Rose Noble (Yasmin Finney) in Doctor Who "The Star Beast"

Russell T. Davies Has a Blunt Message for Transphobic ‘Doctor Who’ Fans

Russell T. Davies has taken a stand against transphobia while preparing for the release of his new David-Tennant starring Doctor Who episodes, which feature trans actress Yasmin Finney in a major role. Sadly, being visibly trans in Britain today means having to face hate and disdain from the British media, so it’s good to see a cis man working to defend and support his transgender collaborator.

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Speaking to the Metro and other media outlets on Friday 10, Davies reiterated his desire to make Doctor Who more diverse and inclusive. The kind of reactionary bullies who are angry at seeing LGBTQ+ people on screen are absolutely not invited to this particular trip in the TARDIS.

Davies described transphobes as being full of “absolute hate, and venom, and destruction and violence.” They wanted “to see that sort of thing [LGBTQ+ characters] wiped off the screen entirely”—but he and Finney aren’t standing for it.

Davies threw in a direct message to the hateful: “Shame on you, and good luck to you in your lonely lives.”

Who is Yasmin Finney?

Yasmin Finney first sprung to fame in the TV show Heartstopper, where she played Elle Argent, a character that soon became beloved by fans. In 2022, she joined the cast of Doctor Who as Rose Noble, the daughter of Donna Noble. She’s the first Black trans actress in the show’s history.

Finney is also an activist. She attended London’s Trans+ Pride in 2022 and proudly told the gathered crowd, “My character [in Doctor Who] is trans so, Boris [Johnson, then-Prime Minister], I hope you see Heartstopper, I hope you see Doctor Who, because I exist, and I know you know I exist.”

Davies is thrilled to have Finney on board

Davies also said, in regard to Finney’s casting, “It’s something that’s not just a Doctor Who thing for me. It’s something I and a lot of other writers are keen to do—to be progressive, to reflect more of society. It’s funny, in casting Yasmin there was this 15-year-old mixed-race [trans girl]—there are very few people who fit the casting and it’s like she came down from Heaven and there she was.”

That’s not the first time Davies has sung the praises of Finney. In issue 591 of Doctor Who Magazine, as reported by Gay Times, Russell said of the star, “Through contact with her, I’ve witnessed her ideals, her politics, her family, her fights, her triumphs, her life in this world. A life I might never have known. It’s a journey and a joy. I love it, and I hope I can do more, more, more.”

(featured image: BBC)

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Sarah Barrett
Sarah Barrett (she/her) is a freelance writer with The Mary Sue who has been working in journalism since 2014. She loves to write about movies, even the bad ones. (Especially the bad ones.) The Raimi Spider-Man trilogy and the Star Wars prequels changed her life in many interesting ways. She lives in one of the very, very few good parts of England.