Doctor Who casts another trans star in end-of-year special, and fans are getting emotional

Mary Malone

The list of LGBTQ+ talent set to grace our TV screens in the Doctor Who specials later this year is continuing to grow, with more queer stars confirmed.

LGBTQ+ fans of the timeless Time Lord sci-fi show have been treated to several announcements in recent months confirming that the upcoming 60th anniversary specials, and the following 14th season, will feature an abundance of queer talent.

While Sex Education and Barbie star Ncuti Gatwa will lead the show as the 15th incarnation of the doctor himself, he’ll be joined by Heartstopper trans icon Yasmin Finney as Rose (a new role, not a Billie Piper reincarnation).

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

Fans were already overwhelmed by how monumental it is to see a trans actress starring in one of Britain’s most beloved TV series, yet it turned out that Finney wasn’t the only trans star who’d been booked.

Earlier this year it was announced that acting newcomer ​​Pete MacHale would become the first trans man to ever star in the hit show in an as-yet untitled role.

Meanwhile, non-binary, two-time RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Jinkx Monsoon was revealed to be serving extraterrestrial eleganza as a brand new, high-camp villain in the upcoming series.

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Jinkx Monsoon in Doctor Who
Drag Race icon Jinkx Monsoon has confirmed that queer talent is ‘taking up space’ in the new season of Doctor Who. (BBC)

Now, according to TV Zone and Doctor Who Magazine, more LGBTQ+ actors are set to join the Christmas specials and season 14 cast lists.

Trans actor Mary Malone (Vera, The Prince) will star in an as-yet unnamed role as part of the Christmas special episodes, alongside Gemma Arrowsmith (Rosie Molloy Gives Up Everything).

In season 14, fans will be introduced to LGBTQ+ actor Billy Brayshaw (CBBC’s Still So Awkward) and Hollyoaks star Majid Mehdizadeh-Valoujerdy, both in to-be-confirmed roles.

Legendary gay TV writer Russell T Davies is leading the show, while Gatwa will be joined by Coronation Street actor Millie Gibson as his companion, Ruby Sunday.

Speaking to Doctor Who Magazine, the show’s executive producer Phil Collinson said: “The cast for our end-of-year special is continuing to grow. Though still with some names we haven’t announced yet.

“But it is a delight to welcome two more names on board, with Gemma Arrowsmith and Mary Malone … and you won’t have to wait long to find out how they connect to the Doctor and Ruby Sunday.

“Coming up after that, in the 2024 series, it’s a delight to open the studio doors to a former star of Hollyoaks with Majid Mehdizadeh-Valoujerdy,” he added.

“In a separate episode, we’re delighted to say hello to Billy Brayshaw. And there are so more names to come.”

A new look at Ncuti Gatwa’s Doctor Who has sent fans into a tailspin (@bbcdoctorwho/ Twitter)

Queer and trans Doctor Who lovers have reacted with sheer joy at the news that the new series will feature even more LGBTQ+ talent.

“Closet trans kids are gonna get to see trans talent on TV on Christmas Day. I can’t put into words how much this means to me,” one fan wrote on social media. 

“Yaaay, always wonderful to have more LGBTQ+ talent involved in Doctor Who. Looking forward to seeing how all four of these characters are involved in the show,” shared another.

“I’m so happy that trans people are coming up in the doctor’s stories,” a third added.

Doctor Who will return for its 60th anniversary specials in November, with former Time Lord and trans ally David Tennant returning as the 14th Doctor. 

Ncuti Gatwa’s first episode as the 15th Doctor will air at Christmas time, while the new series will begin in 2024.

Doctor Who will air on BBC and Disney+.

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