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“Doctor Who” fans have not seen the last of Yasmin Finney's controversial trans character, EP says

The "Heartstopper" star's portrayal of Rose elicited complaints after she first appeared in the show's 60th-anniversary special episodes.

Over the past few years, Doctor Who has been notable for its inclusionary casting.

In 2017, after decades of white men playing the titular Time Lord, Jodie Whittaker became the first woman to portray the character, and Black actor Ncuti Gatwa will take over the part in Saturday's final 60th-anniversary special episode. The series has also established that the Doctor's sexuality is as fluid as one might expect given that they are a semi-immortal, two-hearted alien who periodically switches genders.

Still, the appearance of a transgender character named Rose played by Heartstopper star Yasmin Finney on the first of this year's anniversary episodes, "The Star Beast," was too much for some viewers. The BBC, which screens the show in the U.K., reports that it has received at least 144 complaints about the episode because of its alleged "anti-male" theme and the "inappropriate inclusion" of a trans character.

<p>BBC</p> Yasmin Finney on 'Doctor Who'

BBC

Yasmin Finney on 'Doctor Who'

Those complaints are unlikely to surprise showrunner Russell T Davies. Speaking to media outlets before "The Star Beast" premiered on the BBC and Disney+, Davies said some critics "full of absolute hate, and venom, and destruction, and violence" would like to see "that sort of thing wiped off the screen entirely." Addressing them directly, the executive producer declared, "Shame on you and good luck to you in your lonely lives."

In fact, Davies recently told EW that Doctor Who fans should expect to see Finney's Rose, the daughter of Catherine Tate's Donna Noble, pop up again in the series.

"I was writing a trans character who’s a teenager, part of a London family, of mixed race, and that’s an unusual set of conditions for a character to meet," said the showrunner. "The list of people who would audition for that is not very long. Along came Yasmin, and we just closed the door after that, because there she was! She’s absolutely terrific, and she has more appearances to come, simply because I adore working with her."

A new episode of Doctor Who premieres Dec. 9 on Disney+.

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