Doctor Who Series 5 spoiler: new companion

By Phil Plait | March 9, 2009 5:55 pm

OK, major Doctor Who spoiler alert! Well, kinda– not a plot spoiler, but a series 5 spoiler about the new companion.

OK, is that enough? Den of Geek is spreading the rumor that the new companion for the new Doctor is a young lass named Hannah Murray. I’ve not heard of her, but she was on a BBC show called Skins. She’s very young, 19, which come to think of it was how old Rose was supposed to be in the first series (Billie Piper was actually 23 in 2005).

Hannah Murray, the Doctor’s new companion?

Sticking with the theme, Ms. Murray is a cutie, but I’m starting to wonder. With the new Doctor being played by an actor who is only 27, they may have picked her to make the Doctor look older. I’m starting to suspect that after the next regeneration, the Doctor will be played by a fetus.

Anyway, consider this in the rumor stage. But it’ll be a while before this one’s confirmed, since the first of the last shows with David Tennant won’t air until Easter, and the next one after that won’t be until — cripes! — December! The rumor mill will have at least a year to churn, so expect lots of twists in this particular plot as time unfolds.


Comments (42)

  1. Skins is actually a well written and fairly poignant coming of age series, and Ms Murray is a very good actor in it. Her youthful looks belie someone who can express emotion without going all Olivier. I think she’ll be an excellent companion.

    The next doctor will be played by the next Daniel Radcliffe, aged 14.

  2. gila

    Okay, so I’m a sick little puppy. But as soon as you said the next Doctor would be played by a fetus, I instantly wondered, “Will the uterus be bigger on the inside than it is outside?”


  3. Jeremy

    A new Doctor and a new companion. This will be the first time the entire cast has changed at the same time in the run of the new series. I hate to say it, but I’m deeply skeptical. Tennant’s going to be a nearly impossible act to follow IMO, and providing no character continuity with the earlier seasons will only make the transition more jarring. I hope I’m wrong, of course, but when the cast of a show is spontaneously replaced with a bunch of young kids it usually spells disaster (Seaquest anyone?).

  4. Davidlpf

    Just a reminder for the Canadians here that the Doctor Who christimas special is on Space on Saturday night.

  5. I liked Hannah Murray on Skins. Ironically one of my friends once referred to her as looking like a vaguely burned-out looking Billie Piper.

    What goes around…

  6. Kyle

    @ Gila: That was really funny, almost did a spit-take. Well played. Have a jelly baby.

  7. llewelly

    Rose was supposed to be 19? Wow. I had always thought she was supposed to be in her mid-20s somewheres.
    I guess that’s what I get for only having watched about 12 episodes.

  8. Chris

    Skins is (and was) made by Channel 4, not the BBC. ūüėÄ

  9. OtherRob

    Okay, so I‚Äôm a sick little puppy. But as soon as you said the next Doctor would be played by a fetus, I instantly wondered, ‚ÄúWill the uterus be bigger on the inside than it is outside?‚ÄĚ

    Well, gila, what does it say about me, then, that I was laughing so hard I couldn’t read any of the other comments??? :-)

  10. Scott

    @gila: Best laugh I’ve had in days!

  11. Wildride

    I loved Hannah in Skins. She’d be a great choice. Her character seemed to be out in space for much of the time, anyway, so she’s got experience.

    BTW: Dev Patel of Slumdog Millionaire was one of her co-stars.

  12. Evan

    It’s not the first Skins/Doctor Who crossover. Joseph Dempsie, who played Chris on Skins, was one of the soldiers in The Doctor’s Daughter.

  13. Matthew J.

    Den of Geek says that it’s source is the British paper News Of The World. Not quite in the same league as the Sun or the Mirror, but pretty close. I’ll wait till I see an official announcement.

    Oh and check out the Daily Mash (Brit version of The Onion) for their report on the real reason Matt Smith got the job:

    Totally NSFW, BTW.

  14. Sam

    I’m getting really tired of the way people are content to simply spread rumors now. At least you admit it’s a rumor, but the fact is you shouldn’t be reporting anything unsubstantiated because it spreads like a virus and people believe it as truth. This particular rumor was started by News of the World, for crying out loud. What, The Sun wasn’t inaccurate enough with its baseless DW rumors-reported-as-fact, now you have to spread crap from News of the World? Christ.

  15. MarkH

    Cassie! Sweet, this is awesome. She was fantastic on Skins, and this is about a bazillion times better than the previous rumor du jour, which was that Michelle Ryan (from NBC’s awful Bionic Woman reboot) was the new companion. She was fine, but a little stiff; but Hannah’s Cass was a wonderful, damaged flake. I hope even a tiny bit of that comes through to DW.

