‘Can’t wait!’... ‘Naff’ – Fans react to John Bishop’s debut in ‘Doctor Who’ trailer

Doctor Who, John Bishop
Yaz (Mandip Gill), The Doctor (Jodie Whittaker), Dan (John Bishop) in 'Doctor Who: Flux’ (Image credit: BBC/John Pardon)

Comedian John Bishop has made his first appearance, albeit barely visible, as The Doctor’s latest companion as BBC One trailed the new series of Doctor Who, which is called Flux.

 It was announced in a short trailer that the limited series of six episodes, Doctor Who: Flux, would premiere on 31 October.

The series may be short, but the trailer promised a surfeit of action, terror and Scouse pride.

The Doctor (Jodie Whittaker), with extreme urgency, with the transmission breaking up, addressed the viewer: “Can you hear me? Listen carefully, we don't have much time… The Flux is coming. It's bringing with it the Sontarans, Weeping Angels, creatures known as the Ravagers and enemies from across the Universe.

“This is the fight of our lives,” she utters earnestly. Meanwhile, Yasmin Khan (Mandip Gill) and new companion Dan Lewis (John Bishop) – who has replaced Bradley Walsh – are struggling to maintain control of the TARDIS.

“Doctor, we need you,” the Liverpudlian comic shouts, while Yaz yells: “I can’t hold it much longer, Doctor.”

As the transmission finally corrupts, the Doctor warns: “It’s coming. Be ready.”

The early reaction to John’s appearance in Doctor Who is mixed. One fan wrote: “Probably just me, but does anyone else think John Bishop looks [hot] here? No just me? Sure”

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Another wrote: Can't wait to hear John Bishop giving it all "Fluxin' 'ell!" down the docks, la. #DoctorWho

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While yet another chimed in: "Awesome, I can't wait. I've been really looking forward to the new season, specially with John Bishop being in it.’

But there are an equal number of nay-sayers, who just can’t get excited about John’s appearance in the iconic sci-fi programme. One tweeted: "Is RTD coming back bc he knows everyone is going to hate John Bishop? Everything about him is irritating. Bradley Walsh I coped with bc he turned out to be a pretty reasonable actor. But Bishop... can't.”

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Harsh, but the feeling is shared by others. Another fan tweeted: “Excited for new series of #DoctorWho but that line was weak from John Bishop. He better be good and not naf.”

While another pointed out they had similar reservations about a previous companion. "I have my concerns about John Bishop but then I was sceptical about Bradley Walsh when he joined and he really grew on me,” he wrote.

Earlier this week, John tweeted, in anticipation of the new series: Mysterious aircraft seen tonight over the Liverpool docks! #DoctorWho

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Patrick McLennan

Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix. 

An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.