The next year is a good time to be a fan of Doctor Who, especially, it seems, of past characters.
Yasmin Finney, who is best known for Heartstopper, has joined the cast of the sci-fi series as Rose. (Billie Piper previously played a companion with the same name.) Finney is currently filming scenes that are due to air in 2023 to coincide with the show’s 60th anniversary, the BBC has announced.
“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,” Finney said in a statement. “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.”
The casting does lead to a couple big questions, namely, how will Doctor Who explain this Rose, if it is indeed the same Rose Tyler in some way? Last Piper’s Rose was seen — the actress returned for the 50th anniversary special as the face of the Moment, with a callback to Bad Wolf, which Rose became after looking into the heart of the TARDIS — she was on a parallel earth with the human form of the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant).
The statement from Russell T. Davies, returning as showrunner following Chris Chibnall’s departure, which is coming with Jodie Whittaker’s exit after the next special, doesn’t offer any clues, either: “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. We all fell in love with her in Heartstopper, one of those shows which changes the world — and now Yasmin can change the Whoniverse!”
Finney’s casting as Rose comes after it was announced that Ncuti Gatwa will be playing the 14th Doctor after Whittaker’s 13 regenerates and Tennant and Catherine Tate, who played the Tenth Doctor’s companion Donna until her memory of him had to be erased to save her life, will be returning in 2023 to coincide with the show’s 60th anniversary as well.