Doctor Who casting trans actress Yasmin Finney is giving LGBTQ+ fans ‘hope for the future’

Ncuti Gatwa and Yasmin Finney

Doctor Who fans are ecstatic over trans actor Yasmin Finney’s inclusion in the new era of the British TV show.

The Heartstopper star is joining Doctor Who as Rose – which, as even the most casual of fans will remember, was also the name of Billie Piper’s assistant.

The BBC’s announcement offered no further details, but incoming showrunner Russell T Davies seems to be having fun amid the excitable confusion, saying: “Life on Doctor Who gets brighter and wilder – how can there be another Rose?

“You’ll find out in 2023, but it’s an absolute joy to welcome Yasmin to the Doctor Who set.”

It comes after the announcement of Ncuti Gatwa as the Fourteenth Doctor, and news that David Tennant and Catherine Tate will return for the show’s 60th anniversary in 2023.

The onslaught of news has the fandom filled with joyful speculation about how it all fits together. Queer fans, especially, are excited to see further trans representation in the show.

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Long-time trans fan Raven Gough said: “Doctor Who has resonated massively with me as a trans woman. To think that young trans people could have such an important role in a show this big gives me so much hope for future generations.

“Season one really hammered home the idea that in the future, LGBTQ+ rights would be as normal as tap water. This feels like a good step towards that future.”

Another fan named Romana said: “I do see a lot of trans actors cast as trans women, and cis women cast as cis and trans women – but it’s less common that trans women are cast as cis women.”

Romana, whose name comes from the Fourth Doctor’s Time Lord companion, added: “A lot of the most engaging scenes in Doctor Who come from the chemistry between the Doctor and the companion.

“[Yasmin] Finney seems to have the talent to pull that role off. I can only hope she’s given good material to work with.”

Diehard fans came to Twitter to share their excitement, with one user saying, “I’m sorry, Ncuti Gatwa AND Yasmin Finney together? In Doctor Who? Both of them? This is honestly the best thing ever, I’m never shutting up about this.”

One fan celebrated the significance of Finney joining the show, adding: “Having transgender representation in Doctor Who on-screen on the main TV show Sunday nights prime time slot is actually so f**king monumental I can’t begin to comprehend.”

Not only are dedicated fans already applauding the casting choice, but lapsed viewers are also returning to the show after several years in excitement for the upcoming season.

TV blogger Elliot Gonzalez tweeted: “Something tells me Russell T Davies is about to bring a whole new generation of fans to Doctor Who, just as he did the first time around. Casting Ncuti Gatwa and Yasmin Finney proves that RTD knows how to drive the franchise forward.”

Finney herself commented on the announcement, saying if “eight-year-old Yasmin” had been told she would ever be part of “this iconic show”, “I would have never in a million years believed them.”

She added: “This show has a place in so many people’s hearts, so to be seen as a trans actress by the legend himself, Russell, has not only made my year, it’s made my life.”

Russell T Davies is returning to Doctor Who as showrunner in 2023, kicking off his tenure with the show’s 60th anniversary celebrations.

Jodie Whittaker and current showrunner Chris Chibnall will bow out in autumn 2022.

Ncuti Gatwa was announced as the newest Doctor on 8 May to wide praise across the board. Russell T Davies spoke on the actor’s talent with RadioTimes, saying he was “simply the best actor that walked into the room.”

Soon after Davies confirmed David Tennant will make a return as the Tenth Doctor, with Catherine Tate as fabled sidekick Donna.

“It looks impossible,” said Davies, clearly giddy from the announcement. “first, we announce a new Doctor, and then an old Doctor, along with the wonderful Donna, what on earth is happening?

“Maybe this is a missing story, or a parallel world, or a dream, or a trick, or a flashback. The only I can confirm is that it’s going to be spectacular.”