‘One of my favourite character moments’
Doctor Who returned to our screens in the first of three episodes to celebrate the programme’s 60th anniversary.
Several big names have returned for the specials, including David Tennant reprising his role as the Doctor alongside trusty companion Donna Noble, played by Catherine Tate.
Former show runner Russell T Davies is also back writing the episodes.
The mini-series started with the doctor running into Donna, who was with her daughter Rose, played by Heartstopper star Yasmin Finney.
In the episode, Finney’s transgender identity was worked into the plot as a group of teenage bullies cycle by on bikes, shouting at Rose and deadnaming her – calling her the name used before she transitioned.
Fuming, Donna says she’ll “get them”.
Donna added: “I would burn down the world for you, darling. Anyone has a go, I will be there and I will descend.”
Tate’s character is also shown alongside her mother Sylvia (Jacqueline King) in which they have an honest discussion after Sylvia accidentally misgenders Rose.
She then apologises, admitting she worries about being “clumsy” or saying the wrong thing.
The scene was praised across social media, with many saying it felt like a natural interaction.
One user said: “This to me was the most natural part of the episode. Sylvia says something I can easily see one of my parents saying, who are good-natured when it comes to this stuff but miss the mark sometimes. I’m so glad [Davies] didn’t make her transphobic, though.
“One of my favourite character moments. She’s genuinely trying, but she’s not perfect and still slips up. It’s so real and true to life,” added a second.
Other nods to trans identity were made throughout the episode.
When Rose meets The Meep, a cute-looking creature that tells her it is being hunted down across the galaxy.
Upon meeting The Meep, he tells Rose and Donna that he can “help him get home”. “You’re assuming ‘he’ as a pronoun?” Rose asks the Doctor, who replies: “True. Yes. Sorry, good point,” before asking the Meep: “Are you he or she or they?”
The Meep responds: “My chosen pronoun is the definite article. I am always The Meep.”
“Oh. I do that,” the Doctor says back.
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