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John Bishop: “Doctor Who Is One of the Best Things I’ve Done”

It’s a fact that’s largely been going under the radar, but in the next series of Doctor Who (a 6-part run named Flux), we’ll meet a new companion: Dan Lewis, played by Liverpudlian comedian, John Bishop.

So how did Bishop feel joining Jodie Whittaker (the Thirteenth Doctor) and Mandip Gill (Yasmin Khan) for Doctor Who Series 13? Let’s find out…

What did it mean when you got the call to be a part of Doctor Who?

It meant I could get out of the house and not be stuck in with COVID (laughs)! I’ll be honest, I don’t know how big an impact this will have on my life or anything like that as it’s not come out yet, but as a life experience, it’s one of the best things that I’ve done since I’ve managed to get into this world of show business. I genuinely feel I’ve learned a lot and I genuinely feel I’ve made good friends, and I didn’t think that I’d come away with that. 

What are the main differences to being in Doctor Who and your role as a stand-up?

The longevity, the fact you spend so much time with them, you genuinely create bonds with people. And the fact you’re part of a team. Most of what I do is me, or “The John Bishop Show”- me on the stage on my own or leading something on my own. For this I was part of something, and I wasn’t the most important part which was good! It many respects the actors themselves are not the most important thing, there are so many other things that happen before that camera gets turned on and  I came away with that appreciation for the skill of so many others. 

How has the response been from fans so far? 

So far it’s been positive but they haven’t met [Dan] yet! I think for me I have been given a glimpse that once you’re in Doctor Who, you’re fixed in time in the eyes of a lot of people because they’ll come to it at different times in their lives and at different ages.

And so of all the things I’ve ever done it might be the thing that lasts the longest. 

Can you tell us a bit about Dan and what you liked most about him? 

I liked his humility, his willingness to help people, when we first start off he is working in a food bank. I liked his vulnerability, he’s not really lucky in love, I liked his caring nature because he cares deeply for the Doctor and Yaz and wants them to be happy. I liked his sense of what’s right and what’s wrong. He’s really prepared to stand up to those who are doing something wrong. 

How did you enjoy working with this year’s guest actors? 

I loved spending time with Jacob Anderson, Kevin McNally was great – it’s like a masterclass all the time with Kevin. Paul [Broughton] and Sue [Jenkins], I had a few scenes with them and it was absolutely brilliant watching them work. During one scene, I had to remind myself they were acting!  

Why should audiences tune into Series 13 and can you sum it up in three words?

Fast, energetic, and heartfelt.

Flux: The Halloween Apocalypse airs on BBC One at 6:25pm on Sunday October 31st 2021.

Philip Bates

Editor and co-founder of the Doctor Who Companion. When he’s not watching television, reading books ‘n’ Marvel comics, listening to The Killers, and obsessing over script ideas, Philip Bates pretends to be a freelance writer. He enjoys collecting everything. Writer of The Black Archive: The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang, The Silver Archive: The Stone Tape, and 100 Objects of Doctor Who.

John Bishop: “Doctor Who Is One of the Best Things I’ve Done”

by Philip Bates time to read: 2 min
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