proms – 27 July 2008". BBC. Retrieved 29 March 2009.
- Holmwood, Leigh (6 May 2008). "Jones to appear in BBC Dickens drama". Guardian. London. Retrieved 10 June 2008.
- "News | Spooks and Doctor Who stars invade Deal Castle". East Kent Mercury. 9 May 2008. Retrieved 29 March 2009.[dead link]
- "Press Office – Little Dorrit press pack: Freema Agyeman plays Tattycoram". BBC. 13 October 2008. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
- "Press Office – Cast announced for BBC One's Survivors". BBC. 30 May 2008. Retrieved 29 March 2009.
- "Doctor Who – News". BBC. 2 June 2008. Archived from the original on 8 January 2009. Retrieved 29 March 2009.
- "From Doc To Dock". People.co.uk. 13 July 2008. Retrieved 29 March 2009.
- http://www.itv.com/documents/doc/L&O%20PP.doc[dead link]
- Millar, Paul (24 August 2012). "'Law & Order: UK', 'Scott & Bailey', 'Vera' recommissioned by ITV". Digital Spy. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- Jeffrey, Morgan (5 March 2012). "'Doctor Who' star Freema Agyeman joins 'Sex and the City' prequel". Digital Spy. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
- Methven, Nicola (2 August 2012). "More stories: Veteran Jackanory star Bernard Cribbins to make a children's TV comeback". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
- Reiher, Andrea (3 February 2014). "Netflix's 'Sense8' details and a new comic from J. Michael Straczynski". Retrieved 22 July 2014.
- Andreeva, Nellie (20 June 2014). "Cast Set, Plot Revealed For Wachowskis' Netflix Globe-Spanning Series 'Sense8′". Deadline.com. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
- "Freema Wins at Glamour Women Awards 2007". Freema Agyeman.com. 5 June 2007. Archived from the original on 25 December 2008. Retrieved 29 March 2009.
- "Reginald Hudlin" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 March 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
- Day, Elizabeth (16 December 2007). "A dizzy year with the Doctor". Observer. London. Retrieved 10 June 2008.
- "On the Box guide to the British Soap Awards". webcache.googleusercontent.com. Archived from the original on 9 December 2012. Retrieved 29 March 2009.
- Kilkelly, Daniel. EastEnders wins three MVSA prizes, DigitalSpy.com, 6 November 2009.
- "Ria Hebden – The Screen Nation Awards for Scene TV". www.riahebden.com.
- "Freema Agyemann profile: Watch Shows: Watch – simply good TV". Uktv.co.uk. 7 November 2007. Archived from the original on 12 November 2007. Retrieved 29 March 2009.
- "Half Moon Shows On Tour: Previous Shows". Archived from the original on 6 February 2006. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
- "Twisted Roots". Pop-Up. Archived from the original on 27 December 2008. Retrieved 29 March 2009.
- "A fansite – Biography & Filmography". Freema Agyeman.com. Archived from the original on 23 February 2009. Retrieved 29 March 2009.
- "Lords and Ladies". Co.uk.lspace.org. Archived from the original on 28 February 2007. Retrieved 29 March 2009.
- "Apologia review – Stockard Channing induces sympathy for a monstrous matriarch". Guardian. 4 August 2017. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Freema Agyeman.|
- Freema Agyeman on IMDb
- Interview on The One Show (14 August 2006)
- Interview in The Times (16 February 2008)
- Survivors – Freema Agyeman (Jenny Collins) Press Pack at the BBC Press Office
- Little Dorrit – Freema Agyeman (Tattycoram) Press Pack at the BBC Press Office