A few months ago Doctor Who fans were treated to a big release of information about the series, with the BBC unveiling a new team of characters played by Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole, Mandip Gill and Sharon D Clarke as the crew set to be a “Tardis team” for Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor.
Since then, though, we’ve learned very little about those characters. We know some of their their names – Walsh is Graham, Cole is Ryan and Gill is Yasmin – but not anything else about them, including how they’re connected to one another, if at all.
But now that’s all changing thanks to Sharon D Clarke, who has revealed in an interview that her as-yet-unnamed recurring character is actually pretty close to one of the other lead characters. For better or for worse, you might say…
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“I am a human, and Bradley Walsh is my husband, and he’s human, and I think that’s about as much as I can tell you,” Clarke said on Radio 4’s Loose Ends, shortly before fellow guest Lee Mack also revealed he has a part in the new series.
“I’m not sure if I can even tell you that, to be honest! I might have to kill you.”
This intriguing development ties in with RadioTimes.com sources who say that “family” is the watchword for new showrunner Chris Chibnall’s take on the series, and also suggests that the younger actors Cole and Gill could also have a familial connection to Walsh’s Graham. Adopted children, maybe, or from previous relationships?
“The first Doctor played by William Hartnell was a grandfather to Susan and he had the companions Ian and Barbara in these early adventures,” a source said last month.
“Chris’s show will be very much its own thing but that is kind of the vibe.”
And given that Clarke seems to be staying behind on Earth while the team have their adventures in time and space (press materials suggest she isn’t travelling in the Tardis with the others), we’d say she could be the source of some conflict for Whittaker’s Doctor and her crew, perhaps unhappy to have members of her family zipping off around the galaxy.
In real life, though, Clarke couldn’t be happier to be working with Whittaker’s Doctor, with the actor and singer paying tribute to the Broadchurch star during her interview.
“Jodie is phenomenal. She’s just joy, absolutely joy. She’s gonna slay it,” Clarke told host Clive Anderson.
“And what’s lovely about Jodie […] because she always plays these kind of dour characters who are downtrodden, [is to play] someone who’s up and hopeful and fighting crime – she’s just bouncing around the set.
“She’s definitely earning those two hearts that the Doctor has,” Clarke concluded. “She’s wonderful, I absolutely adore her.”
Sounds like we’ve got plenty to look forward to when the series finally returns later this year.
The BBC declined to comment for this story.
Doctor Who returns to BBC1 this autumn