Jodie Whittaker's 13th Doctor has been joined by three new companions for season 11 of Doctor Who. The long-running science fiction show is shaking things up adding not only a new, female Doctor, but new cast members, a new TARDIS design, and a new showrunner as well. Chris Chibnall (Broadchurch) is stepping in to replace longtime showrunner and writer Stephen Moffat who started in the position in 2010 when he replaced Russell T. Davies.
Whittaker's Doctor is taking over for the 12th Doctor played by Peter Capaldi. The regeneration will take place in this year's Christmas special, 'Twice Upon A Time', which will also feature the First Doctor played by David Bradley. Regenerations are always full of mixed emotions as fans bid a sad farewell to old favorites and excitedly welcome new characters into the show and this looks to be no different.
BBC announced that Whittaker's Doctor will be joined by three new companions for season 11. "The new Doctor is going to need new friends", said Chibnall. These friends will be played by Bradley Walsh as Graham, Tosin Cole as Ryan, and Mandip Gill as Yasmin. Also joining the series in a returning role is Sharon D. Clarke.
Walsh was rumored to be the Doctor's new companion for a few months and now his casting is finally confirmed. He has experience with Doctor Who, previously appearing in a couple of episodes of The Sarah Jane Adventures. He is also the presenter of the game show The Chase and previously worked with Chibnall on Law & Order: UK. Both Cole and Gill starred in the soapy British series Hollyoaks. Having worked together in the past is sure to make things easier for both actors in joining such an iconic show and establishing chemistry. Cole also had a small role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Clarke for her part is best known for her role in the medical drama Holby City.
Having a group of companions isn't unusual. Capaldi himself had two: Bill (Pearl Mackie) and Nardole (Matt Lucas) and so did Matt Smith's 11th Doctor with Amy (Karen Gillan) and Rory (Arthur Darvill). More companions means more room for banter and bickering -- something that comes with the territory of traveling with the Doctor. And it's nice to see a mix of male and female companions of different ages and races. Doctor Who has all different kinds of fans all around the world and it is nice if they can see themselves in the Doctor's adventures.
The new season of Doctor Who will begin in fall of 2018 with a feature-length premiere episode. Season 11 will consist of only 10 episodes (past seasons had 12) each with a runtime of 50 minutes -- a little shorter than previously reported. Slightly longer episodes and shorter seasons could help tighten Doctor Who will still allow for the storytelling and fun adventures that have made this show an institution for so many years.
Doctor Who season 11 premieres sometime in fall 2018 on BBC America.