Why John Bishop Is The Perfect 13th Doctor Companion

John Bishop is confirmed as Dan, the new companion in Doctor Who. Here’s everything to know about him and why he’s perfect for Whittaker’s Doctor.

Here’s why John Bishop is an ideal choice as Doctor Who‘s new companion. Much has changed since Doctor Who season 12’s dramatic Timeless Child reveal, both in real life, and within the fictional realm of The Doctor. The 2021 holiday special, “Revolution of the Daleks,” begins with Jodie Whittaker’s (former) Time Lord imprisoned for falling foul of The Division and committing 7000-odd other offenses over the centuries. In her absence, Ryan has grown to resent The Doctor and her habit of abandoning companions without warning. Tosin Cole’s character is over his TARDIS adventures, and chooses to leave the gang behind. Naturally, Ryan’s grandfather (Bradley Walsh’s Graham) departs too.

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In a post-credits scene, a Liverpudlian builder gets his horoscope read out by a co-worker, promising lots of adventure and surprises in the year ahead. The newcomer is confirmed as Dan, played by John Bishop, and the trailer gives a fleeting glimpse at the new companion’s peril-filled future as The Doctor’s latest assistant.

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Bishop will be a familiar name to many British Doctor Who fans, largely from his work as a stand-up comedian and TV personality. The comic had a huge hit shortly before Christmas with John Bishop’s Great Whale Rescue, in which he assisted in the ambitious transfer of two rare whales from a tourist attraction in China to a a purpose built refuge when they could live in the wild for the rest of their lives. Away from comedy and hosting, John Bishop has acted in SkinsFearless and Funny Cow, but all in relatively minor roles. The Doctor Who gig is by far his most high-profile acting job to date. Nevertheless, John Bishop is the perfect compliment to Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor.

John Bishop and a Whale

The current regeneration of Britain’s best Dalek-botherer is heroic, righteous and earnest. Compared to previous incarnations, Whittaker’s Doctor has toned down the erratic and quirky qualities, and every shade of darkness is stripped from her personality. With such an idealistic Doctor, the TARDIS dynamic needs a more grounded, light-hearted character as a companion. Graham has admirably filled this role over Doctor Who‘s past two seasons, helping to root The Doctor in reality and adding a distinctly human touch to her otherworldly adventures. John Bishop offers similar qualities, with his comedic pedigree and Northern grit bringing Doctor Who season 13 and the Thirteenth Doctor’s high ideals right back down to Earth. In addition to a sack full of one-liners, Bishop also brings a personable presence to Doctor Who. The reason the comedian is picked to accompany whales across the world and interview other celebrities is due to his easy rapport with audiences of all ages. Assuming Dan isn’t a million miles away from Bishop’s usual persona (and he almost certainly won’t be), this kind of relatable figure is the best possible sparring partner for Whittaker’s Doctor.

Having said that, don’t expect Dan to be a carbon copy of Graham either. Where Bradley Walsh is well known as a family entertainer, Bishop’s comedy caters to a marginally more mature audience – not exactly Ricky Gervais roasting celebrities at the Golden Globes, but certainly edgier in tone than Walsh. This more acerbic, self-depreciating wit will be a refreshing change on board a TARDIS that has been almost permanently harmonious over the past two seasons of Doctor Who.

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Updated: January 7, 2021 — 8:53 pm

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