The more things change, the more they stay the same. As we’re stand on the eve of a new era of Doctor Who with Jodie Whittaker about to take the TARDIS crew off on new adventures, showrunner Chris Chibnall has been chatting about the make-up of the new companions…sorry, new friends.
Speaking to Digital Spy, Chibnall said each actor has been chose for a very deliberate reason:
“I love Doctor Who as a big, popular, mainstream, accessible show. So I wanted to make sure that every member of the audience felt they had a relatable character, an access point. Hopefully it means that the show can resonate with the broadest possible audience.”
However, in choosing three new companions, Ryan (Tosin Cole), Yaz (Mandip Gill) and Graham (Bradley Walsh), Chibnall has taken the show right back to the beginning.
“And of course, three companions with the Doctor… we’re really going back to 1963 – that’s the format of the show! You’re not changing the format, that’s how it started, really – which I only realised afterwards.”
As for the companions, Chibnall regards them more as “friends” most because “it feels more natural” than the formal companion although this is not “in no way a rule or edict from now on”.
Describing the different personalities that will be looking out for the Doctor, Yaz is “in absolute awe of the Doctor” and Ryan “challenges the Doctor from time to time, gets it right sometimes, but wrong a lot of the time”.
Speaking of Ryan, Cole himself told Digital Spy:
“Ryan’s 19, Yaz is 19, and then you’ve got Graham who’s the oldest of the bunch, so we’ve got different generations, different genders.”
While Gill added:
“People have an ‘in’, in three different ways. We all bring something different to the group, with gender, race, everything. And just the personalities of the three characters are very different.
“They each have a very individual voice, where I think certain people will be able to instantly relate to Bradley Walsh’s character, instantly relate to Tosin’s… and hopefully just love us all!”
You’ll be able to judge the new TARDIS crew when Doctor Who returns this autumn on BBC One.