Since her introduction in series 11, fans have slowly been learning more about Mandip Gill’s Doctor Who character Yaz, and last season saw some major new revelations about her past.
Series 12 episode Can You Hear Me? saw Yaz dealing with mental health struggles, delving into some of the difficulties she had faced in the past through a series of flashbacks
Gill has already revealed that her character’s past struggles would inform her choices in future episodes, and she’s now explained how this will play a role in the upcoming Doctor Who Christmas special.
“As we saw, Yaz has a really complex and, I suppose, different connection to the Doctor, to the two boys, for loads of reasons, for loads of personal reasons,” she recently explained to RadioTimes.com and other press.
“I think it would be safe to say that she is struggling without the Doctor, but is probably trying that bit more than the boys to solve this problem, because there’s no conclusion, and that’s a little bit distressing for her.”
She continued, “But also, she has a connection with the Doctor, and with space. She loves being in Sheffield, but there’s just something about space and the Doctor that’s just not been fulfilled yet. You’ll see that there’s just a bit more of a sense of urgency with Yaz trying to find the Doctor. The boys are being lazy.”
Gill went on to discuss the mental health themes that were touched upon last series, and explained how although Yaz has found a way of better dealing with her mental health there are still more obstacles to come.
“I think it’s more a confidence thing where we see Yaz’s growth in this special episode, if I’m honest,” she said. “You do sort of see her become her own person – that sort of thing. And I think it’s safe to say she takes a little bit of charge. There’s no Doctor now.
“I think it shows if you’ve been listening. The festive special shows that Yaz has been listening, and Yaz is confident.”
She added, “I think in her personal life, things were touched upon in episodes, in the previous series, and certain issues did come to light to explain her behaviour and whatnot.
“It’s not to say that she’s gone, and she’s found a resolution to them, but I think in telling and speaking about it, there’s a bit more of an understanding and a grounding, and she’s sort of found herself a little bit more, but there’s still loads to come.”
Of course, it’s likely that these issues won’t only be explored in the Christmas episode – and Gill’s comments that there is loads to come indicates that the mental health storyline will continue to play a role in series 13, which is currently filming.
Gill is expected to be the only current companion to return for the next series, with rumours suggesting that Bradley Walsh and Tosin Cole will be leaving the series after the Christmas special.
Additional reporting by Huw Fullerton