You didn’t think it would just be The Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) and Yaz (Mandip Gill) in the TARDIS next season, did you?
As revealed at the end of the New Year’s Day special, “Revolution of the Daleks,” comedian John Bishop has joined the cast of Doctor Who as “Dan.” According to The BBC’s press release, Dan will “quickly learn there’s more to the Universe(s) than he could ever believe. Travelling through Space and Time alongside the Doctor and Yaz, he’ll face evil alien races beyond his wildest nightmares.” Little else is known about the character at this time.
Bishop’s reveal was disappointing to a segment of fans hoping the thirteenth season would return to the one-companion format of previous Doctors. Until “Revolution of the Daleks,” the Thirteenth Doctor (Whittaker) traveled with Yaz, Ryan (Tosin Cole) and Graham (Bradley Walsh). The four major characters mimicked the original TARDIS roster in 1963, but also mirrored the problems in trying to write for that large a main cast. Beyond the hope of giving both Gill and Yaz more screentime, some fans were hoping the show would follow-up on Yaz’s apparent romantic interest in The Doctor.
Of course, that could still be in play, particularly after Captain Jack (John Barrowman) re-framed Yaz’s intense feelings for The Doctor. But Dan could prove to be a spoiler in that regard. Or, considering how wacky this era of Doctor Who has been, he could be another manifestation of the Doctor from their previous life. Or, perhaps, the next Doctor.
Indeed, with Whittaker filming her third season as the program’s star, the British tabloids have already reported the upcoming season will be her last. That’s certainly possible — actors tend to last three years in the role with Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, and David Tennant as outliers. Sadly, her departure at this point would mean she is one of the shortest-lived Doctors thanks to executive producer Chris Chibnall‘s decision to cut back on episodes from the customary thirteen down to just eight (allegedly) for the upcoming year. Whittaker’s previous seasons also ran short. We hope she stick around for at least one more season to bulk up her total number of episodes before she inevitably regenerates.
Doctor Who is slated to return later in 2021.