Peter Capaldi's run as the Doctor is very nearly over. Following this year's upcoming Doctor Who Christmas special, it will be Jodie Whittaker taking over Tardis duties on the long-running sci-fi series moving forward. She will be making history as the show's first ever female Doctor, and it looks like the creative team is looking to shake things up even more with her new companion. If this new report is true, Bradley Walsh, a 57-year-old man, is going to be the companion for Doctor Who season 11.
The Mirror reports that the BBC is keeping Bradley Walsh's casting a secret, but they claim that the game show host already has the gig and will be joining Jodie Whittaker on her time travel adventures next year on Doctor Who. That means that he is going to have to lighten his workload elsewhere, but that is something he sounds perfectly willing to do. Here's what an unnamed source had to say about the situation.
"Bradley is super excited to be joining the cast of Doctor Who in such a key role. 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 programmes 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"
Since this isn't an official announcement from the BBC, it should be regarded as rumor for now, but it does sound like the right move. In recent history, Doctor Who has featured a male Doctor with a young female companion. New showrunner Chris Chibnall (Broadchurch) looks to be shaking things up in a big way on Doctor Who Season 11. Jodie Whittaker, a 35-year-old woman, will be traveling around with a companion old enough to be her father. That will present fans with a whole new dynamic and could provide new storytelling opportunities. With a show that has been running as long as Doctor Who, that could be a welcome change.
American audiences aren't overly familiar with Bradley Walsh, but he is a very familiar face in the U.K. He is also familiar to Chris Chibnall, who worked with him on Law & Order UK, which starred Walsh and had Chibnall as the lead writer. He also worked with Jodie Whittaker on Broadchurch, so he seems to be going with familiar faces for his first season on Doctor Who. This is definitely going to set it apart from Steven Moffat's version of the show.
Male companions have existed in Doctor Who previously. During the show's original run, the series featured Frazer Hines as Jamie McCrimmon, Ian Marter as Harry Sullivan and Matthew Waterhouse as Adric. So Bradley Walsh won't be the first male companion, but he'll be the first one with a female Doctor by his side. Doctor Who Season 11 doesn't have a premiere date yet, but it is possible we could see Walsh make his debut on this year's Christmas special, Twice Upon a Time.