Doctor Who: Sad bigots make over 100 complaints to BBC over Yasmin Finney trans storyline

Yasmin Finney talks the inspiration behind one key moment in new Doctor Who episode.

The BBC has received more than 100 complaints from a small proportion of viewers who think Yasmin Finney’s trans storyline in the 60th anniversary Doctor Who special is “inappropriate”. 

In its fortnightly report, the BBC revealed it had received 144 complaints – a minuscule proportion of the 7.6 million viewers who watched the episode – over the inclusion of Heartstopper breakout star Finney’s trans character Rose in “The Star Beast” special. 

As reported by Deadline, complaints called Finney’s character “anti-male”, while others said it was an “inappropriate inclusion of [a] transgender character”.

“The Star Beast”, the first of Doctor Who’s 60th-anniversary specials which see David Tennant reprise his role as the two-hearted Time Lord, introduces Finney’s trans character Rose Noble, who is the daughter of Shaun Temple and Donna Noble (Catherine Tate). 

Trans trailblazer Finney, who said in 2022 that she feels she was “put on this earth to make a change”, has previously spoken about how her own experiences shaped Rose’s story the special. 

Of filming the episode, Finney said: “It did bring back some PTSD for me. 

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“I think, sadly my high school experience was a lot of bullying and a lot of defending myself and having to put on a brave face when I entered the school doors.

“It didn’t go too much into [Rose’s] bullying, it just grazed it a little bit and it added a little bit of reality into Rose’s life and what it’s like to be a trans person. I think we did it beautifully and it wasn’t too much. But it showed she’s still struggling … she still gets deadnamed.”

Since its launch in 1963, Doctor Who has cultivated a devout queer fan base, with the LGBTQ+ fandom growing since Queer as Folk creator Russell T Davies rebooted the show in 2005 – and the upcoming season featuring Ncuti Gatwa as the 15th Doctor promises to be its queerest yet.

Davies has previously said of Finney joining the beloved British sci-fi series that there are unfortunately some who are “full of absolute hate, and venom, and destruction and violence who would like to see that sort of thing wiped off the screen entirely”.

To those people, he said: “Shame on you and good luck to you in your lonely lives.”

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