Doctor Who’s New Companion Announced

Published 6 years ago by , Updated August 22nd, 2013 at 4:49 pm,

doctor who logo Doctor Whos New Companion Announced

As the next Doctor Who season fast approaches, casting has been taking place and that casting has been met with some trepidation as far as the 26-year-old Matt Smith playing the good Doctor goes.

But I digress.

Rather than chat about the good Doctor Who, let’s talk about the newest actress to be cast in the upcoming fifth season as the good Doctor’s assistant, or companion, the 21-year-old Karen Gillan.

Karen has guest starred on Doctor Who in the past, in the episode titled “Fires Of Pompei” last season.

karen gillan 000 Doctor Whos New Companion Announced

She’s also appeared in other British shows such as Rebus, Harley Street, Coming Up, The Kevin Bishop Show, Stacked and New Town Killers.

She doesn’t have extensive work experience but does hail from Inverness.  At 16 she started to study at Edinburgh’s Telford College and moved on to Italia Conti Drama School in London.

The role of the Doctor’s Companion will be her first high profile role and one I’m sure could come under a lot of criticism. As it stands, the usual media spin from the creative forces behind Doctor Who are sounding all agog about her.

Head of Drama, BBC Wales, Piers Wenger said she that “When she auditioned alongside Matt we knew we had something special.

Steven Moffat, the writer and exec producer note that when she walked through the door, the game was up.  I did find it humorous how he described her.

“…funny, and clever, and gorgeous, and sexy. Or Scottish, which is the quick way of saying it”.

Just How Young Is This Dr. Who Cast Getting?

Karen Gillan is 21 and she looks rather young and if you asked me right now, I’d say the casting trend would seem to be leaning towards a younger demographic of an audience.  Or are they worried that a better known face in the assistant role might overshadow their new young Doctor?

On one hand, as some of you have noted in other places here on Screen Rant, this trend could be alienating an installed core audience who have grown up or managed to watch most or all of the previous incarnations of the Doctor Who.  Face it,  Doctor Who is the longest running science fiction program in history. At this point, we expect a certain amount of experience or wisdom that might come from an ages old Time Lord and a long running television show.

But I can’t help but wonder just how much younger the cast may get.  At this point, some may say that the Doctor Who comic book translation may not be all that bad compared to the casting that’s going on.

From my own personal experience, I’ve dissed new things and have been sadly mistaken or surprised.  With that note, I’m reserving my judgment until I see something to judge.

At least we’ll get a little more of the Doctor Who we like as David Tennant has a 2-episode guest stint on The Sarah Jane Adventures.

I have a feeling I know, but go ahead, lay it on me.  How do you feel about this new bit of casting news?

Source:  BBC News

TAGS: Doctor who
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  1. I’ve been very pleased with the current take on Doctor Who, and I’m a long-time fan of the series. I remember staying up really late on Saturday nights to catch episodes on PBS back in the eighties. The writing on some of the new series’ episodes just rock. Much as I’ve enjoyed David Tennant, I’m willing to give the new guy who’s shot. Frankly, I’ve been surprised the series hasn’t really tried to rock people and cast a woman in the role. Much as he changes from regeneration-to-regeneration, isn’t it entirely possible?

  2. I’m stoked. The best episodes of the new series have been those where Steven Moffat has been involved – Blink etc. More precisely the really good ones by enlarge (I’m not an absolutist) are those where Russell T. Davies was NOT INVOLVED.

    For example Blink epitomizes the kind of Top Tier Dr. Who we get from Moffat, the kind that hearken back to the first 4 doctors (i.e. pre 1980) – sorry the final season of T. Baker was the beginning end of the first era. In the 80′s the plots became ever more laughable, no longer serious, let alone scary (again save a few minor gems). The doctor became a clown… We know it’s true (again with a few minor gems). If you look at most (not all) of RTDs episodes they have over the top plots, are usually out of left field, not to be taken seriously. They are the 1980′s all over again. We only forgive him because he quenched the thirst we all had for the good old Doctor. They are the same style of episodes that brought the series down in the late 80′s. Once again under the helm of another Davies… cooincidence!!!???

    Don’t get me wrong, RTD has had a few gems but that’s it. I am eternally grateful for him returning the series and creating Torchwood, but now it’s high time to move on. His style really works for Torchwood, but not Dr. Who. Had he remained with the show, Dr. Who would eventually turned into the 1980′s all over again. 4 more years of RTD and the 2nd era would have ended…

    In a nutshell I’m happy to see S Moffat take over. I only lament we didn’t get more of D Tennant under Moffat and a companion by the name of Sally Sparrow, but I think this Matt Smith bloke will work out great. From what I hear, he has David’s energy and evokes both Tom Baker as well as Jon Pertwee.

