BBC announces ‘very gay, very trans’ Doctor Who spin-off series written by Juno Dawson

Jodie Whittaker as The Doctor, with a TARDIS in the background

Doctor Who is launching a spin-off drama podcast penned by trans author Juno Dawson, and starring trans activist Charlie Craggs.

Doctor Who: Redacted is a 10-part series set to premiere on BBC Sounds on April 17, which promises to deliver action-packed adventures that have been “left” from the sci-fi TV series.

Listeners will be introduced to a range of characters including Cleo Proctor, who will be voiced by trans activist and author Charlie Craggs in her first acting role.

Craggs said: “There are no words to express how huge it is, and how grateful I am, being a trans actress playing the lead role in something so special, but more so how significant the fact that my character is trans, and the lead role, too. This is a huge step for the trans community, and I’m so honoured to be part of this moment.”

Doctor Who podcast launches with trans talent

The Doctor Who spin-off series by Juno Dawson will star Jodie Whittaker and Charlie Craggs (BBC)

The audio drama promises to explore “the relationships between ordinary people unknowingly immersed in the Doctor Who universe.”

Producer Ella Watts teased that it will be “very gay, very trans”.

Other characters include Abby McPhail (voiced by Lois Chimimba) and Shawna Thompson (Holly Quin-Ankrah) alongside some familiar voices including The Doctor (Jodie Whittaker), Rani Chandra, Kate Stewart, Petronella Osgood and Madame Vastra.

Whittaker, has filmed her last episode as the Doctor, said of starring in Doctor Who: Redacted: “It was absolutely brilliant, I loved meeting Charlie [Craggs] and Juno [Dawson], their energy is ace, the writing is brilliant. It was wonderful to be a part of and great for me to revisit the character.”

Juno Dawson added: “Doctor Who was my first love, and it’s an absolute thrill to add to the ever-expanding mythology in podcast form for the first time ever. What a total privilege to write for something so beloved, and put my own little flag on the landscape.”

According to the BBC, the story follows a group of friends called Cleo, Abby and Shawna, connected by a paranormal conspiracy podcast called ‘The Blue Box Files,’ which tracks the path of a mysterious object through history.

The official synopsis reads: “What if this random police public call box was actually an alien ship? They don’t know who the Doctor is, or if aliens are real, but soon find themselves caught in a supernatural conspiracy as they learn that everyone who’s ever met the Doctor is disappearing and being forgotten. Essentially, they’re being redacted from reality.

“The Blue Box Files is so unsuccessful that our heroes are the last ones to be affected by the redaction, making Cleo, Abby and Shawna the world’s only hope. Now it’s a race against time to uncover the truth.”

Set in the same universe as the main series, Redacted “entangles past and current storylines, cameos from the Doctor’s friends and allies,” and will also feature familiar monsters and aliens from the show’s history.