Watch me blossom as Doctor Who’s Rose, says transgender actress

Yasmin Finney is part of the latest casting shakeup of the popular BBC show

By Michael Murphy   17 May 2022


A transgender actress will play the character of Rose in the new series of Doctor Who, the BBC has revealed.

Yasmin Finney, who starred in Heartstopper, a Netflix coming-of-age drama about queer love, is filming scenes in the role that are due to air next year to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the show.

It is unclear whether the 18-year-old will debut as the character of Rose Tyler, the Doctor’s female travelling companion previously played by Billie Piper, or a different Rose.

It is not clear if the “Rose” character will be the new Doctor’s main companion, or if there will be another new character. Throughout the series, companions have tended to be female.

Upon joining the show, Finney said: “If anyone would have told eight-year-old Yasmin that one day she’d be part of this iconic show, I would have never in a million years believed them.

“This show has a place in so many people’s hearts, so to be seen as a trans actress by the legend himself Russell [T Davies], 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.”

Russell T Davies, the screenwriter and producer who is returning to the set as a showrunner, added: “Life on Doctor Who gets brighter and wilder, how can there be another Rose? 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!”

The announcement is the latest casting reshuffle in the intergalactic drama that, since its conception in 1963, has been one of the BBC’s most popular shows. The broadcaster announced this month that Jodie Whittaker, the first female Doctor, is being replaced by Ncuti Gatwa, who will be the first black actor to take up the mantle of Time Lord. The 29-year-old, who was born in Rwanda, is known for his portrayal of Eric Effiong, a gay student in the Netflix show Sex Education.

The BBC have also confirmed that former cast members David Tennant and Catherine Tate will return for the show’s 14th season. The duo have reunited to film scenes that are due to air next year to coincide with the anniversary celebrations.