With production on the COVID-shortened eight-episode Series 13 of the BBC's Doctor Who, viewers already know they're in for a universe of changes. Bradley Walsh and Tosin Cole left the show with "Revolution of the Daleks" at the start of the new year- with Yaz (Mandip Gill) and Jodie Whittaker's Doctor returning to the TARDIS – but they won't be alone. "Revolution" introduced new companion Dan (John Bishop) during the final moments of the holiday special- and since that time, showrunner Chris Chibnall has explained that it was his "different flavour" and "different humour" that made the actor right for the role. But on Friday night, BBC America viewers will get a chance to heal all of the spoilers they've been waiting for and more when Bishop is a guest on The Graham Norton Show. Okay, maybe not exactly. Because as Bishop explains in the following clip, even half-mentioning that his character was from Liverpool earned him that call from the BBC.
Here's a look at a preview clip from Friday night's episode of The Graham Norton Show on BBC America, which also includes Tom Cruise, Jennifer Connelly Miles Teller, Felicity Jones, Wunmi Mosaku, and Olly Alexander's Years & Years:
During the Zoom event, An Evening with John Bishop, the comedian/actor revealed that he originally turned down the role. " I met [writer] Chris Chibnall and he had this idea and this character. He'd seen me in a few things, and he wanted to know if I'd be interested in 'Doctor Who.' I was flattered but the problem was I was on tour when they were meant to be filming. So although I fancied it, I had to say no," Bishop explained. "And then the whole COVID thing happened! Lockdown arrived so I made a phone call and fortunately they had moved their filming dates. It now fits in perfectly – I'm doing 'Doctor Who' up until July and then I go on the road again in September."
Though Chibnall had Bishop in kind for the role, that didn't mean he didn't have to go through the audition process. "I had to do the various audition calls and all that. Then I had to go down to Cardiff and do the audition with Jodie [Whittaker] and I thought, 'Oh see, this is serious,' he explained. For his part, the actor wasn't sure at first that the role was a direction he wanted his career to go in. "I didn't want to do comedic acting because I don't think I am very good at it. Some people are brilliant at being comedy actors and if you're a comedian I think there's a perception that, if you're acting at something that's meant to be funny, it will be funny all the way through and you'll be dropping in gags," he said- before acknowledging with a laugh, "I want to do straight, dramatic acting so I do a hit show when you get chased by aliens!"