"We're trying to defeat the Daleks, not start a jumble sale!"

TV Just as I was finishing off another half hearted review of a Big Finish Short Trip with a view to going to bed, the BBC do their usual and drop some big news late on a Sunday night. Companions! TX details!


The rumours were true, Bradley Walsh is a companion, but he's not the only one. Joining his character Graham (and I know at least one person who'll be pleased with that choice) are Tosin Cole and Mandip Gill as Ryan and Yasmin. It's going to be a busy old TARDIS.

Tosin's longest stretch on television so far is as someone called Neil on Hollyoaks, but he was also in Star Wars The Force Awakens as Bastian, who flew with Red Squadron in the final battle so he can be added to the list of actors who have characters listed in the TARDIS Datacore and the Wookiepedia.

Mandip's another Hollyoaks alum who may have been contemporaneous with Tosin.  Outside of that it's mainly regional theatre in bit parts in medical dramas, which I love.   We don't know anything about her which provides a counterweight to Bradley of whom we know quite a lot. She's on Twitter, god help her.

Sharon D Clarke will also appear in a "returning role".  Does that means she's playing a character from the past or a new character who'll return now and then.  Is it the Rani?  Clarke is best known from Holby, but she appeared in a couple of episodes of Paul Abbot and Kay Mellor's Children's Ward for which Russell T Davies was also a script writer. Oh and Song for Europe in 2000 with this thematically suitable song [via]:

They placed second incidentally, losing out to Nicki French.

TX details!

Hello darkness, my old friend, I've come to talk with you again.

Amid all the excitement, we also discover that the episode count has been cut again, from 12 and a special to 10 and a special and that it's not arriving until Autumn 2018 which means that like 2015 season, it'll be at the mercy of Strictly's scheduling again as the dance competition episodes decrease in length over time.

Cue discussions about money and time.  The press release indicates: "Doctor Who is a BBC Studios production for BBC One and a BBC America co-production. BBC Worldwide are the international distributors for Doctor Who."  So the most recent funding model is still in place.

So why do less episodes?  Is it that production costs are so high in relative terms now that in order to keep making the show to a certain standard they've had to cut the number of episodes?  Some of the recent installments have seems a bit interior heavy so it's possible they're trimming the duration in order to improve whats there.

Time: having at least two of these cast members working on the show for the old production period of ten months is a stretch so could it be Jodie and especially Bradley's schedule which has led to this?

Or is it simply that Chibbers wants to turn out ten quality episodes in writing terms rather than forcing through twelve with some ropey ones in the middle as has been the case since the show came back.

Anyway, here's the full press release with the usual quotes about how happy everyone is to be there.

Squee etc.

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