Doctor Who returns for its latest festive special this New Year’s Day, and it promises to be an unmissable instalment based on whatever metric you judge it by. There are iconic monsters involved, a legendary guest star is back and it’ll mark the final appearance of not just one but two regular cast members. And this last point is why filming on the special, titled “Revolution of the Daleks,” proved to be so emotional for star Jodie Whittaker.
Following the episode, Bradley Walsh and Tosin Cole will no longer be aboard the TARDIS as Graham O’Brien and Ryan Sinclair. The pair have been part of the series since its last relaunch in 2018, so Whittaker – who’s never shot an episode without them, or co-star Mandip Gill, up to this point – found it tough to say goodbye when production wrapped on this special way back in October 2019.
While speaking to Entertainment Weekly, the Thirteenth Doctor actress said:
“I was absolutely beside myself,” says Whittaker. “I don’t have a poker face. It’s my actual job, so I should be better at it. But I remember when they called wrap on that day, Tosin was like, ‘Calm Down!’ I’d gone, I’d absolutely gone. In a way, it’s just reflective of the time we’ve had and this journey. I’m really lucky. Me and Mandip are still in the journey, but, because it was the end of us four, and us four have been so tight, it was one of those things. I know that in my life, this is one of the best things that will ever happen to me and the best times that I will ever have on set. This job is this thing that is untouchable. There’ll be a million other amazing experiences, hopefully. But if I do this for 20 seasons I know my first time as the Doctor was with this family as this four and this is our time — a Goonies moment, it’s our time! I felt very much like a kid in a well. I was so sad.”
As Whittaker reminds us above, her and Gill are remaining on after this for season 13, which is currently in production and is expected to arrive sometime in late 2021. But this is the end of “the fam,” as the Doctor calls her gang of time traveling heroes, as we know it. Showrunner Chris Chibnall has ensured this is as big a farewell episode as possible, then, with the Daleks returning to cause more trouble and John Barrowman around to light up the screen as Captain Jack Harkness.
Remember, the Doctor herself will be locked up in space prison at the beginning of the special, following on from her being arrested by the Judoon at the end of the season 12 finale earlier this year (yes, that was just this year). So, it’s all on her companions and Jack to foil the Daleks’ latest plan. But how will Graham and Ryan be written out?
We’ll find out in just a few short days when Doctor Who returns for one night only on January 1st.