Bradley Walsh And Tosin Cole To Depart ‘Doctor Who’ In Holiday Special

by Erik Amaya

The rumors were true.

According to BBC America, Bradley Walsh and Tosin Cole are leaving Doctor Who. Their final story as regulars will be the 2021 New Year’s Day special, “Revolution of the Daleks.” Since earlier in the year, rumors floated by British tabloids suggested the pair would be leaving the series.

For the last two seasons, the pair of actors portrayed Ryan (Cole) and Graham (Walsh), two men from Sheffield united when Ryan’s gran, Grace (Sharon D. Clarke) marries Graham. Unfortunately, the arrival of The Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) leads to Grace’s death and the pair end up as part of the TARDIS team. Along the way, Ryan starts to see Graham as his granddad and both grow beyond who they were just a few short months ago.

Or years, maybe. Time travel is complicated.

In “Revolution of the Daleks,” Ryan, Graham, and fellow time traveler Yaz (Mandip Gill) adjust to life back in Sheffield without The Doctor. And though they will face a Dalek invasion, it seems their time apart from the Time Lord gave the two men a new perspective on their lives. “Ryan is OK without the Doctor,” Cole told BBC America. “He has learnt a lot from his time with the crew and is now more confident and self-sufficient than ever.”

Although they may be ready to leave The Doctor, Walsh said their departure will still be “quite sad and poignant.”

Gill will presumably continue on as Yaz, but it remains to be seen if the pair will add any more friends or companions to their travels. Typically, The Doctor wanders time and space with one or two others, but the arrival of Whittaker’s Doctor saw her picking up three people as her story began. The number is, itself a callback to the program’s earliest days. Back in 1963, The Doctor (William Hartnell) traveled with his granddaughter and her two human schoolteachers. Though the cast would change, that number stayed consistent until 1967, when it finally reduced to two, and then typically to one from 1970 onwards. In 1981, then-producer John Nathan-Turner revived the four-person TARDIS crew to varying level of success. The new series started with one companion, Rose Tyler (Billie Piper), occasionally adding a second companion for a handful of episodes here and there.

Since Whittaker’s debut, showrunner Chris Chibnall discouraged the use of the term companion, favoring “friends.” Whatever you call them, though, their departures are always bittersweet — and occasionally tragic — and we expect “Revolution of the Daleks” to be no different.

“Revolution of the Daleks” airs January 1st on BBC America in the United States.

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