  3. I absolutely adore David Tenant as the Doctor, but, they wouldn’t cast this Matt Smith bloke if he wasn’t “alien” enough. Let’s wait and see.

  4. I’m glad to see some positive takes on the new casting of next season’s Doctor Who.

    Open mind now… we can grumble later a few episodes in if the pudding is not to our liking!

  5. I think she will be jocular. I loved David Tennant. He was my favourite but this Matthew Smith dude seems cool and I hope this girl will be a good companion but no one can do better then Billie Piper.
    Also, I think it is better that they are making them younger because it is getting more interesting and David Tennant is like 40 isnt he? But he looks younger.

    They would’nt of casted Matt Smith if he wasn’t a good actor but some of these recent episodes from season 5 and 3 have been a bit hard to follow and a little over-board. I didn’t really like Martha Jones because the writing for the episodes were stupid but Series 2 was my favourite. I really wish Billie Piper would be the full time companion. But now she cant. Oh ew.

  6. went will doctor who be back i like it

  7. Before anyone passes judgment on this new doctor we should give him a chance. After the brilliance of season one, when we first saw Tennant my mother said he looked too weedy and useless to be the doctor. She changed her opinion fast after his first episode.
    The doctor is a difficult yet awesome role to play. Your physical appearance doesn’t really matter. Any man can play the doctor. What you need is that essence of owning the scene, of eccentricity, of alien-ness. This is where the talent matters.

    I like this new companion. Something about her seems charming.

    As to the doctor being a woman: NO. There are female time lords and male time lords. Imagine how stupid it would be to turn time lords into androgynous colourless characters.
    On a related note there seems to be a trend in real life of getting rid of sex distinctions and reforming people into androgynous beings. Sexuality is what makes life interesting. I love women for being women. Not for being some sort of pseudo-man. Its part of embracing and enjoying life. Don’t bring this denial of life’s beauty into something as great as Doctor Who.

    Finally, there already exists the possibility for a female time lord. The doctor’s daughter from the fourth season should have a spin off of her own.

  8. 2 ginger companions in a row? EWWWWWWWWWWWWW!

  9. To be honest,I wonder what the show is going to be like after DT leaves…. I just cant see those 2 new people in it, but again i guess we have to reserve judgement until the series kicks off next year

  10. And no disrespect to Karen, but my favorite companion has to be Billie Piper as Rose, she was amazing, and really clicked well with DT, they were perfect on the screen, and made doctor who worth watching.

    I too wish that DT was appearing in the new series, because Blink that SM wrote was awesome, and it would be brilliant to see what he could do for DT, but sadly we arent going to get that chance :(

  11. Hmm, I guess I’ll reserve judgement for when I actually see them together on screen. As a hard-core David Tennant fan I suppose I’m bound to dislike these newbies at first, but I’m willing to see what they make of the show. I agree that Stephen Moffat is a fantastic writer and I’m definitely looking forward to whatever stories he’s cooking up, even if I miss David when I see Matt in the role, as I undoubtedly will :)
    As for this companion lass, I’ve got nothing against her as long as they don’t make her into another Martha (“Oh, Doctor, I luuuuuuuurve you!”) and don’t try to replace Donna or Rose by making her too similar to either of them; they’re pretty irreplaceable in my mind :) She has to be a completely new character – that means no love interest and no copying what’s gone before!!
    Wow, the show’s gonna be completely different by the time 2010 rolls round, isn’t it? And just when I was getting to love the one we had so much! I’m way too young to remember any of the original Doctor Who series (only 15 – I feel like a bit of a baby in this fandom!) but to me David Tennant has to be the best Doctor ever. He’s gonna be hard to replace, and I already dislike Matt Smith’s hair lol :)
    I can still watch the DVDs if I don’t like the new series, anyway :)


  12. I think this new companion will have a some hard acts to follow, considering that rose,martha and donna were so great, but i hope she will pull it off, and I am very optimistic about this companion. she looks right for the role and looks super-sexy! i am sure she will make a great companion.

  13. She’s an intersting choice, but I really want to see her acting. When I see her acting, then I’ll probably think she’ll be perfect, kinda like I did with Matt Smith (that was pretty much my only reasons for watching Ruby In The Smoke and The Shadow In The North).

    I wonder what they’ll be like thogether? I heard some rumor though that this Doctor will be darker and he’ll be travelling with a couple. Maybe that’s false.

