Doctor Who has introduced its viewers to a whole lot of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey science-fiction concepts over the many decades that it’s aired: There have been robots, aliens, spaceships, and Kylie Minogue’s digital ghost. But now, the BBC favorite will offer up a concept more fantastical than these: a Doctor’s companion who is also daddy. During the January 1 broadcast of the show’s New Year’s special “Revolution of the Daleks,” a teaser trailer premiered giving viewers their first glimpse of Dan, played by 54-year-old stand-up comedian and actor John Bishop and his dimples. Said executive producer Chris Chibnall in a statement, “It’s time for the next chapter of Doctor Who, and it starts with a man called Dan. Oh, we’ve had to keep this one secret for a long, long time.” Jodie Whittaker’s season 12 companions Bradley Walsh and Tosin Cole exited the series during the New Year’s special.
Two days before his character reveal, Bishop announced on Instagram that he tested positive for the coronavirus, stating, “This has been the worst illness I have ever had.” According to the BBC, season 13 of Doctor Who began filming in November, and is “on a scheduled break for Christmas and not due to resume filming until later this month.” He has since told fans on Instagram that he’s on the mend.