Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies might just have revealed that trans star Yasmin Finney will have a longer stay in the Tardis than initially believed.
Hit British sci-fi series Doctor Who celebrates its 60th anniversary with three specials in November. David Tennant and Catherine Tate will reprise their iconic roles as the Doctor and companion Donna Noble. Alongside them, Finney, who shot to fame as Elle in Netflix’s Heartstopper, joins the cast as the mysterious Rose.
Although details of her role are still under wraps, many believe Finney will play Donna’s daughter, with her name serving as a nod to the Doctor’s hugely popular former companion Rose Tyler.
Although Finney will play a key role in the November specials – “The Star Beast”, “Wild Blue Yonder” and “The Giggle” – Rose’s fate when Ncuti Gatwa takes over as the resident gender-bending Time Lord over the festive period and into series 14 had remained up in the air. Until now.
Currently, we know Gatwa will be joined by Millie Gibson (Coronation Street) as companion Ruby Sunday. But in Davies’ series 14 production notes, featured in Doctor Who magazine issue 594, he hinted further at what’s to come.
“I stand at the back of the studio,” Davies wrote about wrapping up filming. “Millie catches my eye. We wave across the distance, but I don’t step in. They’re busy. Clock ticking. But around me, people are drawing in. Crew, office staff, actors. It’s been a week of goodbyes – Yasmin Finney wrapped a few days ago, big hugs, see you soon – but it all comes down to this. The last scene.”
Although Finney has mentioned working with Gatwa in the past, it is the first time Davies himself has confirmed she will play an extended role. Will she hop on board as a short-staying companion or play another part entirely?
In July, Finney spoke briefly to the Evening Standard about her time on set with Gatwa, calling it a magic experience for two Black actors to be sharing the screen.
“It was bound to happen, the universe was bound to connect the lines. We’re intertwined, and I think we complement each other so well. We see how privileged we are,” she added.
Finney joins a host of LGBTQ+ talent featured in the new episodes, including Neil Patrick Harris, Jonathan Groff and Jinkx Monsoon. And she is not the only trans actor either, with rising stars Mary Malone and Pete McHale also joining the cast.
Doctor Who returns on BBC One in November.