Doctor Who casting director Andy Pryor has told fans to expect more disabled actors to appear in the show in the next few years.
Pryor has been a part of Doctor Who since the 2005 revival and told Doctor Who Magazine — reported via CultBox — that the creative team is "more keen than we've ever been" to focus on inclusive casting.
He said he has always tried to cast different types of people in the show as it is "more interesting" to feature performers from across the whole spectrum of humanity.
"If you can’t cast diversely on Doctor Who, what show can you do it on?" said Pryor.
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He added: "It goes everywhere, on this planet and others, and you don’t want to see the same kind of people all the time. You don’t want it to be exclusively middle-class white people speaking with RP accents."
Pryor suggested that diverse casting is going to be an even bigger part of the show under the stewardship of returning showrunner Russell T. Davies, who will take the helm after Jodie Whittaker's take on the Doctor regenerates later this year.
Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa is set to become the 14th Doctor, with transgender actor Yasmin Finney set to join the cast as Rose.
Pryor added: "“I know Russell [T Davies, past and future showrunner] feels the same way I do about this. We’ve always been, I like to think, quite good at casting inclusively, but we’re more keen than we’ve ever been.
"So right now we’re casting more diversely in terms of ethnicity. We’re casting more disabled actors… But there’s always more we can do. Certainly, there’s absolutely no excuse to not cast a disabled actor in a disabled role nowadays."
Pryor said he and Davies were also keen to cast disabled people in "roles that aren't necessarily written as disabled" in order to avoid "issue casting".
Doctor Who is due to return to screens in October as part of the BBC's centenary celebrations with Whittaker's farewell, described by producer Matt Strevens as "a massive, feature-length epic".
Davies will then helm a 60th anniversary special in 2023, which brings back David Tennant and Catherine Tate as the 10th Doctor and companion Donna, as well as Neil Patrick Harris in a villain role.
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