30 May, 2009
The new Doctor Who companion will be played by Karen Gillan.
Just last week I was discussing the new companion with Toby Hadoke, a fellow fan who was visiting from the UK. As well-informed as Toby is about various aspects of the series, he didn't know who would be playing the new companion. We both thought that an announcement had to be imminent though - and sure enough just days later a name has been revealed.
I was working on my book late tonight and happened to flick over to Facebook and spot that someone had just mentioned the casting. I looked up the BBC News site to see the full announcement, which again had only just been posted. This is quite a novelty for me as usually by the time I find out about a piece of major Doctor Who news it's already all over the Internet.
I notice that a Google search for Karen's name at this stage doesn't bring up many useful results - all that will soon change, I'm sure. I also see that Karen's Wikipedia page was only created today - mere minutes after the announcement.
So who is Karen Gillan? All I've seen of her is her role as an unnamed soothsayer in The Fires of Pompeii. I expect there will be many fans rewatching that episode now in an attempt to get an idea of what Karen is like as an actress.
I think it's interesting that a trend's developing, in that Karen follows in the footsteps of Freema Agyeman and Catherine Tate, each of whom first appeared in a one-off role in the new series prior to being offered a regular part as the companion. Perhaps we're getting to the point where we'll start looking rather closer at each actress who appears in Doctor Who and sizing her up as the next companion!