Could Jodie Whittaker’s TARDIS be about to get even roomier? After the latest episode of Doctor Who series 12, some fans would be forgiven for thinking that at least one of the current Doctor’s companions is set to leave the series, with Tosin Cole’s Ryan apparently getting a little tired of that time-travelling life.
“How long is this gonna last Yaz? Hanging out with the Doctor?” Ryan asks towards the end of the episode, after being called out by a friend for his absences.
“Is this our lives? Going from one place to the next, ignoring home. We’re getting older but without them. Missing out bits of their lives.”
“When we’re done, the Doctor can drop you off at whatever point you want though,” Mandip Gill’s Yaz says.
“Yeah but we’ll have changed,” replies Ryan. “They wouldn’t have. It’s like we’re living at different rates.”
Clearly, Ryan is dissatisfied with the current status quo – so could this mean he’ll leave Doctor Who at the end of the series? Well, it’s possible. Recently, Cole was cast in US courtroom drama 61st Street, playing a lead role in two eight-episode seasons.
This, along with some solo convention bookings after the finale of the current Doctor Who series has aired, has led some fans to believe that Cole is preparing to exit Doctor Who at the end of episode 10 – and Ryan’s new comments would appear to support that theory.
But will he be alone in leaving the TARDIS behind? Notably, Yaz also expressed some concern about leaving her family and her career behind in Sheffield in series 12's two-part opener Spyfall, and it could be that this new conversation with Ryan will inspire new doubts for her as well.
Gill hasn’t publicly booked any new work in the way that Cole has, but given how much of a unit their characters and Bradley Walsh’s Graham have been since they debuted, it’s not hard to imagine all three choosing to move on together after series 12’s last episode.
On the other hand, it’s eminently possible that even if Cole left Gill and Walsh would choose to stay on, possibly welcoming a new face to the TARDIS alongside them or continuing as a smaller team.
Currently, the BBC is remaining tight-lipped about the status of their cast, though it’s worth noting that only series lead Jodie Whittaker has explicitly confirmed she’ll be back for the currently-planned series 13.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, she said, "I'm doing another season. That might be a massive exclusive that I'm not supposed to say, but it's unhelpful for me to say [I don't know] because it would be a massive lie!"
As for the others, who knows? Perhaps the Doctor will need to find a new 'fam' sooner than we thought...
Doctor Who continues on BBC one at 7:10pm on Sundays