Katy Manning on Doctor Who: “There will be spin-offs, there will be people returning”

Classic Doctor Who era companion actor Katy Manning has said there are to be spin-offs of the show and that she believes they will feature returning cast to the show.

Manning, who originally played companion Jo Grant in the sci-fi series between 1971 and 1973 opposite Jon Pertwee’s Third Doctor, has herself returned to the Whoniverse in The Sarah Jane Adventures and more recently in The Power of the Doctor. And it sounds like she’s more than happy to be involved again, should the right opportunity present itself.  

“There will be spin-offs, there will be people returning – I do know that,” said Grant at a BFI screening event of 1972 story The Sea Devils (via Radio Times). 

Added Grant: “I think Granny Jo […] is a glorious character now – this woman with all these children, championing the world… and the thought of this extraordinary old lady of 77…

“I think it’d be lovely if she just occasionally comes in for a very good reason. They’ll bring lots of people back but I hope that Great Granny Jo gets just a little kind of nod here and there.”

Rumours of Doctor Who spin-offs have been rife since it was announced that the BBC had struck a deal with Disney to make Disney+ the streaming home of the show. There were reports at the end of last year that new spin-off shows focussed on classic enemies like The Daleks were being considered – and fans have been having their say too

Earlier in 2023, Showrunner Russell T Davies appeared to all but confirm spin-off shows would be coming, and his predecessor Chris Chibnall also hinted that he would like to have expanded the Whoniverse should the budget have been in place. 

As it stands, there has still been no official announcement on spin-offs, timelines or themes for such projects. 

Doctor Who will return to TV screens in November 2023 with three one hour episodes celebrating the 60th anniversary of the show. The stories will star David Tennant as the Fourteenth Doctor and feature Catherine Tate as Donna Noble, Yasmin Finney as Rose and Neil Patrick Harris.

These episodes will be the first as part of the new deal between BBC and Disney

Ncuti Gatwa will take over as the Fifteenth Doctor around the festive season of 2023 alongside his new companion Ruby Sunday, played by former Coronation Street actor Millie Gibson

Season 14 of Doctor Who will be released in 2024.