New details of Doctor Who’s Rosa Parks episode have been revealed

But who’s trying to change history?

Rosa rosa rosa

It was recently confirmed that the new series of Doctor Who would include an episode about civil rights icon Rosa Parks, and now new billing details have emerged about the upcoming adventure for Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor.


Called “Rosa,” the episode (which airs on Sunday 21st October at 6.55pm) is written by acclaimed author Malorie Blackman with series showrunner Chris Chibnall, and from the official synopsis it sounds like the Tardis team could be dealing with another time-traveller in 1955 Alabama.

That synopsis, in case you were wondering, is below:

“If she can live here her whole life, a couple of hours ain’t gonna kill me. They ain’t gonna kill me, right?”  

Montgomery, Alabama. 1955. The Doctor and her friends find themselves in the Deep South of America.

As they encounter a seamstress by the name of Rosa Parks, they begin to wonder: is someone attempting to change history?

Guest starring Vinette Robinson and Josh Bowman. Written by Malorie Blackman and Chris Chibnall. Directed by Mark Tonderai.

The presence of Tonderai as director suggests that (as rumoured) the episode was filmed in South Africa along with the series’ second episode, The Ghost Monument.

Meanwhile, a new cast list confirms that Vinette Robinson (Sherlock, Black Mirror) is playing the titular Mrs Parks, while Josh Bowman – who was featured in a special trailer announcing the series’ guest actors) – is apparently set to play a figure called “Krasko”.

Other actors in the episode include Trevor White as James Blake, Ray Sesay as Martin Luther King, David Rubin as Raymond Parks, Gareth Marks as Police Officer Mason and Aki Omoshaybi as Fred Gray.

And now, as of Sunday 14th October, there’s also a trailer for the new episode, showing the Doctor and her pals try their best to defend history – and, by extension, Rosa herself – from a malevolent force.

As for how and why the Doctor and her friends end up in the 1950s is anyone’s guess – surely they’d be trying to get back to Sheffield? – but perhaps the note in the synopsis about someone “attempting to change history” is a clue as to why the Doctor steps in. Might she need to bring a rogue Time Lord (or Time Agent) to justice?

Anyway, to find out more we’ll just have to wait until the 21st October – but already, this sounds like a pretty cracking episode.

This article was originally published on Saturday 13th October.


Doctor Who continues on BBC1 on Sundays