  14. i’m looking forward to season 5 though i think david tennant is fantastic and pehaps should have stayed one more season but thats life.
    i’m also glad that ms piper is not going to be appearing in my opinion she should have been exterminated last time there have been far better companions than rose

  15. She’s pretty but doesn’t the UK have any child labor laws? She looks to be about 15.

  16. I’m going to try and stay open-minded about the new cast. As long as the writing is up to snuff and they stay true to the essence of The Doctor, I should not have a problem with it. HOWEVER, if they did this casting to get all “90210″ with the Doctor, then I will have a REAL problem with that.

  17. She’ll do fine,,,

    BBC has a head of drama ??? That’s funny…

  18. Andy S, you shouldn’t worry. Do you remember who’s overseeing the next season? I think we are in very capable hands.

    Speaking from a teenager’s perspective, I do like the younger companions but I love Donna all the same. I just could relate to Rose a bit more than I could with Martha or Donna.

  19. The only time I’ve felt they failed was with Martha’s run in Season 3, and it was more because of the low quality of writing (except for the superb Blink) in that Season than it was her casting. Face it, the crew on Doctor Who knows what they’re doing. Even if the Doctor and his companion were teenagers it’d still make for a fantastic hour of television. Have faith and let them do their job before you start whining, at the very least. Remember when everyone was dissing Catherine Tate? Then she came into Season 4 and blew even her most vocal critics away. This girl did fine in The Fires of Pompeii, I’m sure she’ll do even better as a companion. She might not be a Rose or a Donna, but she still has a chance to easily top Martha.

  20. By the way, before employing any more ageism (that’s right, just like racism, it goes both ways), check this post with 10 companions that were younger than Karen:

  21. @Matt… Thanks for posting that link. That is a major blast from the past. It really is amazing all the different personalities they’ve managed to partner with the Doctor.

  22. The choice seems a bit pedestrian and predictable to me. Not exactly cutting edge, is it?

    In the UK we have a big mix of racial diversity with a high population of Indians, Pakistanis, Eastern Europeans, Chinese etc. The BBC seem to be patting themselves on the back because Moffatt’s choice of companion is Scottish! Well – way-to-go!!!!

    …Mind you he’s alienated half the audience and two thirds of the long-term fan base with his casting of Matt Smith, so p’raps he’s just running scared.

  23. In my humble opinion both Matt Smith and Karen Gillan seem to quite have “The Look” for both an interesting Doctor and an extremely exciting and energetic companion. I was born 4 years before William Hartnel filmed his first episode. Being from the states I was not exposed to any of the series until the early 80s saw PBS begin broadcasting the series. From its beginning to the current era it seems as though The Doctor, somewhat in the way I believe the great Merlin of Arthurian Legend became ever younger as he progressed forward chronologically. Up until the regeneration of Tom Baker, The Good Doctor’s becoming younger with each regeneration have made the show even that much more quirky and cool. Personally I can’t wait to see what this new, younger Doctor Who will be like, he does seem to put off something of a dark “aura” if I may wax metaphysical. And for David Tennant and Ms. Billie Piper you were both a very awesome and interesting time.

  24. How exciting! As a fan of Doctor Who for many years (I’m embarassed to say how many) I think the enduring charm of this show is its ability to constantly surprise and challenge its audience.

    The stories are what drives the show. Whoever The Doctor or his companion/s is/are I know it will never be boring! I would love to meet Charlie Chaplin with the Doctor, by the way, and if this is a future story, how cool would that be?

  25. I prefer Martha over any of the other recent
    companions, but the writing of most of the
    episodes with her was indeed horrible.
    The character and the actress both deserved much better.
    Rose would be my very-close-second choice.

    Of the recent actors, I like Tennant best.
    While I give all a fair chance, I doubt this
    new guy will be anything special. We shall see.

  26. I think it is a shame that the current media trend is for younger and younger actors. We are an ageing population yet we seem to dislike older people or think that youth equals success. For those who don’t remember the earlier series: William Hartnell was in his sixties when he played the Doctor; his early successors were not much younger. But they solved their problems through presence, through brains, through intellect, through cleverness – not through leaping around and looking bug-eyed. Eccleston had screen presence, but sadly not Tennant and certainly not Matt Smith.

    I agree with the comments above: budgetary restrictions and a wish by the producers to turn Dr Who into a kiddies program will kill it.

  27. Im sorry for those who might no agreee with me but. I think that Russel T Divies was the greatest writer of our time. And that David Tennant is and will forever be the greatest doctor ever. I think that matt smith is wayyy to young to be the doctor, I like the new companion though she is too young as well. I would like to see the others return at some points in the new series though, such as martha, mikey, sarah, and jack. I hope they do show up some times. And I just hope they dont dont change everything like the Tardis i think it is perfect as it is!

  28. She is sexy and I would have sex with her all day everyday. Gingers are awsome