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Doctor Who casts Heartstopper's Yasmin Finney as new 'Rose'

The up-and-coming actor will play a new character in the 60th anniversary story alongside Tennant and Catherine Tate – and she has a familiar name…

Yasmin Finney
Yellow Belly
Published: Monday, 16th May 2022 at 7:00 pm

The Doctor Who news just keeps coming.

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Fresh from the announcements of new Doctor Ncuti Gatwa and returning stars David Tennant and Catherine Tate, the BBC have announced another new addition to the BBC sci-fi drama: Heartstopper star Yasmin Finney.

According to the Beeb, the 18-year-old Finney – who recently came to prominence playing trans character Elle Argent in the romantic Netflix drama – will be a part of the 60th anniversary celebrations alongside Tennant and Tate.

More intriguing still? She’s playing a character called Rose. And it’s safe to say that returning showrunner Russell T Davies is aware of the name’s significance.

"If anyone would have told 8-year-old Yasmin that one day she’d be part of this iconic show, I would have never in a million years believed them," Finney said of the news.

"This show has a place in so many people’s hearts, so to be seen as a trans actress by the legend himself Russell, has not only made my year, it’s made my life. I cannot wait to begin this journey and for you all to see how Rose blossoms. Get Ready."

Davies added: "Life on Doctor Who gets brighter and wilder, how can there be another Rose? You’ll find out in 2023, but it’s an absolute joy to welcome Yasmin to the Doctor Who set.

"We all fell in love with her in Heartstopper, one of those shows which changes the world - and now Yasmin can change the Whoniverse!"

Of course, ‘Rose’ is a particularly evocative name in the world of Doctor Who, especially when considering the involvement of Davies and Tennant. First of all, it’s the name of Billie Piper’s longstanding and still-beloved series companion, who starred alongside Tennant and Christopher Eccleston to relaunch Doctor Who back in 2005 (and returned for the last major anniversary in 2013).

Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) and Rose (Billie Piper) in Doctor Who
Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) and Rose (Billie Piper) in Doctor Who BBC

However, Rose is also the title of Davies’ very first Doctor Who episode, where NuWho (and his own involvement in the series) all began. As he returns to take over the show again, it seems oddly appropriate for there to be another Rose in the mix – and given his heartbreaking parting from the original Rose, we might assume it’ll have some resonance for Tennant’s Doctor as well.

For now, it’s still unclear exactly what role Finney will play alongside Tate and Tennant, how many episodes (or specials) she’ll appear in, and whether she’s just a guest star or whether she’s here for the long haul. If she is a companion, Finney will be the first trans actor to hold that position in the TV series (though Rebecca Root has played a trans companion in audio dramas, and trans actors have appeared in episodes and spin-offs before).

Looking to the future, all we’ll say is it looks like Paige is already pretty friendly with new Doctor Ncuti Gatwa. Maybe we’ve seen a new TARDIS team together already.

Doctor Who is available to stream on BBC iPlayer. Check out more of our Sci-Fi coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.

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