  16. Shoot. I was kind of hoping they’d pick an older woman as the Companion. I think Moffat could do well having an ancient and wise old man in a kid’s body and a companion who looks like his mom.

  17. Matt H

    @ Chris

    Skins is indeed produced by Channel 4 and not the BBC. However as far as i am aware its aired in the US on BBC America. So Phil is sort of right in a round about way… :p

  18. bjoe

    Took one look at her picture, and wondered, Why another horsey blonde? Sorry to be blunt. But it was hard to watch Billie Piper because all I could see were her teeth. Would love to see Donna spank Matt.

  19. rob


    because of your endless babbling and raving about the new Dr. Who (and because as a kid i really loved Tom Baker as Dr. Who) i went out and put the new series on my Netflix instant queue.

    now i’m a Dr. Who junkie. and it is all YOUR fault. you can pay my therapist to explain to me that season 6 isn’t being made yet and i have to wait.


  20. Grinspoon

    It does seem the new Dr Who series will try and pander to a younger audience, while assuming the current audience will run with it.

    My main worry is, that the Dr won’t display any sense of confidence and wisdom. He can be young at heart, but not at mind.

  21. Joe Meils

    Um… I haven’t read the rest of the responses, but my initial reaction is: Jo Grant 2.0?

  22. Cory Meyer

    What will happen after the 13th Doctor is killed off? After all, he can regenerate only twelve times. Gasp!

  23. Fizzle

    @Cory Meyer

    Three possibility’s A: they well end the show because of a rule created 35 years ago to add new drama to the Master or 2: they well include a throwaway line about how all Timelords were given 784 regenerations in the Timewar or C: They well make a interesting plot point out of it, simultaneously figuring out a creative way of getting around it.

  24. Sarah

    I am trying to remain optimistic, I really am. SM has written some of the spookiest, best episodes yet (I’ve only watched the new series stuff, I’m only 19…I know…shame on me. I loved Chris as the Doctor and I loved David even more. I am going to miss the reoccuring characters: Rose, Martha, Donna, Mickey, Jackie,Wilf…etc. I don’t think that Moffatt is big on bringing them back…ever. My hope is that since he created the character of Jack that perhaps he may be back now and again.

    The shift will be incredibley difficult to make I think because, as others have said, there will be no familiar character to hold on to. 10 will cease to exist and suddenly it will be as if we’ve started back at the beginning again…no continuity. There has to at least (I hope) be some mention of past events, and no it doesn’t have to be in a teary eyed…I lost them voice. The Doctor will be new and I have every faith in him, the companion will be new…not so sure about that, as well, the TARDIS interior will be new.

    I am all for reviving a show, but it seems like a rather drastic shift to me. Still, I’m along for the ride unless I truly dislike it. Let’s see what they give us before we all jump up and cry in outrage.

    …I’m still sad about this era ending though

  25. Rift

    This is not the first time the entire cast has changed at once, but the fourth…

    1- Jon Pertwee and Liz Shaw
    2- Paul McGann and Grace Halloway
    3-Christopher Ecceliston and Rose Tyler

    I was skeptical of all 3 of those (especially the third) but they all worked out fine…

    I for one am ready for a era change, that’s the nature of doctor who and one of it’s endearing qualities..

  26. Rift

    Oh sorry, the fifth time William Hartnell, Susan, Ian and Barbra ūüėõ

  27. Rift

    We’ve known for ages that there was going to be a complete cast change. This has nothing to do with trying to get a younger audience but just a side effect of having the change over from Russel T. Davies to Steve Moffat and David Tenant leaving at the same time. A complete cast change is not that big of a deal in a 45 year old show that has changed innumerous times.

    As for the 13th regeneration thing, that was a one off line explaining the Master and the disappearance of Roger Delgado (who died) from the cast. I dunno why fans are so hung up on this while other inconsistencies are ignored.

  28. Jack

    Ok, im backing up Rift here.

    Its about time we had a change. sure its was nice to have familiur faces pop back like rose, martha and donna, but there has to be a point when it stops. The doctors gona keep changing and ageing and the show will never move on if its the same assistants.

    over the years the docotrs gone through over 20 diffrent assistants (it feels like a lot more some how) he has always moved forward and apart from the odd eopsode like the five docotrs and the two doctors sarah jane smith has been the only one to make a big return years later (not saying that was a bad thing, she was one of the best)

    All the assistants have famalies, we always go back to and the assiastnat keep coming back feels like its always gona be tied down.

    i think 2010 will let the docotor start a new chapter
    new series, new assistants new tardis design and new producer (who seems to be a tradiational who fan) and has writen some amazing stories.
    (also recently found out he did the comic relief one years ago with Rowan Atkinson as the docotor).

    as far as new assistants go, i think Jemima Rooper who played thelma in hex and was recently in Lost in Austen whould be great.

