New ‘Doctor Who’ companion? Samuel Anderson joins Season 8 cast

Feb. 24, 2014 | 1:14 p.m.

The Doctor might be getting a new companion. Samuel Anderson, who was in a brief scene in the “Doctor Who” 50th anniversary special, “The Day of the Doctor,” will be playing a new recurring character in the show’s eighth season.

Anderson is set to play Danny Pink, a teacher at Coal Hill Secondary School and colleague of Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman), according to BBC America’s blog. The school has been a recurring setting for “Doctor Who” since the classic science-fiction adventure series’ first episode, “An Unearthly Child.” In the 1963 episode, the Doctor’s granddaughter Susan Foreman attends the Coal Hill School while the Doctor (William Hartnell) repairs the TARDIS, and two teachers discover their secret.

The Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) revisited the school in 1988’s “Remembrance of the Daleks,” and last year’s anniversary special revealed that current companion Clara Oswald is now a history teacher at the school.

"Doctor Who" actor Samuel Anderson as Danny Pink. (BBC America)

“Doctor Who” actor Samuel Anderson as Danny Pink. (BBC America)

“For the fourth time in ‘Doctor Who’ history, Coal Hill School is coming to the aid of the TARDIS,” lead writer executive producer Steven Moffat said. “In 1963, teachers Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright accompanied the First Doctor. These days it’s the turn of Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald. And very soon now, Sam Anderson as Danny Pink will be entering the world of the Doctor.”

Anderson, of course, won’t be the only new actor on set. Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith left the series, and Peter Capaldi’s tenure as the Twelfth Doctor began in the Christmas special, “The Time of the Doctor.” The Scottish actor, best known for his role as a foul-mouthed spin doctor in the political comedy “The Thick of It,” has appeared as a minor character in a previous “Doctor Who” episode (“The Fires of Pompeii”) and in the “Torchwood” miniseries spinoff “Children of Earth” before debuting as the Doctor’s latest incarnation.

Anderson, whose previous credits include “The History Boys” and “Doctors,” has also worked with Coleman; both are alumni of the long-running British soap opera “Emmerdale.” Coleman played Jasmine Thomas, the niece of the local vicar, and Anderson portrayed police officer Ross Kirk. The pair shared several scenes together.

“I was so excited to join ‘Doctor Who,’ I wanted to jump and click my heels, but I was scared I might not come down before filming started,” Anderson said. “It’s a quintessential part of British culture and I can’t believe I’m part of it. It’s an honor to be able to work alongside Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman, and I can’t wait to show people how my character becomes involved with such a fantastic duo.”

If Anderson’s character Danny Pink is indeed another companion, he won’t be the first man to time-travel with the Doctor, who has had his fair share of male companions through the years, including Ian Chesterton (William Russell), a science teacher at Coal Hill School who traveled with Hartnell’s Doctor.

Some of the more recent male companions include Captain Jack Harness (John Barrowman), who became the star of the spinoff series “Torchwood”; Wilfred Mott (Bernard Cribbins), who was companion Donna Noble’s grandfather; and Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill), companion Amy Pond’s (Karen Gillan) husband who became a hero in his own right.

The series is to return later this year.

– Noelene Clark | @NoeleneClark | Google+


"Doctor Who" star Matt Smith. “I think what he brought back to the role is the absolute nuttiness of the Doctor,” Moffat said. “Matt’s Doctor is basically insane. You put him in a normal situation, and you realize he’s an absolute lunatic.” (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)‘Doctor Who’: For Matt Smith, it’s been a ‘nutty’ ride

‘Doctor Who’: 10 extraordinary Matt Smith moments

On ‘Doctor Who,’ it’s ‘Time’ to change the Doctor

‘Doctor Who’: Tennant, Piper in anniversary video

‘Doctor Who’ casting: ‘You know it when you see it’

‘Doctor Who’ 50th anniversary hype

Peter Capaldi: A return to distinguished tradition?

‘Who’: Jenna Coleman is right in time

Moffat reveals new Doctor’s audition scripts

Comic-Con bids Matt Smith farewell


16 Responses to New ‘Doctor Who’ companion? Samuel Anderson joins Season 8 cast

  1. evanls says:

    You forgot Rose Tyler's friend Mickey, who went on a number of adventures with the Doctor

  2. Oh Dear says:

    And still no love for Ricky. Nicky. …Wicky? Gosh, what was that boy's name…?

  3. evanls says:

    You missed Rose Tyler's buddy Mickey who went on a number of trips in the Tardis

    • Michael says:

      and don't forget jamie, steven, ben, harry, turlough

      • noelenecy says:

        Yep, all terrific companions. We only listed a handful. We know there are plenty more, including one of my personal favorites, Craig Owens (with Stormageddon in tow). Thanks for reading!

  4. chris says:

    why him i entered a compatition to be the doctors conpanion now this random person is the new conpanion i am angry for that but he better be a good actor

  5. evanls says:

    You failed to remember Rose Tyler's pal Mickey who went on a number of exploits with our Time Lord

  6. Michael says:

    don't forget jamie, steven, ben, harry, turlough

  7. Sam says:

    Happy to see Doctor Who's third companion of color. After the first two were mistreated on the show, this is Moffat's chance to break the pattern. They've already taken a huge step by giving him a respectable job. Maybe the third time really is the charm.

    • Jerimy B says:

      How was Martha mistreated? She was practically a doctor, was brilliant in her time as a companion, then her character was given high rank with torchwood. Mickey didn't necessarily get a fair shake, but he was also the main companion's ex.

      • Chris says:

        Mickey had wonderful character development, from a goofy boyfriend to a tough and confident companion. His transformation in Rise of the Cybermen/Age of Steel was great.

    • Rawrrbot says:

      I cannot imagine Moffat will be more thoughtful in his treatment of a POC character than RTD was. Moffat hasn't been forgiving to anyone, including the Doctor, I expect very little, but the same can be said about the show as a whole at this point.

  8. david says:

    here is a off topic question what ever happened to the valyard? does he not exist any more? cuz i thought that shadow side of the doctor was going to turn in to the valyard.

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