Welcome to the Whoniverse, John Bishop.
At the end of the New Year’s Day special Doctor Who: Revolution of the Daleks, a brief segment (embedded below) allowed a peek at a man named Dan, who seems poised to be the new companion. His fleeting appearance closed out a 70-minute special that marked Bradley Walsh and Tosin Cole’s final episode as companions Ryan and Graham.
Dan’s portrayer, John Bishop, is a comedian and former footballer (for Hyde FC and Southport FC) whose proper acting credits include the UK miniseries Fearless and a few episodes of Skins.
“As Dan becomes embroiled in the Doctor’s adventures, he will quickly learn there’s more to the Universe(s) than he could ever believe,” reads a synopsis. “Traveling through space and time alongside the Doctor and Yaz (played by Jodie Whittaker and Mandip Gill), he’ll face evil alien races beyond his wildest nightmares.”
In a statement, Bishop said, “If I could tell my younger self that one day I would be asked to step on board the TARDIS, I would never have believed it. It’s an absolute dream come true to be joining Doctor Who and I couldn’t wish for better company than Jodie and Mandip.”
Showrunner Chris Chibnall added, “It’s time for the next chapter of Doctor Who, and it starts with a man called Dan. Oh, we’ve had to keep this one secret for a long, long time. Our conversations started with John even before the pandemic hit. The character of Dan was built for him, and it’s a joy to have him aboard the TARDIS.”
Doctor Who Season 13 began filming in November; Bishop will make his first full appearance when the new season lands on BBC America later in 2021.