It is a new series for Doctor Who and there’s a new companion in the TARDIS. The actor and comedian, John Bishop portrays Dan Lewis. Dan, just like John, hails from Liverpool, a city that is reported to feature prominently in this year’s series.
John’s casting follows along with the tradition of other comedians/actors, who have graced our screens as members of Team TARDIS. Just think of Donna (Catherine Tate) and Nardole (Matt Smith). Both are beloved characters in the Doctor Who universe. John’s Dan is sure to follow along the same path.
But what did John Bishop have to say about joining Doctor Who?
What did it mean when you got the call to be a part of Doctor Who?
It meant I could get out of the house and not be stuck in with COVID (laughs)! I’ll be honest I don’t know how big an impact this will have on my life or anything like that as it’s not come out yet, but as a life experience, it’s one of the best things that I’ve done since I’ve managed to get into this world of showbusiness. I genuinely feel I’ve learned a lot and I genuinely feel I’ve made good friends, and I didn’t think that I’d come away with that.
What are the main differences between being in Doctor Who and your role as a stand-up?
The longevity, the fact you spend so much time with them, you genuinely create bonds with people. And the fact you’re part of a team. Most of what I do is me, or “The John Bishop Show”- me on the stage on my own or leading something on my own. For this I was part of something, and I wasn’t the most important part which was good! It many respects the actors themselves are not the most important thing, there are so many other things that happen before that camera gets turned on and I came away with that appreciation for the skill of so many others.
How has the response been from fans so far?
So far it’s been positive but they haven’t met him (Dan) yet! I think for me I have been given a glimpse that once you’re in Doctor Who, you’re fixed in time in the eyes of a lot of people because they’ll come to it at different times in their lives and at different ages. And so of all the things I’ve ever done, it might be the thing that lasts the longest.
Can you tell us a bit about Dan and what you liked most about him?
I liked his humility, his willingness to help people, when we first start off he is working in a food bank. I liked his vulnerability, he’s not really lucky in love, I liked his caring nature because he cares deeply for the Doctor and Yaz and wants them to be happy. I liked his sense of what’s right and what’s wrong. He’s really prepared to stand up to those who are doing something wrong.
How did you enjoy working with this year’s guest actors? I loved spending time with Jacob Anderson, Kevin McNally was great – it’s like a masterclass all the time with Kevin. Paul (Broughton) and Sue (Jenkins), I had a few scenes with them and it was absolutely brilliant watching them work. During one scene, I had to remind myself they were acting! Why should audiences tune into series thirteen and can you sum it up in three words? Fast, energetic and heartfelt.
Flux – Chapter One: The Halloween Apocalypse
A universe-spanning adventure in space and time starring Jodie Whittaker, Mandip Gill and John Bishop. On Halloween, all across the universe, terrifying forces are stirring. From the Arctic Circle to deep space, an ancient evil is breaking free. And in present-day Liverpool, the life of Dan Lewis is about to change forever. Why is the Doctor on the trail of the fearsome Karvanista? And what is the Flux?
Doctor Who returns to BBC One and BBC iPlayer at 6.25pm on 31st October
The episode is also available on BBC America and other territories around the world.