Doctor Who’s Mandip Gill ‘could not stop crying’ during emotional Rosa Parks episode

Mandip Gill, who plays Yaz Khan, has opened up about filming the historical episode

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Doctor Who star Mandip Gill has spoken about the emotion she felt while filming Doctor Who series 11 episode Rosa.

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Documenting the story of when civil rights activist Rosa Parks (played by Vinette Robinson) refused to offer her seat on a bus, the BBC1 sci-fi drama was praised for not shying away from depicting the racism that fuelled the civil rights movement in 1950s America.

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Gill, who plays one of the Doctor’s companions, Yaz Khan, has opened up on her role in the highly emotional episode.

Responding to a viewer in a Reddit Ask Me Anything thread, the 30-year-old said the historical episode was ‘tough’ to film.

“You know the scene when we’re in the bus? I kept crying. I kept looking back at Vinette [Robinson, who played Rosa Parks in the episode]. I didn’t want Yaz to be crying in that moment that goes on to change history.

“I could not look at Vinette without crying. It just felt so real. The supporting artists were so brilliant and the set was amazing. I just couldn’t stop crying.”

Rosa will not be Jodie Whittaker’s only foray into historical happenings, with the sixth episode of the 11th series, titled Demons of the Punjab, set during the partition of India.

The episode will focus on Yaz, who uses the Tardis to visit her grandmother in India during the volatile time period.

“There’s another episode which is historical, which I’m really excited about,” Gill said during the Reddit Q&A. “I am genuinely excited on a Sunday, what I’m tweeting is real. I can’t wait to see what it looks like.”

But as well as highly emotional moments on screen, Gill also explains that her co-stars Jodie Whittaker, Tosin Cole and Bradley Walsh still have plenty of fun while filming.

“The most memorable thing that happened behind the scenes was when Bradley threw himself down eight wooden steps. He properly set it up and he often trips up to entertain us. He really tries to make us laugh.

Doctor Who cast (Getty, EH)

“He’s really good at it, and he rolled down eight wooden steps and then he laid at the bottom of the steps and said ‘Anybody want a cup of tea?’”

Let’s hope they got the custard creams in as well.

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Doctor Who continues Sunday at 7pm on BBC1


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