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Master and Companion FanFic? Doctor Who’s Mandip Gill Is Right There With You

Now kiss.
Now kiss.
Photo: BBC

The Master’s debut in season 12 of Doctor Who wasn’t all diabolical laughs and quippy catchphrases. There also seemed to be a bit of sexual tension between “O” (Sacha Dhawan) and Yasmin Khan (Mandip Gill). That’s not by accident, as apparently the actors who were playing those roles totally thought that’s where things were headed.

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In an interview with RadioTimes, Gill shared a bit about her experience working with Dhawan during his time on Doctor Who. She was asked about how the pair seemed to be “getting to know each other” in the “Spyfall” episodes before O revealed himself as the latest incarnation of the Master. According to Gill, that was an intentional choice. Gill said Yaz “started to have feelings” or some kind of connection with O. The two actors thought they were building toward a possible romance between the characters, so that’s how they played it.

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“Well, I think we thought it was heading that way and played it like that!” she said. “I thought, ‘Oh my God, I’m going to fall for O and then it’s going to be the Master, and he’s going to take me away with him.’”

Of course, that’s not what ended up happening, although that would’ve been an interesting direction for the characters. Gill said she’s happier with where things headed instead because she would’ve hated for Yaz to be with someone else other than the Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) for those episodes. Besides, that’s what fanfiction is for (and there is a lot of it).

As far as the future, Gill confirmed previous reports that the upcoming festive special, “Revolution of the Daleks,” had been filmed pre-quarantine but she doesn’t know when they’re going to start work on season 13. In the meantime, she’s been participating in livetweet watch parties of Doctor Who episodes and keeping in touch with her castmates—one of whom she says is particularly needy.

“We’ll always stay in touch because we are really really close. We spend a lot of hours together. And we’ve sort of formed…I know this sounds like a cliché, but a family. Me and Tosin [Cole] are cast as the little kids, Jodie’s the big sister, [Bradley Walsh’s] the dad,” she said. “And obviously Jodie’s so needy, so she’s forever going ‘Guys, can we meet up soon?’—she wants to do a Zoom meeting actually, that’s what she wants to do.”

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The latest season of Doctor Who is available on the BBC player and the series will be available on HBO Max when that launches. “Revolution of the Daleks” is set to air sometime in late 2020 or early 2021.

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Video Editor and Staff Writer at io9. My doppelganger is that rebelling greeting card from Futurama.

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DISCUSSION

numberthirteen
numberthirteen

I was absolutely positive Yaz was going to turn heel on the Doc at some point. Not because of sexual tension with O, but because of the way she kept trying to prove herself in the Doc’s eyes. There was an underlying element of “What the hell can I do to make you see me as your equal” to the character, which generally ends in either a heroic sacrifice, or a heel turn.

I was all in on the prospect of a Master and Companion reflection of the Doc, but alas t’was not to be. He could have been dropping little “She doesn’t really value you, does she? I recognise your potential...” stuff in the background without the others knowing.