Actress Shobna Gulati has heaped praise on the makers of the new series of Doctor Who for creating a ‘truly inclusive’ cast.
The ex-Coronation Street star will appear in the next episode of the show, playing the mother of the Doctor’s new sidekick Yaz, played by Mandip Gill.
She told Metro: “The more visible different people from different communities, who are predominantly marginalised, across culture, across disability, across gender – if we’re not visible in the community, how can we ever go forward?
“Everyone keeps banging on about Jodie being the first woman Doctor – well, let them, because I think everybody needs to be visible or we’ll all be marginalised.
Shobna Gulati (Credit: BBC)
“It moves me that Chris [Chibnall, Doctor Who’s showrunner] has thought that, and he’s made this conscious thought.
“When I watch television sometimes, you can count everyone on one hand – but on this show, it’s truly inclusive, to the point where if I wasn’t so political I would forget, I would watch it and think ‘that’s today’s world’.”
She also lauded her co-star Gill too.
“What a team. I’ve always admired Mandip, because I call myself a visible minority ethnic actor, so when you see people and characters like me on the screen, I’m always interested in their careers,” she went on.
“So when I got the chance to work with Mandip, I thought that was absolutely fantastic. ‘And being a Whovian all my life, it seems like a dream come true. I’m still a little bit in a daze with it all. It still hasn’t sunk in, even when I was in Cardiff earlier this year.
“Jodie [Whittaker]’s a fantastic Doctor, I have to say. She is my favourite, and I’m not just saying that. Because I am a Whovian – before Jodie it was David Tennant, now it’s Jodie. There’s nothing now that can beat Jodie.”
Last week’s episode found the Doctor and her new team hurtling back in time to 1950s Alabama to ensure civil rights activist Rosa Parks fulfilled her destiny.
The next episode, Arachnids In The UK, will find the team back in Sheffield, with Sex and the City’s Chris Noth also making an appearance.
It airs on Sunday night on BBC One.