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Why Allie Rajan From CSI: Vegas Looks So Familiar

The "CSI' franchise on CBS has been entertaining viewers for more than 20 years. Even though the show that started it all — "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" — ended in 2015, it spawned numerous spinoff series, including "CSI: Miami" and "CSI: NY," gifting viewers with a slew of diverse characters across multiple storylines. Sometimes, though, there's just no beating the originals, and when "CSI: Vegas" premiered in 2021, fans were excited to see the original series' stars William Peterson (Grissom) and Jorja Fox (Sara) return to lead an all-new cast. Even though the show was originally marketed as a limited run spin-off, it was recently renewed for a second season (per Deadline). That means fans of "Vegas" can expect to see more of their favorite characters, including Allie Rajan, who is played by Mandeep Dhillon.

If the newest Level 2 crime scene investigator looks familiar to you, it's for good reason. Dhillon has starred in some other popular franchises, as we'll detail below.

Mandeep Dhillon is no stranger to British audiences

Born in Hertfordshire, England, actor Mandeep Dhillon got her start with small roles in British productions, including the TV series "Whitechapel." She was a series regular in the 2012 BBC dramedy "Some Girls," playing a sarcastic high schooler struggling to live up the standards set by her strict Indian family. In 2015, she told The Glass Magazine her role as Saz on the show was the one she'd enjoyed the most. "She's the character people stop me in the street for, they seem to relate to her so much, and I didn't expect that at all," she said.

Dhillon was also a regular on the British shows "Fried," "Hospital People," and "Bulletproof," but she won new fans for her role in the BBC thriller "The City and the City" opposite David Morrissey. The four-part limited series was based on China Miéville's genre-bending 2009 novel of the same name, and Dhillon played a foul-mouthed police inspector investigating the murder of a college student from a neighboring community. 

In 2014, Dhillon got a taste of working in an American production when she landed the supporting role of Chell in the Kiefer Sutherland drama "24: Live Another Day." She played a hacker and member of the Open Cell organization who looked up to Chloe O'Brian (played by Mary Lynn Rajskub). The character was killed in the last episode of the revival series, but many fans of the "24" franchise on Reddit felt the season was "one of the finest seasons they've ever done."

Mandeep Dhillon also snagged some sci-fi appearances

Mandeep Dhillon also had a small role in a huge movie: "Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker." As Lieutenant Garan, she served in the First Order during its war against the Resistance. Her character was stationed aboard a destroyer as a security officer, working alongside Supreme Council members Allegiant General Enric Pryde (Richard E. Grant) and General Armitage Hux (Domnhall Gleeson). Lt. Garan witnessed Hux's death after Pryde discovered the general was assisting the Resistance. 

The role in the Star Wars film wasn't Dhillon's only appearance in a popular science fiction franchise. In the horror-themed episode of "Doctor Who" titled "Knock Knock," her role was much more substantial. She played Shireen, a friend of the 12th Doctor's (Peter Capaldi) companion, Bill (Pearl Mackie). The two go in search of a rental home they can afford on a student's budget, only to find one haunted by the spirit of a young woman turned into a tree. While she survived the episode, her character hasn't yet made another appearance on the long-running BBC series and likely won't, considering a new Doctor and companions have appeared.

Mandeep Dhillon is also a regular on After Life

If you enjoy dark comedy and binging Netflix series, you probably recognize Mandeep Dhillon from her role in "After Life," starring Ricky Gervais. As Sandy, she was a fan favorite supporting character to Tony (Gervais), a severely depressed man struggling to find meaning in life after the death of his wife. In the first season, Tony was tasked with mentoring Sandy at the local newspaper where he works, but his negative attitude and penchant for rudeness made their relationship difficult, to say the least. By the second season, the two established something of a friendship, thanks largely to Sandy's warmth and patience. 

While fans loved Sandy's relationship with Tony, she was noticeably absent from Season 3. On Twitter, one user called her absence criminal, writing, "Still can't get over the fact that the therapist and Sandy weren't on Afterlife season 3." According to The Express, Gervais explained she was missing because of two factors — COVID-19 and a commitment Dhillon had "with this thing in America." 

That thing was most likely her role on "CSI: Vegas."