Last month, Doctor Who fans learned that Stephen Fry, Sir Lenny Henry CBE, Goran Višnjić, and Robert Glenister would be joining Jodie Whittaker‘s 13th Doctor during Series 12, and received a new teaser with tagline (“Space. For Everyone.”).
With November 23 marking the anniversary of the first airing of the show, viewers got the real deal when the BBC released the official trailer (see below) – with Doctor Who listed at the time as being set to return early 2020.
Well, now we know that “early 2020” means New Year’s Day as the Doctor and her companions Ryan (Tosin Cole), Yasmin (Mandip Gill) and Graham (Bradley Walsh) materialize back on to BBC One and BBC America screens with two-part, Chris Chibnall-written series-opener Spyfall.
But today’s update is all about Whittaker and a very special moment on the upcoming episode of The Graham Norton Show. This year’s BBC Children in Need event included a charity album called Got It Covered that had famous personalities covering famous songs – with Whittaker covering Coldplay‘s “Yellow” (accompanied by some very familar faces).
Flash ahead to this week and Norton’s show, where Whittaker was a guest along with Michael Palin, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kevin Hart, and Harry Styles. In the middle of her interview, Whittaker was surprised to receive her own The BRIT Certified Silver Disc for sales on the album – and responds in a way that endears her to The Rock, Hart, and Norton (we’re already Team Whittaker).
Here’s the original tweet, followed by the full video:
— BBC One (@BBCOne) December 6, 2019
For some perspective, The BRIT Certified Awards are based on Official Charts Company data and have a set criteria. Singles are awarded Platinum status when they achieve 600,000 units, Gold for 400,000 units, and Silver for 200,000 units. Albums at 300,000 units achieve Platinum certification, 100,000 for Gold, and 60,000 for Silver.
Speaking with RadioTimes recently, Chibnall explained that the goal of this season is to give both new and long-time Doctor Who fans a better appreciation of the scope of the Doctor’s universe:
“Last year was a recruiting year for the show, and I think we managed to recruit some people for the show. That’s exciting. And obviously we kept the existing audience and built on that. I think this year we’re developing that, so for all the people who are new to Doctor Who we’re going to go ‘Look at the amazing world of Doctor Who, look at all the treats that are in there.’
So we’re building on last year. There are lots of new faces, a few old faces. There are some things trickling through which might be important. It’s different! I think you always need to take new, big risks from a storytelling point of view.
Doctor Who has to exist in the modern television landscape. There is so much drama, there are so many shows. We have to continually find new reasons to be existing. But also there’s loads of things the show hasn’t done before. I think you saw last year that we took a lot of risks, and I think that they paid off, and I think that we’ll continue to take some big risks this year.
But you can do that and also give people all the stuff they love about Doctor Who as well. You balance the two.
Risk is built into Doctor Who, from day one in 1963. No question of that.”