The Doctor and her three best friends will pay a visit to America during the Civil Rights Movement very soon, and they’ll be teaming up with Rosa Parks in an upcoming Doctor Who Season 11 episode.
During a Sunday panel at New York Comic Con, Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall confirmed rumors from February 2018 that Season 11 would include Rosa Parks in a historical episode, adding that it would be the third episode of the new season.
During the Q&A section of the panel, one male fan and scholar focusing on Women’s Studies asked about the lasting impact of a woman in an iconic role like that of the Doctor, citing female leaders such as Rosa Parks. This prompted Chibnall to say, “Heroes come in all shapes and sizes and genders and sexualities,” adding, “I hope you enjoy Episode 3 if you’ve been studying Rosa Parks.”
BBC America also released a sizzle real trailer for Season 11 before the panel started featuring a myriad of Season 11 guest stars, including actress Vinette Robinson in a costume that looked just like Rosa Parks.
Season 11’s first episode left the Doctor and her three new friends trapped in the vacuum of space. Presumably, they’ll all wind up on some alien planet for Episode 2, get the TARDIS back, and then head for 1960s America. The ship has a mind of her own after all.
During a conversation Sunday morning with press, Chris Chibnall noted that the show will acknowledge the Doctor being a woman now in various circumstances. So she’ll get appropriate responses in her travels — especially in the human past.
“How people respond to the Doctor within the narrative — when we go to historical periods, people are going to respond to this Doctor differently than they would have Peter’s Doctor,” he said.
Does that mean the Doctor and her new friends will have to confront racism and sexism in 1960s America? Probably.
Doctor Who airs Sunday nights on BBC America at 8 p.m. Eastern.