Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker confirms the departure of companions Graham O’Brien (Bradley Walsh), and Ryan Sinclair (Tosin Cole).
The upcoming Doctor Who holiday special, ‘Revolution Of The Daleks’, will be the last episode for companions Graham O’Brien, played by Bradley Walsh, and Ryan Sinclair, played by Tosin Cole. Set to air on New Year’s Day 2021, ‘Revolution Of The Daleks’ will follow the long-honored tradition of the end of year Doctor Who specials. Past editions have either aired on Christmas Day or January 1 and usually concern major plot points introduced to the show.
This special is set to center around the titular classic villain The Daleks featuring a slightly different design and the return of ally character Jack Harkness, played by John Barrowman. The latest Doctor’s companions, comprised of O’Brien, Sinclair, and Yasmin Kahn, played by Mandip Gill, have been with her since her season 11 episode 1, just 1 episode after Whittaker took on the Time Lord mantel. However, it appears their time with the show has come to an end.
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In a conversation between Whittaker, Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall and Mandip Gill via EW, The Doctor herself announced the change in personnel. She also noted the departure’s emotional toll, revealing their last scene together left her in tears.
“As the Doctor, I will say that the fam as a four is no more. On a personal note, [I feel] absolutely devastated. Without getting into a specifics about anything to do with character or what happens or anything, just purely knowing it was last scenes, for myself with those actors, both of them had to carry me to my trailer. I’ve not cried like that for such a long time. I mean, Brad couldn’t cope with it at all…There was not a sense of relief in any way.”
Despite their seemingly short time with The Doctor, O’Brien and Sinclair’s departure from the show is sure to be emotional. They’ve not only provided Whittaker’s era with such great humor and fun but great character moments. Cole’s struggle with dyspraxia and family trauma is engaging, not to mention a relatable backstory for the side character whose resonance with the audience has firmly placed him as a fan favorite.
While quite the opposite, Walsh’s O’Brien is a perfect new archetype of companion, brilliantly playing off The Doctor in ways the series has seen before, but through a unique gender role reversal. His familial connection to Sinclair is also a touching detail. While companions of the past have been a great source of controversy among the fandom, Whittaker’s group has been seen as winners recently, so seeing two-thirds of them disappear will undoubtedly be emotional.
The Daleks’ true intentions and how they will contribute to seeing off O’Brien and Sinclair remains to be seen, causing high expectations for the upcoming Doctor Who special. Promotional material in the lead up to the fast-approaching airdate promises excitement, terror, and nail-biting action, so hopefully, The Doctor’s companions will go out with a bang. ‘Revolution Of The Daleks’ will air on BBC America on January 1, 2021.
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