Just when we though we had a grasp on what old/new showrunner Russell T. Davies was planning with his return to Doctor Who—a new Doctor, some returning favorites potentially opening the door for more returning favorites—he’s gone ahead and thrown a sonic screwdriver into the machinery. As reported by Variety, Heartstopper’s Yasmin Finney (she plays Elle Argent on the Netflix series) has joined Doctor Who as… Rose Tyler, a character who is already played by Billie Piper, or at least was the last time we saw her when the Doctor checked in on the parallel Earth where she lives now.
Of course, new actors playing old characters has been part of Doctor Who for approximately 50 years, but that sort of thing is traditionally left to Time Lords like the Doctor. Rose Tyler, despite briefly having godlike mastery of time and space when she became the Bad Wolf, is just a normal person… as far as we know.
Davies isn’t giving up any clues, but—in what is apparently going to be a tradition now with Doctor Who announcements—he did do his own version of “we’re all trying to figure out who did this.” In a statement celebrating the announce of Finney’s casting, he said, “Life on Doctor Who gets bright and wilder, how can there be another Rose? You’ll find out in 2023, but it’s an absolute joy to welcome Yasmin to the Doctor Who set.”
Again, he is the guy who knows how there can be another Rose, so it would be a little annoying to see him teasing us like this if all of this recent Doctor Who news weren’t so damn fun and exciting. For those who don’t want to click those earlier links: Ncuti Gatwa from Sex Education is going to be the new Doctor (Davies definitely has Netflix), and David Tennant and Catherine Tate (the Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble) will be returning to the show in some capacity, with all of that happening next year.