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Doctor Who star Millie Gibson to be ‘replaced’ as Doctor’s companion after one season

Doctor Who star Millie Gibson is being replaced after just one season of playing the Doctor’s companion, according to reports.

Gibson, 19, debuted her role in the BBC’s long-running sci-fi show during the Christmas Day special as orphan Ruby Sunday, starring opposite the new Time Lord, Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa.

According to a Variety report, Gibson will appear as Ruby in the forthcoming 14th season as expected but she will not return for the 15th season since she has been written out.

The Independent has contacted the BBC, Gibson’s representatives and Bad Wolf Productions for comment.

Gibson, who until recently was best known for playing Kelly Neelan in Coronation Street, will be replaced by actor Varada Sethu, a source told the publication.

Sethu has previously appeared in the Star Wars spin-off Andor and Mrs Sidhu Investigates. She played Shira in the 2022 film Jurassic World Dominion and had a role in the BBC’s Doctor Foster in 2016.

Varada Sethu photographed in 2023 (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
Varada Sethu photographed in 2023 (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

A source told The Mirror: “Millie Gibson has all but left now and there’s a brand new companion, which is really exciting. Russell is keeping things moving and isn’t letting the grass grow.”

Gibson’s abrupt departure will shock fans after just one season. Her debut with Gatwa on Christmas Day was met with acclaim, with critic Ed Power writing in The Independent’s five-star review of the special that Gatwa’s performance was “effortless” while Gibson’s was “wonderful”.

When she and the Doctor burst onto screens last month they won over fans, with more than 7 million people watching the Christmas Special in the first week of its release.

Gibson and Gatwa at a ‘Doctor Who’ launch in December (Getty Images)
Gibson and Gatwa at a ‘Doctor Who’ launch in December (Getty Images)

Showrunner Russell T Davies, who rebooted the cult series back in 2005, has returned to write and executive produce the new seasons. For the 60th anniversary episode in November, the showrunner brought on Heartstopper’s Yazmin Finney, singer Bonnie Langford, Glee’s Jonathan Groff and How I Met Your Mother’s Neil Patrick Harris.

Speaking to The Independent ahead of her Doctor Who debut in December, Gibson said that being a companion to the Doctor is like being part of “a community that only people who have experienced it understand”.

Millie Gibson previously starred as Kelly Neelan in ‘Coronation Street’ (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
Millie Gibson previously starred as Kelly Neelan in ‘Coronation Street’ (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

She added: “Ruby has a relationship with the Doctor that I don’t think the audience has necessarily seen before ... She really humanises him and balances him to be more like her, really – more innocent and pure and human, which is so beautiful to watch.”

Season 14 of Doctor Who is expected to return in May on the BBC and Disney Plus internationally.