Doctor Who’s Yasmin Finney on working with Ncuti Gatwa: ‘Two black, queer, magic actors’

Ncuti Gatwa (L) and Yasmin Finney (R) will appear together in Doctor Who.

Black British rising stars Yasmin Finney and Ncuti Gatwa will soon burst onto our screens for brand new episodes of beloved sci-fi adventure Doctor Who.

Heartstopper icon Yasmin Finney is set to play Rose – daughter of returning companion Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) – opposite David Tennant as the Doctor in Russell T Davies’ trio of 60th anniversary special episodes this November.

Sex Education‘s Ncuti Gatwa will take over Time Lord duties over the festive period, starring opposite brilliant guest stars Jinkx Monsoon, Jonathan Groff and Pete MacHale.

Most fans assumed Finney’s character would bow out of the show before Gatwa stepped into his role as the Doctor. But in a new interview with The Evening Standard on Thursday (20 July), the 19-year-old trans trailblazer confirmed that she and Gatwa would be sharing screen time.

“Two Black, queer, magic actors on screen together?” Finney told the publication. “It was bound to happen, the universe was bound to connect the lines. We’re intertwined, and I think we complement each other so well. We see how privileged we are.”

We can’t think of a more iconic duo, although it’s not clear how the two will end up interacting on the show. Most likely they will meet for only a brief moment at the end of the 60th anniversary special when Tennant finally regenerates into Gatwa, but there could be more to the story that is being kept under wraps.

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For Finney, working with Gatwa is not the only dream come true, explaining that being cast in Doctor Who itself was “a surreal moment”. “I grew up watching [Doctor Who],” she said. “It was prestige television, the crème de la crème, and it still is. To be part of that world, and around some of TV’s gold stars, is a blessing.”

Yasmin Finney
Yasmin Finney is giving young trans people the representation she needed growing up. (YellowBellyPhotos)

Finney’s iconic roles in two of Britain’s biggest shows, Doctor Who and Heartstopper, have helped the actor become the positive trans representation she sorely needed growing up.

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“I was at school not that long ago. I can remember everything, and I remember specifically there being only a handful of shows that had any sort of representation,” Finney reflected. “If they did it would be American shows. I’d never seen a young British trans character that I could look up to and be like, ‘Wow, that is who I am’.”

Finney also offered words of wisdom to both her younger self and any other young trans people who might be struggling.

“Hold on. Hold on to you and don’t lose yourself in all the loud noise and discrimination. You don’t need to please anyone. You, being yourself, is just enough,” she said.

Yasmin Finney will appear in the Doctor Who 60th anniversary special episodes in November 2023.

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