With the news of John Bishop playing a new companion called Dan in the upcoming Doctor Who Series 13, Chris Chibnall has spoken about the decision over why he decided to cast Bishop and how he will bring a ‘new flavour’ to the show.
Announced following his appearance at the end of Revolution of the Daleks, the BBC explained that Dan will become embroiled in the Doctor’s adventures. He’ll quickly learn that there is more to the universe(s) than he could ever believe.
Chibnall later expanded on the BBC’s initial offerings:
“I’ve always got my eye out for performers who are loved, and wondering how good they might be as actors. There’s such a great history of performers who start out as comedians transitioning into becoming terrific actors – the best example being Robbie Coltrane in Cracker. John’s somebody I’ve been keeping a beady eye on for years.”
So it seems that Chibnall has a certain way of casting characters, looking at lesser known actors or personalities with little television acting experience. He also explained that he was pleased with how humbly Bishop undertook the audition process:
“As ever on Doctor Who, we put him through a rigorous multi-session audition process, which he engaged with brilliantly and humbly,”
Along with a ‘new flavour’, Bishop is apparently bringing a new sense of humour to the series. And watching the rushes, a part of the production process, Bishop has been entertaining everyone involved. Whether this new sense of humour is exactly the same as it ever was, or indeed something completely new and different, we’ll have to wait and see. But with Chibnall saying that Dan was written and created especially for Bishop, things seem to be promising something great.
As I’ve never seen John Bishop in anything – in fact, I’ve never found stand-up comedians funny – I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve seen the series. I remember thinking I wouldn’t enjoy Catherine Tate coming back as I wasn’t impressed by The Runaway Bride; luckily though, Donna is my favourite modern era companion. I really liked Matt Lucas as Nardole in Series 10 too. So I’m hoping that Chibnall’s promises about Bishop really don’t disappoint.