Doctor Who has added a new companion to its cast. Samuel Anderson is the latest actor—along with Jenna Coleman’s Clara—to be captured by aliens and serve as a sounding board for the Doctor’s exposition. And while the news that Anderson will join the TARDIS team didn’t come with the same amount of fanfare as the announcement of Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor, Anderson’s presence will significantly shake up Who’s storytelling, which for the latter half of season seven focused solely on the Doctor and Clara.
According to Radio Times, Anderson will star as Danny Pink, Clara’s schoolteacher colleague. The duo both work at Coal Hill School—a callback to the place of employment of the show’s original companions, back in 1963. Best known for his time on the soap opera Emmerdale as well a role in the stage and screen versions of The History Boys, Anderson said in a statement, “I was so excited to join Doctor Who I wanted to jump and click my heels… It’s a quintessential part of British culture and I can’t believe I’m part of it.”
It’s unclear exactly how Danny Pink will fit into the Whoniverse and whether he’ll be a full-time companion, like Amy Pond’s beau Rory Williams, or more of an occasional cohort, like Mickey Smith in the show’s first few seasons. Either way, he’ll add a new complexity to the Coleman/Capaldi pairing and bring some much-needed diversity to a show criticized for its almost exclusively white cast. Doctor Who’s eighth season is currently filming in Cardiff and is expected to premiere later this year.