Millie Gibson made her debut in Doctor Who only a month ago, and already rumors are circulating about her exiting after just one season. While fans like myself, who lauded the electric chemistry she shared with Ncuti Gatwa in my key takeaways from the Christmas special, are reeling, a possible explanation for her departure has surfaced. There's a theory on why Gibson is leaving, and it comes from something said by none other than Russell T. Davies.
The Doctor Who showrunner already made headlines when he suggested in the commentary track for "The Giggle" that every Doctor bi-generated, and now the commentary track from "The Church On Ruby Road" is getting some extra eyes thanks to @WilliamWhoDW. Check out this snippet of what Davies said to Millie Gibson after her name flashed across the show's title screen in big letters:
In big letters! That's what was lacking on Coronation Street. Should've had that cat and the cobbles and 'Millie Gibson.' I'll have a word with them-don't worry, when you go back.
"When you go back" is said in a bit of a murmur and is not included in the subtitles for the commentary track. With that being said, theories are now being spun that the reason that Millie Gibson is a one-and-done seasonal companion on Doctor Who is because she intends to return to the soap opera Coronation Street, where she played Kelly Neelan.
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If this is true, Doctor Who fans could see it as good news. Perhaps this means that Gibson was always planned to be a one-off companion and that we'll get a rather quick turnaround on the resolution to the search for her birth family. This excites me, as I feel that this story will also answer more questions about The Doctor's true origins and tie back to the Thirteenth Doctor's Timeless Child storyline.
The upsetting news is that fans will be saying farewell to Millie Gibson just as they get to know her and will have to get used to a new companion, reportedly played by Andor actress Varada Sethu. Will the sudden companion change throw off Ncuti Gatwa's groove as The Doctor? We shall wait and see.
Ultimately, it would be nice to hear that Gibson entered Doctor Who knowing it was a short-term gig, and this is not the result of some issues with filming the show. It's hard not to think of other actors like Christopher Eccleston, who left the starring role as The Doctor after having problems with the top brass during Russell T. Davies' first tenure as showrunner. There's currently no chatter of any disgruntled actors or anything of that nature, so perhaps that's a fear that can be easily put to rest.
For now, Millie Gibson remains on Doctor Who and will be present in Season 13. Check out her debut in the Christmas special with a Disney+ subscription, and get to work watching those 60th anniversary specials if you haven't already done so.