Yasmin Finney, who plays fan-favorite Elle Argent on Netflix’s “Heartstopper,” will play a character named Rose on “Doctor Who,” BBC announced Monday. She will first appear in 2023, which will be the 60th anniversary of the cult sci-fi series.
Is she playing a version of Billie Piper’s Rose Tyler, who was a companion to the Ninth and Tenth Doctors (Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant), or an entirely different character who also happens to be named Rose? Showrunner Russell T. Davies says we’ll have to wait to find that out.
“How can there be another Rose?” Davies said in a statement. “You’ll find out in 2023, but it’s an absolute joy to welcome Yasmin to the ‘Doctor Who’ set. We all fell in love with her in ‘Heartstopper,’ one of those shows which changes the world — and now Yasmin can change the Whoniverse!”
He also shared the news in an Instagram post, where he explained that keeping Finney’s casting a secret would not be possible due to outdoor filming.
“If anyone would have told 8-year-old Yasmin that one day she’d be part of this iconic show, I would have never in a million years believed them,” Finney said in a statement. “This show has a place in so many people’s hearts, so to be seen as a trans actress by the legend himself Russell, has not only made my year, it’s made my life. I cannot wait to begin this journey and for you all to see how Rose blossoms. Get ready.”
The news of her casting follows the announcement that another Netflix actor, “Sex Education” star Ncuti Gatwa, will be the new Doctor. He’ll take over from current Time Lord, Jodie Whittaker, who was the series’ first female Doctor.
Gatwa is the first Black Doctor and Finney is the third transgender actor joining the franchise after Bethany Black as 474 in 2015 and Rebecca Root as companion Tania Bell in the audio series “Stranded,” which revolved around Eighth Doctor Paul McGann.
“Doctor Who” fans were also thrilled to hear that Tennant will return as the Tenth Doctor in the upcoming season, as will Catherine Tate, who played his companion Donna Noble.