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article imageSamuel Anderson joins Doctor Who as new companion

By Mathew Wace Peck     Feb 24, 2014 in Entertainment
The BBC has announced that Samuel Anderson is to join Doctor Who as a companion when the series returns later this year — with a new Doctor.
Anderson — who will play Danny Pink, a teacher at Coal Hill School, where the Doctor’s current companion, Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman). also works — says he was “so excited” to learn he’d been chosen to join the Doctor Who cast that, “I wanted to jump and click my heels, but I was scared I might not come down before filming started!”
The 31-year-old is still getting over the shock of landing what is, after the Doctor, probably the most coveted role of the show — that of a companion. “It’s a quintessential part of British culture,” Doctor Who News reports the young actor as saying. “I can’t believe I’m part of it. It’s an honour 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!”
Coal Hill School featured in the very first episode of Doctor Who, which was broadcast over 50 years ago, on Saturday, 23 November 1963. It was the school attended by Susan (Carole Ann Ford) — the granddaughter of the Doctor, who was then played by William Hartnell.
In that first episode, two of Susan’s teachers — Barbara Wright (Jacqueline Hill) and Ian Chesterton (William Russell) — suspicious of the young girl, followed her home, only to find out that “home” was a blue police box inside a junk yard.
The police box turned out to be a space–time ship. Known as the TARDIS (for “time and relative dimension in space”), soon, all four were on their travels.
Remembering Coal Hill School
In 1988, for the show’s 25th anniversary, the TV show revisited Coal Hill School, in a story — Remembrance of the Daleks by Ben Aaronovich — that was set in 1963, shortly after the First Doctor and his companions, Susan, Barbara and Ian, had left.
By now, however, the Doctor, in his seventh incarnation, was played by Sylvester McCoy, and was accompanied by his companion, Ace, played by Sophie Aldred.
Another 25 years went by before the school was represented on screen again, this time in 2013’s 50th-annivesary special, Moffat’s The Day of the Doctor. In the opening scenes, it was established that the Doctor’s current companion, Clara, was now working as a teacher at Coal Hill School.
Coal Hill School  Shoreditch  London (screenshot)
Coal Hill School, Shoreditch, London (screenshot)
BBC / Doctor Who
With the current actor (Capaldi) playing the Doctor being older than most of his predecessors (at 55, he’s the same age Hartnell was when he became the Doctor) and his two companions being teachers at Coal Hill School, the narrative of the programme has, in a sense, come full circle.
As reported by the BBC, Doctor Who ’s head writer and executive producer Steven Moffat teased, “[Again] Coal Hill School is coming to the aid of the TARDIS [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!”
Emmerdale Who
Anderson trained at the London’s Academy of Live and Recorded Arts, then went on to originate the role of Crowther in the 2004 National Theatre production of Alan Bennett’s play The History Boys.
His TV roles have included Hex, Gavin & Stacey and Casualty, which, as with Doctor Who, is produced by the BBC in Cardiff.
From 2007 to 2009, Anderson played Ross Kirk in the British soap opera Emmerdale, which, incidentally, is where Jenna Coleman (then known as Jenna-Louise Coleman) made her television name.
Peter Capaldi — who took over from Matt Smith as the Doctor in last year’s Christmas special, The Time of the Doctor — has been filming his first run of episodes since early January. His first full season — which is likely to include a story involving the Doctor’s oldest enemies, the Daleks — is expected to arrive on TV screens later in the year. However, suggestions have been made that an Easter special is also being considered.
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