In Depth

Doctor Who series 11: three new companions to join Jodie Whittaker

Bradley Walsh among newcomers making up ‘dream team’, while West End star Sharon D. Clarke cast in unspecified role

Jodie Whittaker Doctor Who

Take your bag off the seat and squidge up a bit – it’s about to get crowded in the Tardis. The 11th series of Doctor Who will see the Doctor joined by three companions on her odysseys through time and space, Radio Times reports.

Bradley Walsh, who presents teatime quiz The Chase and previously starred in the UK spinoff of US crime franchise Law and Order, will play a character named Graham in the forthcoming series.

“I remember watching William Hartnell as the first Doctor... I was petrified, but even though I’d watch most of it from behind the sofa through my fingers, I became a fan,” he told the BBC, saying he was “thrilled to be part of this whole ground-breaking new dawn” for the show.

Fan reaction to the casting of game show host Walsh as Whittaker’s right hand man was mixed:

Although some poked fun at the fuss:

Jodie Whittaker’s Time Lord – the first ever woman to take on the title role – will also be flanked by two more newcomers, to be played by Tosin Cole and Mandip Gill.

Leeds girl Gill, who played Phoebe Jackson in Hollyoaks from 2012 to 2015, said she was “over the moon” to be cast as Yasmin.

Rounding out the trio is fellow Hollyoaks alumnus Tosin Cole. The 25-year-old, who will be playing a character called Ryan on the show, also had a minor role as an X-wing pilot in Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015.

So far, no more details of the new companions have been released, but new head writer Chris Chibnall was confident that viewers would find plenty to enjoy from “three of Britain’s brightest talents”.

The bumped-up numbers will come in handy for the perils facing Whittaker’s Time Lord, according to Broadchurch scribe Chibnall, who has taken over showrunning duties from Steven Moffat. “The new Doctor is going to need new friends,” he said.

Whittaker, whose casting as the first female Doctor sparked a social media backlash and counter-backlash earlier this year, said the new companions were a “dream team”.

Also joining the cast is West End star Sharon D. Clarke, familiar to TV audiences as Holby City’s Lola Griffin. Clarke will have an unspecified recurring role in series 11, which will be broadcast in ten 50-minute episodes next autumn.

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