‘Doctor Who’ Cast Changes: Who’s Leaving After the Holiday Special?

Doctor Who Holiday Special 2020 Companions Graham Yaz Ryan
James Pardon/BBC Studios/BBCA

Doctor Who may be welcoming back some familiar faces in the upcoming holiday special, but it will also be saying goodbye to two members of the fam.

“As the Doctor I will say that the fam as a four is no more,” Jodie Whittaker confirmed, according to BBC America on November 30. Bradley Walsh (Graham O’Brien) and Tosin Cole (Ryan Sinclair) will be leaving after “Revolution of the Daleks.” Both were introduced when Whittaker took over as the Doctor in 2018.

The holiday special picks up where Season 12 left off, with the Doctor in prison, while her companions, her fam — Yaz (Mandip Gill), Graham, and Ryan — with the help of Captain Jack Harkness (the returning John Barrowman) will discover a plan involving one of the Doctor’s most feared and dangerous enemies, the Daleks.

The way Doctor Who will be saying goodbye to Graham and Ryan is “very emotional, I think we’ve all been in tears watching it,” showrunner Chris Chibnall said. “It’s a really important part of the mix of the special, where you get lots of thrills, lots of spills, lots of humour, lots of Daleks, and lots of emotion. It’s hard, but we don’t shy away from what it means for this family to have its final moments together.”

The sendoff, he continued, will reflect the way the actors “clicked” on and off screen, and he hopes “it feels like a good send off for those two characters whatever happens to them.” Does that mean there’s a chance they could return? Companions have left in such a way that doing so isn’t easy (like, say, to a parallel universe for Billie Piper’s Rose or back in time like Karen Gillan’s Amy and Arthur Darvill’s Rory). All Chibnall would say is, “you’ll have to wait and see, won’t you.”

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Plus, see John Barrowman, Chris Noth and more return.

Both Walsh and Cole had a hard time narrowing down what they’ll miss the most about the series. “Everyone and everything,” the former said, noting that while he’s still in contact with the others, “I miss them all.”

Cole agreed. “There are too many things to list here, but it has to be the team on the screen and behind it as well as the amazing fans,” he shared. “It’s been an honour to work on such a cultural institution with fans across the world. The people like me on the screen come and go, but it’s the people behind the scenes and the fans that will always be there keeping the Doctor Who world alive and exciting.”

Doctor Who Key Art Holiday Special 2021

(Ben Blackall and James Pardon)

However their characters exit, one thing is certain: the fam will never be the same again.

Doctor Who, “Revolution of the Daleks,” Airs Friday, January 1, 2021, 8/7c, BBC America