It’s been long rumoured but not it’s finally confirmed. When the Doctor returns in Series 13 next year, not all of her friends will be with her…
Revolution of the Daleks may well see the return of the popular John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness. But it will also see the departure of not one but two Doctor Who companions before the final credits role on New Year’s Day. The grandfather and grandson team of Graham (Bradley Walsh) and Ryan (Tosin Cole) will both be leaving the show. Jodie Whittaker confirmed the rumours yesterday in a new BBC interview. “Well as the Doctor, I will say that the fam as a four is no more.”
Showrunner Chris Chibnall is keeping the manner of the duo’s departure close to his chest for now, refusing to rule out if they’ll be killed off, or left with the door open for a possible return. He’ll say only “You’ll have to wait and see, won’t you?”
But Bradley Walsh offers some hints as to how Graham and Ryan are feeling in Revolution of the Daleks. Could that result in that parting of the ways with the Doctor? “They are very annoyed, I think they are more annoyed as they feel like they have been abandoned. I don’t think they realise what predicament the Doctor has been in and I think they are more annoyed and a bit upset that they have been sort of left alone. I think what is happening as well is that they are becoming slightly more accustomed to their surroundings being back on Earth.”
The team promise a “very emotional” exit for Graham and Ryan
Chibnall describes the departure as “very emotional,” both in front of and behind the camera. “I think we’ve all been in tears watching it. It’s a really important part of the mix of the special, where you get lots of thrills, lots of spills, lots of humour, lots of Daleks, and lots of emotion. It’s hard, but we don’t shy away from what it means for this family to have its final moments together. And it was emotional off screen, it’s emotional on screen, and it’s an incredible thing.
“[The cast] all clicked, and you just never know if that’s going to happen. You could never have known that you would all get on and have such a great time, and I think we all feel very lucky that that happened. And that’s reflected on and off screen, but I hope it feels like a good send off for those two characters whatever happens to them.”
Mandip Gill, who returns as Yaz in both Revolution of the Daleks and Series 13, agrees. “I’m not really an emotional person, but even I was like ‘this is really sad I’ll never see you again, you’re so busy Brad always filming’.” But the former Fam are still keeping in touch. “We have this WhatsApp group that’s pinging all the time,” says Gill, “and obviously because of the lockdown we wouldn’t have seen each other anyway in that time, so it’s too soon to realise the impact of not having them, because we’re constantly sending memes or a message.”
The behind the scenes bonds will last a lifetime, even after Revolution of the Daleks
Walsh, too, emphasizes that continued bond. “We are now in constant contact, texting, Whatsapping. I miss them all. I was texting the location guys across the airwaves. Happy days,” before reflecting on his time on Doctor Who. “Fantastic memories. Our times abroad, when we were in Spain, South Africa. I just loved it.”
Tosin Cole says the thing he’ll miss most about the show is “the team on the screen and behind it as well as the amazing fans. It’s been an honour to work on such a cultural institution with fans across the world. The people like me on the screen come and go, but it’s the people behind the scenes and the fans that will always be there keeping the Doctor Who world alive and exciting.” He does have one regret though, revealing that Ryan never got to encounter his favourite monster. “The Weeping Angels; I never had the pleasure of working with them.”
Cole and Walsh will be returning to our screens soon, though, with Cole the main star of prestige drama 61st Street, and Walsh the new host of Blankety Blank
We’ll next see Cole on our screens in The Souvenir Part II, alongside Tilda Swinton and Richard Ayoade. But most anticipated will be his forthcoming starring role as the lead in 61st Street. Cole plays Moses Johnson, an up and coming athletics star whose bright future is placed in doubt by a fatal encounter with a racist police officer. As the Chicago Police Department and courts system close ranks against him, Johnson’s only hope rests with crusading attorney Franklin Roberts (Charles B Vance). Because Roberts has a plan to use Johnson’s case to bring the whole corrupt system to light. 61st Street is an eight episode prestige drama currently in pre-production at AMC in the United States.
Bradley Walsh meanwhile, in addition to his duties as the immortal host of The Chase will be returning to BBC One for a new version of Blankety Blank this Christmas.