Yasmin Finney on her Doctor Who role: “It will change the world”

With all the excitement around The Power of the Doctor, the returning classic Doctors and the old companions to the show, the end of the Jodie Whittaker era, and the surprise return of David Tennant as the Fourteenth, and the international partnership between the BBC and Disney+ for the science fiction show, it seems like quite a long time since it was announced that Yasmin Finney will be joining the show as a character called Rose.

Doctor Who gains its own heartstopper as Yasmin Finney joins the cast” wrote the BBC on Instagram on May 16th, announcing the casting of Finney as Rose, and referencing the hit Netflix show Heartstoppers in which the trans actress made her name as Elle Argent.

At the time 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.”

But since then we’ve not heard much more from the actress, until now…

“It will change the world,” Finney told British Vogue in reference to her casting as a trans woman in Doctor Who to travel alongside Ncuti Gatwa.

“All I can say is, I feel so honoured to be seen by Russell… I remember growing up idolising it [Doctor Who].” In this “very inclusive” iteration, “I’m happy to be the representation on a show that means a lot to so many.”

In the Vogue piece, Russell T Davies is also quoted, describing how in her audition for Doctor Who “she stole the show. She was immediately right.”

He added: “My greatest worry was whether 57 other shows would snap her up instead.”

Davies said that watching Finney act was “an education… to see someone commanding such attention – and let’s face it, such enmity – with grace and wit and a wonderful smile”.

Finney describes some of the enmity towards her as a black trans woman in the interview, how she had to grow up fast, and what it was like to be subjected to bullying.

“I think to them I’m like an alien,” she says.

However, thankfully now things have changed.

“I don’t hold grudges, but you know… It’s crazy to think how the script’s flipped.”

How Finney’s character of Rose will fit into the increasingly complex stories that are being put together by Russell T Davies for the 60th anniversary of Doctor Who and beyond remains to be seen, but at the time of Finney’s casting, he was happy to tease the audience.

“Life on Doctor Who gets brighter and wilder, how can there be another Rose? You’ll find out in 2023, but it’s an absolute joy to welcome Yasmin to the Doctor Who set. We all fell in love with her in Heartstopper, one of those shows which changes the world – and now Yasmin can change the Whoniverse!”