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Doctor Who star Tosin Cole: Ryan is ‘shocked’ by the racism he experiences in 1950s America

Tosin Cole who plays Ryan in Doctor Who
(Image credit: BBC / Ben Blackall)

Tosin Cole reveals all about Sunday's Doctor Who

The Doctor and her companions including Ryan Sinclair (Tosin Cole) get the chance to live through history when they travel back in time to meet a legend of the US Civil Rights movement.

This Sunday’s episode sees the gang head back to 1955 and the town of Montgomery, in Alabama, to meet Rosa Parks, who, in real life, was arrested after refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger.

Doctor Who

Vinette Robinson as Rosa Parks in Sunday's Doctor Who

Outrage at her treatment led to the boycott of local buses by the black community, which was a key moment in the fight for civil rights.

When the Doctor and her friends arrive in Montgomery on the eve of Rosa’s protest, Ryan is treated terribly by some locals…

“Ryan has faced discrimination in his life,’” says Tosin. “But he’s shocked by how bad things were back then. The way Doctor Who tells these stories, while giving a message of hope for future generations, is really important, but there’s still a long way to go!”

Doctor Who S11 ep 3 The Doctor lands in Alabama

The gang soon realise that they're not the only time-travellers in town

After detecting a strange energy source coming from the bus depot, the Doctor realises she and her pals aren’t the only time travellers in town.

A criminal named Krasko has a sinister plan to alter the course of history…

Ryan is willing to do whatever it takes to stop Krasko and to help win this crucial victory in the fight for equality. Yet he does need a little help from Yas and his bus driver step-grandfather Graham (Bradley Walsh).

“Ryan and Graham’s friendship is slowly growing," explains Tosin. “Working with Bradley was brilliant – he was always making everyone laugh while on set.”

Doctor Who featuring Tosin Cole as Ryan continues this Sunday on BBC1 at 6.55pm.