Breaking the mold after recent seasons, the Doctor will have three companions in season 11 of Doctor Who.
The BBC announced the casting news on Sunday, with three actors joining Jodie Whitaker‘s 13th Doctor. British actor and TV presenter Bradley Walsh will play a character named Graham, with Tosin Cole playing Ryan and Mandip Gill playing Yasmin. This confirms the widespread rumors of Bradley Walsh’s casting, while Cole and Gill avoided speculation—perhaps because many fans expected the Doctor to have just one companion.
Cole and Gill have had plenty of minor roles on British TV, but they don’t have the same celebrity profile as Walsh. However, Star Wars fans may recognize Cole from his brief appearance in The Force Awakens, where he played Resistance pilot Lieutenant Bastian.
Meet the 13th Doctor's new friends! Yasmin (Mandip Gill), Ryan (Tosin Cole), and Graham (Bradley Walsh) #DoctorWho pic.twitter.com/6l9iVkvu0d— Doctor Who Official (@bbcdoctorwho) October 22, 2017
Most seasons follow a similar casting formula: a man playing the Doctor, accompanied by a (usually) younger woman. Several Doctors had multiple companions—most recently with Amy Pond bringing her husband Rory onto the TARDIS in season 5. Three full-time companions is pretty unusual, though. Along with the decision to cast a woman as the Doctor, new showrunner Chris Chibnall clearly wants to shake things up.
The BBC didn’t reveal any further details about the new companions, although we do know one other piece of casting news. British theater and TV actor Sharon D. Clarke will have a recurring role, although her character is still under wraps.
Jodie Whitaker will make her first appearance as the Doctor in this year’s Christmas Special, with season 11 expected to arrive in late 2018.