Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall has praised comedian and actor John Bishop for “bringing a different flavour and a different humour” in his role as companion Dan in series 13 of the BBC sci-fi show.
Bishop was unveiled in a special teaser at the end of New Year’s special Revolution of the Daleks on January 1st and, according to the BBC, his character will become “embroiled in the Doctor’s adventures” in the now-filming series 13, where he’ll “quickly learn there’s more to the Universe(s) than he could ever believe”.
Explaining why he cast Bishop in the new series, Chibnall told Doctor Who Magazine: “I’ve always got my eye out for performers who are loved, and wondering how good they might be as actors. There’s such a great history of performers who start out as comedians transitioning into becoming terrific actors – the best example being Robbie Coltrane in Cracker. John’s somebody I’ve been keeping a beady eye on for years.
“He’s quietly built up a body of work, through working with people like Jimmy McGovern and Ken Loach, while also doing a dozen other things like stand-up, autobiography, interview shows, podcasts and travel documentaries.”
Chibnall revealed that Bishop was still required to audition for the role – a rigorous process that he “engaged with humbly”.
“As ever on Doctor Who, we put him through a rigorous multi-session audition process, which he engaged with brilliantly and humbly,” the Broadchurch creator continued. “John and his character bring a different flavour and a different humour to the show. We’re loving him in the rushes, and having him as part of the production.”
Speaking about the new series and Dan’s part in the show, Chibnall previously announced: “It’s time for the next chapter of Doctor Who, and it starts with a man called Dan. Oh, we’ve had to keep this one secret for a long, long time. Our conversations started with John even before the pandemic hit. The character of Dan was built for him, and it’s a joy to have him aboard the TARDIS.”
Doctor Who returns to BBC One in late 2021. Want something else to watch? Check out our full TV Guide.