Doctor Who Series 11: Graham O’Brien and Bradley Walsh

We know more about the on-set antics of Bradley Walsh filming Doctor Who than we do of his character, Graham O’Brien.

At San Diego Comic Con press conference, Bradley Walsh described Graham as a “regular bloke from London who’s ended up living in the north of England and gets taken away on this journey. It’s like Jodie is Captain Kirk and we’re the rest of the guys on the bridge. I’m like, Lieutenant Uhura.”

Walsh expounded on the Star Trek metaphor in an interview with the Radio Times where he described when he was in the initial stages of being recruited for the role:

“A week later – who’s the Doctor? ‘Dunno, we haven’t chosen them yet.’ And that went on and on and on. And I said ‘How can I gauge what I’m going to do with the part?’And they said ‘You’re gonna be like an older companion. And it’s gonna be a bit like the bridge on the Enterprise. It’s gonna be an ensemble piece. It’s gonna be like…’ And I went ‘I’m in!’ as soon as they said that, because I’m a massive Trekkie. I went ‘I’m in, I’m in, that’s it, OK done it’.”

Walsh’s character Graham was also described as taking on a “parental” role in the main cast ensemble by a Radio Times source.

A Doctor Who fan blog described an emotional and sobering scene for Graham filmed for The Woman Who Fell to Earth. The scene, as described, is a significant spoiler and might be an impetus for Graham to have paternal feelings for Ryan and Yasmin.

It would seem that Graham O’Brien is quite a bit more sedate than Bradley Walsh, according to Jodie Whittaker in an interview with Digital Spy:

“You’ve got these three youthful – I’m counting myself in that! – energised characters… and Graham is certainly the most cautious of the characters. He’d love a chair in every scene. And probably a sandwich!”

A recent Digital Spy interview with Bradley Walsh confirms his role will not be comedic:

“I’m not sure the character [as] developed is based on [my comedic experience], really. Our edict, when we first joined, was it had to be as real as possible; everything comes from reality. Chib was my old boss on Law & Order and thought I could bring gravitas to that. Which was great for me because I didn’t really want to be a clown.”

Bradley Walsh, on the other hand, is known for his antics on set and on Instagram.

“Well, he’s just a massive dickhead!”, joked Jodie Whittaker to NME, as she burst out laughing.

“He’s absolutely hilarious, but there’s so many moments where Brad would say something and he’s reduced the three of us to tears. Mandip and Tosin are also hilarious and it worked so well because we clicked into each other’s humour. The best thing is that all of us have a sense of humour, so we can take the piss out of each other. We are very lucky to be in those job and you never can be too serious if you’ve got Bradders around – he’s an absolute tit.”

“It helps because you knew what you were going to get – he’s a TV show host so you see his personality but you just hope that it isn’t all souped up for TV and in real life he’s a grumpy old git.”

“Thankfully he’s not, he’s like a child. He’s the youngest and most immature person I’ve ever been around, yet he was still the grown up among us four.”

Walsh told the Radio Times that he learned Jodie Whittaker would play the role of the Doctor the same time as everyone else in the world:

“I found out with the rest of the world. I got a phone call in the morning – ‘make sure you’re watching the tennis’. I sat watching the tennis. And I’d watched Broadchurch, with Jodie in it, and I think Jodie’s brilliant. And I went ‘Oh my god it’s a girl! It’s female! Fantastic, I love it!’

“And now, the lightbulb… it went ‘Now I get it!’ They were going ‘Oh we’re gonna change it, it’s gonna be this, it’s gonna be different… it’s gonna be seen as groundbreaking. I went ‘I get it, I totally get it.’”

It’s not known if Bradley Walsh will be back to film Doctor Who Series 12 but his enthusiasm for the show is encouraging.

The taping of The Chase was worked into Walsh’s busy schedule with difficulty and he will also host a new series of Cash Trapped sometime next year. Cash Trapped is auditioning contestants until November.

Bradley Walsh’s first appearance as Graham O’Brien is on October 7 for the television premiere of Doctor Who: The Woman Who Fell to Earth.