Heartstopper breakout Yasmin Finney is preparing for a role in Doctor Who that she says will "change the world." There are big things in store for Doctor Who's 60th anniversary as the series prepares to make Disney+ its new international streaming home (and Disney considers giving the show a "Hollywood makeover"). Jodie Whittaker's Thirteenth Doctor's regeneration surprised fans by revealing not Ncuti Gatwa, but David Tennant as the Fourteenth Doctor. Tennant, who previously played the Tenth Doctor, is returning for a series of three specials in November 2023 that lead to Gatwa's introduction as the Fifteenth Doctor, with Catherine Tate also returning as the Doctor's former companion, Donna Noble.
In the midst of all of that, the BBC announced that Finney will join the show as a character named Rose, a name that has a lot of resonance for Doctor Who fans and the Doctor. Many fans are confident that Finney is playing Donna's daughter, named after the Doctor's previous companion, Rose Tyler. Without giving much away, Finney teased while speaking to Vogue that her Doctor Who role "will change the world."
"There are spies," she says. "If I talk about the Whoniverse, it's over. All I can say is, I feel so honoured to be seen by Russell… I remember growing up idolising it. 'm happy to be the representation on a show that means a lot to so many."
While Finney isn't the first transgender actor to appear in Doctor Who (that would be Bethany Black in the episode "Sleep No More"), she's one of the few. Her role is also drawing a lot more attention for coming during the 60th anniversary, with former showrunner Russell T. Davies returning to the helm alongside Tennant and Tate.
"When you get into the casting room, there's only one question: can you act? And that's where she stole the show," Davies says of casting Finney as Rose. "She was immediately right. My greatest worry was whether 57 other shows would snap her up instead. To see someone commanding such attention – and let's face it, such enmity – with grace and wit and a wonderful smile".
When her casting was announced, Finney said, "If anyone would have told 8 year old Yasmin that one day she'd be part of this iconic show, I would have never in a million years believed them. 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. I cannot wait to begin this journey and for you all to see how Rose blossoms. Get Ready."
Doctor Who returns for its 60th anniversary in November 2023.