Following on from the Doctor Who casting announcement of three new companions joining the show, the actors themselves have been discussing how it feels to join such an iconic show, and what they're looking forward to. It's all change for Doctor Who this Christmas, when Peter Capaldi will depart the TARDIS for good, and Jodie Whittaker will step in as the first female Doctor, and the thirteenth Time Lord. Showrunnner Steven Moffat will also leave the show, and Chris Chibnall- former Doctor Who writer- will step into his shoes.
It's already been revealed that season 11 won't air until fall, 2018, meaning fans are in for a long wait before we see Whittaker really getting the chance to make the character her own. Of course, as is Doctor Who tradition, she will need some companions along for the ride, and a recent casting announcement confirmed the long-held rumor that British presenter, comedian and actor, Bradley Walsh, will be joining Doctor Who playing the part of Graham. Also joining the cast is Tosin Cole as Ryan, and Mandip Gill as Yasmin. Joining the series in a returning role is Sharon D. Clarke.
Having three companions is certainly a shake-up to TARDIS tradition, though it has become a regular occurrence to see the Doctor traveling with a couple of others by his side; Capaldi had Bill and Nardole last season, while Matt Smith's Doctor had Amy and Rory. It will be interesting to see how a quartet fare roaming across time and space together, and how they will all interact.
Whittaker calls her new friends "the dream team," while Walsh has spoken about his long-held admiration for the show. At 57, he becomes the oldest person ever to be cast in a companion role. In a statement, Walsh 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. I then queued up for ages to get into the Carlton picture house in Watford to watch the great Peter Cushing appear as the Doctor in a full-length feature film made in glorious color. Am I thrilled to be part of this whole ground breaking new dawn for the Doctor?? Oh yes!”
Walsh's popularity with the British public will be a draw for many, and the actor has previously worked with Chibnall on Law & Order: U.K.. Although Cole and Gill are less well-known, they have both previously appeared in the U.K. soap, Hollyoaks, and their energy and enthusiasm should translate well to Doctor Who.
“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.”
Cole's statement was short and sweet, simply adding: "I'm grateful and excited to be a part of this journey with the team. I'm looking forward to jumping in this universe."
It's going to be a long time before we actually see how, or why these characters join Whittaker's Doctor in the TARDIS, but for a show that is in desperate need of an overhaul to keep viewers interested, Chibnall seems to be just what the Doctor ordered.
Doctor Who will return to BBC at some point in fall 2018.