Exclusive: Why Mandip Gill DIDN’T leave Doctor Who

While Bradley Walsh and Tosin Cole are waving goodbye to the TARDIS, Gill tells us why she’s “not ready for this journey to end.”

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This year’s Doctor Who Christmas special looks set to ring in a slightly emotional New Year, with longstanding companions Bradley Walsh and Tosin Cole saying goodbye to Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor at the conclusion of the adventure.

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But never fear – the Doctor won’t be alone from 1st January. You see, one companion will continue their adventures through time and space, with Mandip Gill’s Yasmin “Yaz” Khan set to carry on in the series despite Walsh and Cole’s exit.

And according to Gill, currently filming Doctor Who’s next series, the change has been a difficult one to adjust to.

“It’s gutting,” Gill tells the special double Christmas issue of Radio Times, on sale in some markets from Saturday 5th December and nationally from Tuesday 8th December.

“We knew it was coming so we’ve had a while to get our heads around it. Brad and Tosin are such big characters, and I’ll really miss them on set.”

However, Gill said there was no question of her departing alongside them, instead deciding that her journey – and the journey of Yaz – wasn’t completed in the series.

“I just thought, ‘I’m not ready for this journey to end,’” Gill tells the new issue. “Why leave something if you’re enjoying it, it’s working and there’s development?

“I don’t know when it will end for me because as a person and as a character, there’s so much more to explore.”

Exactly what they’ll be exploring is of course a mystery, just as it’s currently unclear whether Yaz and the Doctor will be joined by one or more new characters when series 13 airs, with no casting announcements made ahead of Doctor Who’s new filming schedule.

Tosin Cole, Mandip Gill, Jodie Whittaker and Bradley Walsh in Doctor Who (BBC)
Tosin Cole, Mandip Gill, Jodie Whittaker and Bradley Walsh in Doctor Who (BBC)

But speaking to Radio Times later Gill did hint that the cast may be a little smaller than it has been going forward, noting that she’s expecting more room to explore Yaz’s backstory in future episodes.

“We started to see Yaz with her mental health storyline last series, and started to see Yaz a little bit more,” she said.

“So that can sort of be explored a little bit further – there’s room now to explore that. It never probably felt like the right time to do it before. So I’m looking forward to it.”

In other words, the end of Graham and Ryan’s story may be just the beginning of Yaz’s. Maybe we’re in for a Happy Who Year after all.

Radio Times Christmas Cover 2020
Radio Times Christmas issue 2020

Check out our full Doctor Who interviews with Mandip Gill, Jodie Whittaker, Bradley Walsh and John Barrowman in the legendary Radio Times Christmas issue, on sale in some markets from Saturday 5th December and nationally from Tuesday 8th December.

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Doctor Who: Revolution of the Daleks comes to BBC One at 6.45pm on New Year’s Day. Want something else to watch? Check out our full TV Guide.