'Doctor Who' Season 11 Has a Surprising Connection to 'The Force Awakens'
In 2015, The Force Awakens reinvented Star Wars for a new generation, making celebrities out of relatively unknown actors Daisy Ridley and John Boyega. Now, the executive producer of Doctor Who Season 11 executive producer hopes to pull off a similar feat with the show’s new cast.
At a New York Comic Con press even on Sunday morning, Doctor Who executive producer Matt Strevens and showrunner Chris Chibnall discussed the new dynamic inside the TARDIS.
“With any casting, there’s a bit of magic and alchemy as you go,” Chibnall said, comparing the new cast dynamic to that aboard the Millennium Falcon in The Force Awakens.
“It’s similar to what we loved about something like The Force Awakens,” Strevens said, “where initially people would go in thinking, ‘Oh I can’t wait to see Harrison Ford or Carrie Fisher.’ But actually, you sort of forget them in the first half hour when you meet John Boyega and Daisy Ridley because you’re instantly in love with these new guys.”
To push this even further, Doctor Who Season 11 won’t feature any returning characters, villains, or even alien species. So instant chemistry is a necessity — and so far this crew has got it.
The complex and evolving dynamics between these four new characters come off as utterly charming in the first episode of Season 11. To start, Ryan Sinclair (Tosin Cole) and Yasmin Khan (Mandip Gill) were friends in school, bringing a pre-existing sense of camaraderie to the group. Graham O’Brien (Bradley Walsh) is also Ryan’s step-grandfather, and their somewhat strained relationship is put to the test during adventures with the Doctor.
This may be the beginning for our new heroes, but it’s bound to be an exciting ride.
“We were looking to give the world these four new best friends that you want to travel with through space and time,” Chibnall explain. “So they’ve just got everything. You’re looking for stars. They’re following in the footsteps of people like Karen Gillan, Billie Piper, Freema Agyeman.”
Doctor Who airs Sundays on BBC America at 8 p.m. Eastern.