Could it be that some much needed color will soon be returning to the Doctor Who Companion roster? Reportedly, Rakhee Thakrar, who any of fans of the BBC One Soap Opera EastEnders will know as Shabnam Masood, is on the short list of actresses being considered to replace Jenna Coleman as the Doctor’s righthand woman.
32 year old Thakrar, who left EastEnders in February, garnered praise from fans and critics alike, even earning herself a National Television Award nomination for “Best Serial Performance” following a prolonged, painful storyline, ending with her character Shabnam delivering a stillborn child. Thakrar told British news outlet RadioTimes that she was very pleased with how the story was handled.
“It wasn’t sensationalised and the script was really simple and true,” she said. “It was one of those rare times when you see a day play out as it would in real life. And I had a lot of feedback from parents saying that what they saw Shabnam and Kush experience was exactly how they themselves felt.”
As for the future of Doctor Who, all we know so far is that it will not return until spring of 2017, and that the upcoming Series 10 will be Steven Moffat’s final turn as showrunner, after which he will be succeeded by Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall. In regards to the casting of a new Companion, the Doctor himself, Peter Capaldi, is remaining pretty vague in his remarks.
“We’ve just had some brief talks about it, we haven’t actually chosen someone yet — that I know of,” he said. “I would expect that I would meet them before we finalized all that… we’re looking for someone different.”
Quite frankly, the fact that Thakrar is not white qualifies as different enough in my books. If they don’t end up casting her, I sincerely hope they do cast another person of color. Perhaps this might also bode well for us potentially seeing a non-white, and maybe even at non-male Doctor sometime after Capaldi’s inevitable departure.