Doctor Who casts First Transgender Actor

Bethany BlackThe hit BBC sci-fi drama has made a historic decision to cast a transgender actor to guest star in its upcoming season, a first since the series began in 1963. According to The Independent, Bethany Black, a comedian who previously on Tofu, