It's like the First Doctor, Ian and Barbara for the twenty-first century...
The BBC has officially announced that Series Eight of Doctor Who will have a new recurring character, with Jenna Coleman's former Emmerdale co-star Samuel Anderson joining the cast. Anderson will play Danny Pink, a teacher at Coal Hill School where Coleman's character Clara Oswald has been teaching since "The Day of the Doctor."
"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!" said Anderson. "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!"
Steven Moffat, lead writer and showrunner, added, "For the fourth time in Doctor Who history, Coal Hill School is coming to the aid of the TARDIS. 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. But how and why? Answers are coming later this year in Peter Capaldi’s first series of Doctor Who!"
Moffat's "first series" statement there feels somewhat important, considering recent speculation that Peter Capaldi is going to pull a "Christopher Eccleston" and appear in only one season as the Twelfth Doctor. A possible attempt to reassure viewers this isn't the case?
And interestingly, the official BBC announcement only refers to Danny Pink as a new "recurring character," but the Radio Times piece refers to him as a "new companion." Given the emphasis of the announcement, my money's on full Companion status as well.
Filming recent began on episodes four and five of Doctor Who Series Eight, with the Series rumored to air sometime this fall.