After the shocking (yet totally expected) departure of Jenna Coleman‘s Clara Oswald at the end of Doctor Who‘s ninth series, speculation abounded about who might take her place as Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi‘s companion. Filming is due to begin in May for series 10, so one would assume showrunner Steven Moffat has at least a list of possible candidates for his final year in the driver’s seat. Now, one report is saying the search might be over.
UK publication The Mirror is reporting that former EastEnders actress Rakhee Thakrar is ‘in talks’ to take on the TARDIS’ vacancy. Evidently, a source says that auditions are officially underway but the BBC’s bosses have their eyes set on the 32-year-old, who recently left the longtime British soap after a two-year stint, playing the role of Shabnam Masood.
UPDATE: Nerdist has reached out to the BBC directly for confirmation on this story. A representative told us the BBC does not comment on this type of story. I would assume any announcement about a new companion will be given a proper press release. We will keep you in the loop, of course.
If true, however, Thakrar would be the first non-white full-time companion since Freema Agyeman played Martha Jones beginning in series three. It would also make her only the second person of color ever to hold the full-time companion position. While we’re sure the BBC is looking for the best actor for the job, adding a little diversity to the exceedingly Caucasian sci-fi series is not at all a bad thing, especially given how it’s the network’s most popular series worldwide.
It’s also yet to be seen if Thakrar, or whomever ends up being cast as the new companion, will be a permanent resident or will just hang around for a single year. Series 10, filming this year to be broadcast in Spring of 2017, will be Moffat’s last. New showrunner Chris Chibnall will take over for the 2018 stretch of episodes. He might want a total shakeup, especially if Capaldi (as many including myself predict) will be bidding farewell to the show himself after his third year as Doctor. We shall see.
What do you think about this possible new companion? Do any of you watch EastEnders and can tell me why it’s so popular? Let us know in the comments below!
We talked about our choices for a new Doctor Who companion last year, check it out!
Kyle Anderson is the Weekend Editor, a film and TV critic, and the resident Whovian for Nerdist.com. Follow him on Twitter!