This December, the new regeneration of the Doctor will debut on the BBC’s long-running SF show, Doctor Who. The 13th Doctor will be a woman, played by Jodie Whittaker. In addition to a new Doctor, there will also be new Companions.
The BBC announced that Mandip Gill, Tosin Cole, and Bradley Walsh will be joining the classic SF show as Yasmin, Ryan, and Graham. Sharon D. Clarke will play a recurring role on the show, but the name of her character has not yet been revealed.
Mandip Gill, age 29, will be playing Yasmin. She previously appeared on Hollyoaks as Phoebe Jackson, on Doctors as Shazia Amin, and on The Good Karma Hospital as Padma Kholi. Metro News quoted her as saying:
I am over the moon to be joining the Doctor Who family. This is an iconic show with an amazing fanbase and I look forward to everything that brings. Certain roles seem unattainable and this is one of those, so much so I didn’t believe it to be true for the first few weeks. To be working alongside the likes of Jodie, Bradley and my old friend Tosin is thrilling. This show is worlds away from the work I’ve done previously and that’s the part that excites me the most.
Tosin Cole, who played X-Wing pilot Lt. Bastian in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, will be following in the footsteps of Dr. Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) and Mickey Smith (Noel Clarke) as one of the few Black Companions. He worked with Mandip Gill in Hollyoaks, where he played Neil Cooper. He also played Noah Achebe in The Cut, Sol Levi in Eastenders: E20, and Djimon Adomakoh in Inspector Lewis.
I’m grateful and excited to be a part of this journey with the team. I’m looking forward to jumping in this Doctor Who universe.
“Comic-turned-actor Bradley Walsh, star of Coronation Street, Law & Order: UK, and ITV game shows like The Chase and Cash Trapped,” has been rumored to be a Companion since August. Radio Times said, “Despite the unusual step of casting an older male Companion (in recent years the role has been almost exclusively played by younger actresses), in other ways Walsh seems a very plausible candidate for the role.” The Doctor has had male Companions before — Ian Chesterton, Ben Jackson, Jamie McCrimmon, Adric, Mickey Smith — although they have usually been far younger than him. Walsh is 57 to Whittaker’s 35, although of course the Doctor is centuries older than Graham. He once guest starred on the DW spinoff The Sarah Jane Adventures as the Pied Piper. Walsh, himself a lifelong Doctor Who fan, said:
I remember watching William Hartnell as the First Doctor. Black and white made it very scary for a youngster like myself. I was petrified, but even though I’d watch most of it from behind the sofa through my fingers, I became a fan….Am I thrilled to be part of this whole ground breaking new dawn for The Doctor? Oh yes!
Sharon D. Clarke, best known for her work on Holby City, will have a recurring role. Fans are already speculating whether she will play a new regeneration of the Rani or Romana, or possibly Ryan’s mum.
With a female Doctor, and Yasmin and Ryan as Companions, as well as Sharon D. Clarke as a recurring guest, the 11th season will offer us a much more diverse Doctor Who. The new season will not premiere until autumn of 2018, although the Doctor herself will make her debut in the annual Christmas special. What do you think of the new Doctor and her Companions? Let us know in the comments section below.
Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as short stories in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, “Supernatural Colorado”, “Barbarian Crowns”, “Cat Tails””Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions, Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.