Rumours have been circling for months, and now the BBC has confirmed the news: two of the Doctor’s current companions, Bradley Walsh and Tosin Cole, are leaving the show. New Year’s Day Special Revolution of the Daleks will mark Graham and Ryan’s final appearances, leaving Mandip Gill’s Yaz as the sole continuing member of Thirteen’s Sheffield crew.
Speaking at an online BBC press Q&A for the festive episode held earlier this month, Jodie Whittaker confirmed the news:
“As the Doctor I will say that the fam as a four is no more. This will be the last time we see Bradley and Tosin. Absolutely devastated. Knowing it was my last scene with those actors, both of them had to carry me to my trailer. I’ve not cried like that in… Brad couldn’t cope with it at all.”
Statements from Walsh and Cole on their departures back up her words, with Walsh describing their final episode as “very, very dramatic. It is very sad. It is quite sad and poignant is the word. You can expect a lot of poignancy from the episode.”
Cole describes his final scene as “Emotional!”, and goes on to say that he’ll miss so much about the series, with particular praise for the cast, crew and the 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.”
Walsh said he’d miss “Everyone and everything,” with particular shout-outs to time filming on location abroad in Spain and South Africa. “Happy days. Fantastic memories,” he reminisces. “I just loved it.”
It’s too early to miss Walsh and Cole yet, says Gill. The group are still in regular WhatsApp contact, or at least they will be when Walsh works out how to use it properly, she laughs.
Executive producer Chris Chibnall confirmed that fans can expect an emotional exit for the pair. “We’ve all been in tears watching it. It’s a really important part of the mix of the special, lots of thrills, lots of humour, lots of Daleks and lots of emotions. We don’t shy away from what it means for this family to have its final moments together. I hope it feels like a good send-off for those two characters.”
Asked whether the door will be left open for Graham and Ryan’s potential return to the TARDIS, Chibnall was understandably coy, teasing “You’ll just have to see won’t you?”
On the Doctor and Yaz, Chibnall said “I think there’s a lot of mileage left in these characters. We know where they’re going and what they’re heading for and who they’re going to meet,” he said. “We will be back with some very very exciting, fun, thrilling mad episodes after this special has aired.”
The question remains whether Yaz will remain a solo companion for series 13, or if any new faces – or old ones – will be joining her and the Doctor on their adventures…