The BBC announced they cast a transgender actor named Yasmin Finney, a man who claims to be a woman, to play a character named Rose for the upcoming series that is being crafted by showrunner Russell T. Davies.
In a blog post announcing the casting, The BBC detailed Finney, who plays Elle Argent on Netflix’s Hearstopper, is “playing the character of Rose and is filming scenes that are due to air in 2023 to coincide with the show’s 60th anniversary.”
It’s unclear if Finney’s character is related to Billie Piper’s Rose Tyler, who was a companion to the Ninth Doctor, or if it’s a completely original character.
On the casting Finney stated, “If anyone would have told 8 year old Yasmin that one day she’d be part of this iconic show, I would have never in a million years believed them.”
The actor added, “This show has a place in so many people’s hearts, so to be seen as a trans actress by the legend himself Russell, has not only made my year, it’s made my life. I cannot wait to begin this journey and for you all to see how Rose blossoms. Get Ready.”
Davies also stated, “Life on Doctor Who gets brighter and wilder, how can there be another Rose? You’ll find out in 2023, but it’s an absolute joy to welcome Yasmin to the Doctor Who set.”
He added, “We all fell in love with her in Heartstoppers, one of those shows which changes the world – and now Yasmin can change the Whoniverse!”
Finney’s casting follows in the wake of the casting of Sex Education’s Ncuti Gatwa as the new Doctor. The BBC announced on May 8th, “The BBC has today announced Ncuti Gatwa is the new Doctor set to take charge of the TARDIS.”
Gatwa reacted to the announcement saying, “There aren’t quite the words to describe how I’m feeling. A mix of deeply honoured, beyond excited and of course a little bit scared.”
“This role and show means so much to so many around the world, including myself, and each one of my incredibly talented predecessors has handled that unique responsibility and privilege with the utmost care. I will endeavour my utmost to do the same,” he continued.
Gatwa then stated, ” Russell T Davies is almost as iconic as the Doctor himself and being able to work with him is a dream come true. His writing is dynamic, exciting, incredibly intelligent and fizzing with danger. An actor’s metaphorical playground.”
“The entire team have been so welcoming and truly give their hearts to the show. And so as much as it’s daunting, I’m aware I’m joining a really supportive family. Unlike the Doctor, I may only have one heart but I am giving it all to this show,” he concluded.
Davies sang Gatwa’s praises saying, “The future is here and it’s Ncuti! Sometimes talent walks through the door and it’s so bright and bold and brilliant, I just stand back in awe and thank my lucky stars. Ncuti dazzled us, seized hold of the Doctor and owned those TARDIS keys in seconds.”
He added, “It’s an honour to work with him, and a hoot, I can’t wait to get started. I’m sure you’re dying to know more, but we’re rationing ourselves for now, with the wonderful Jodie’s epic finale yet to come. But I promise you, 2023 will be spectacular!”
Following Gatwa’s announcement, The BBC also announced taht both David Tennant and Catherine Tate would also be returning to Doctor Who and “are filming scenes that are due to air in 2023 to coincide with the show’s 60th anniversary celebrations.”
As noted by The BBC, Tennant’s 10th Doctor and Tate’s Donna parted ways with the Doctor wiping Donna’s memories and informing her family that if she remembers she will die.
That begs the question, what will happen when the two reencounter each other? Davies teases, “They’re back! And it looks impossible – first, we announce a new Doctor, and then an old Doctor, along with the wonderful Donna, what on earth is happening? Maybe this is a missing story. Or a parallel world. Or a dream, or a trick, or a flashback. The only thing I can confirm is that it’s going to be spectacular, as two of our greatest stars reunite for the battle of a lifetime.”
What do you make of this casting? Do you plan on tuning back into to Doctor Who after all the massive changes to the character’s origins done under previous showrunner Chris Chibnall?