While the world has been swept up in news that Ncuti Gatwa will be playing the next Doctor, and that David Tennant and Catherine Tate are both returning for the show’s 60th anniversary, many have overlooked the notion that we’ll also be getting a new TARDIS interior — so what do we actually know about the new console room?
Not much, admittedly, but one supposed insider claims that the latest makeover will make sure the TARDIS is wheelchair-friendly, which might just hint at who will appear in Doctor Who.
Said “insider” claims:
“These modifications aren’t just a sign of changing times, they’re also down to some of the characters who’ll feature on the show.
“Returning to the cast for the specials – which are set to air next year with David Tennant alongside Catherine Tate – will be wheelchair user Bernard Cribbins as Wilfred Mott.
“And there are rumours that disabled actress Ruth Madeley could also be joining the cast in the new shows after Jodie Whittaker has quit as the Doctor.”
We have seen Cribbins on location, in a wheelchair, so that’s no great shock… although it’s lovely that Wilfred Mott will once again be welcomed onto the TARDIS, as he was in The End of Time. As for Ruth Madeley appearing, that isn’t a surprise either; she’s already got links to the series via audio company Big Finish, and has worked with new showrunner, Russell T Davies, on Years and Years.
Understandably, some newspapers are making a big deal of this, and while it’s great that the TARDIS is becoming inclusive for disabled people too, you have to question the phrase “a sign of changing times”; every TARDIS from 20th Century Doctor Who was wheelchair-accessible. In fact, the first one I can think of that wasn’t… was actually the Ninth and Tenth Doctors’ control room, i.e. when Davies first came on board the series for 2005’s Series 1. “A sign of changing times” makes it sound like Doctor Who has been trailing behind, but that simply doesn’t ring true.
The insider also says that this TARDIS is huge, larger than ever before, which makes sense given the space reportedly on offer at Bad Wolf Studios.
And if you’d like to check that quote above again, note that it says “returning to the cast for the specials“, once more playing into the idea that there will be more than one episode celebrating Doctor Who‘s 60th anniversary.
Exciting times ahead…