Doctor Who is set to continue flipping the script of its gender dynamics if a new rumor turns out to be true.
The Mirror is reporting that Bradley Walsh will be the new companion joining the Doctor in Doctor Who Season Eleven. Walsh is a British actor best known for his roles on the soap opera Coronation Street and for playing the lead role in Law & Order: UK, and for hosting the game shows The Chase and Cash Trapped.
Walsh's casting is said to be a deliberate choice by new showrunner Chris Chibnall to move away from the trend of consistently casting young women in the companion role. Since the new series of Doctor Who debuted in 2005, the primary companion for each season has been a young female actor, such Billie Piper, Karen Gillan, and Jenna Louise Coleman.
"Bradley is super excited to be joining the cast of Doctor Who in such a key role," The Mirror's source claims. "It means that his schedule over the coming months will be jam-packed – so he won't be able to continue with the full range of programs he currently makes for ITV.
"But, crucially, it won't affect his role as presenter of The Chase. He loves that show with a passion and so does the audience, so he's delighted to have found a way to make it all work."
The BBC has declined to comment on the rumor.
If true, Walsh will be joining the newly revealed Thirteenth Doctor, Jodie Whitaker, who will be the first female actor to take over as the lead in Doctor Who.
Before Whitaker (and possibly Walsh) can begin her run, Peter Capaldi's Twelfth Doctor and companion Bill Potts, played by Pearl Mackie, have one last adventure left to run in the 2017 Doctor Who Christmas Special. Capaldi and Mackie will be joined by David Bradley as the First Doctor, originally played by William Hartnell, for a story titled "Twice Upon a Time." The two encountered each other at the conclusion of the Doctor Who Season 10 finale. The Christmas Special will also guest star Mark Gatiss as a German World War I soldier referred to so far only as "The Captain."
The Doctor Who Christmas Special will air on Christmas Day, Dec. 25, 2017.