  29. Ginger Yellow

    “It does seem the new Dr Who series will try and pander to a younger audience, while assuming the current audience will run with it.”

    Well, to be fair, it is supposed to be a show for kids watched by adults as well. It’s always been that way.

  30. doctor who rocks

  31. Prospero

    12 Regenerations was more than a Master Throw-away line. It was picked up as a major plot point in Mawdryn Undead.

    This being said — I can think of half a dozen ways to get the Doctor more lives (and I’m not really that creative). The easiest, is that it’s been clearly established that the TimeLords can grant a new cycle of lives (happened to the Master Twice, right) — if the TimeLords were sending the Doctor off to destroy both them and Daleks as a kind of last ditch to save Time (not established, but hinted at?, wouldn’t they give him as many lives as possible?

  32. Gemini71

    As I have never seen her act, I don’t have any prior experience of her previous roles, therefore I will reserve my judgement, if the rumour about her being The 11th Doctor’s first companion is true.

    However, my own personal preference is for an actress called Rachel Shenton. Hailing from the Manchester district of the North West of England, she has been in things like ‘Doctors’, ‘Holby City’ & ‘Waterloo Road’, in which she took on smaller, supporting roles. She hasn’t yet managed to land a major role. ‘Doctor Who’ needs an uknown.

  33. Cyberwoman

    We have had the 1st special and the next special is set to take place soon… not in december, we are having 3 more specials and matt smith is not taking over the role until christmas!!!

  34. booki

    cool i think lynda with a y should return

  35. JellyBaby

    Bjoe said “Took one look at her picture, and wondered, Why another horsey blonde? Sorry to be blunt. But it was hard to watch Billie Piper because all I could see were her teeth.”

    Yeah, but has anyone noticed Hannah Murray’s ears? Can’t take my eyes off them!! lol

  36. Jfretton

    ohk im really dissapointed that they will replace david tennant as the docter its just goona be so boring i hope thenext docter is up to the task.

  37. UltimateDrWhoFan

    I agree with Prospero. I have been watching Dr Who since I was in 6th grade. The Mawdryn Undead is an excellent and distinctive story that depicts the limit of regenerations. If TimeLords could truly live forever then wouldn’t Gallifrey have been quite overcrowded? Especially because the TimeLords did not side with the concept of leaving Gallifrey at all except for sending delegates to events. They labelled the Dr a criminal for leaving Gallifrey which leads one to believe that they do not like reaching outside their own atmosphere. The seried has more than ample evidence that TimeLords simply watch over the universe and not interfere which is their highest law. (Sorry this is getting a bit long). It is true that the TimeLords had the ability to transcend the 12 regeneration limit but immortality seems a bit unlikely. After all, in the Five Doctors, it is stated that Rassilon (the greatest TimeLord) had achieved immortality but that it was a curse. In fact, in the Five Doctors, the second Dr makes the comment that noboby really knew the extent of Rassilon’s power. So it would seem that the gift of immortality is not impossible nor improbable.

  38. Gemini71

    On the one hand, I am dismayed that they didn’t consider Rachel for the role. However, on the other hand, by casting Karen Gillan, Moffatt has gone for an unknown. It’s good to see that new talent is being tapped for the next generation of TV and film starlets.

  39. Daniel

    There seems to be a lot of apprehension and concern over a new cast change and the fact that the new Doctor is inherently young. My thoughts? Reserve judgement. We love SM for the wonderful and haunting stories he has given us, yet somehow, as soon as we see an actor proposed for the part who looks perhaps slightly too young to be a dad yet, we lose our faith.
    I believe SM will make good choices and let’s not forget that DR Who is all about constant changes and evolution. We might freak out at a sudden jar in continuity, yet we forget that it wasn’t explained fully that the doctor could regenerate until Pertwee (before that, it was more speculative as to how or why he changed). Ultimately, judgements can only be made once the action starts to unfold.
    As for explaining how the Doctor may overcome the 12-regeneration limit, one possibility is to explain that the Gallifrey counting system is different from earth. (Perhaps each number is the Earth equivalent to the power of itself, meaning 12 on Gallifrey is more then 8000 trillion on Earth). Yes ok, intellectually, its both a tough AND a weak get-out clause but this is off the cuff.
    Anyway, looking forward to DR Who Series 5. Blink and you might miss it!

  40. new compaion karan gillan(amy pond)

  41. Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) is awesome. My new fave. :-)

    (Click my name for her wiki-page btw.)


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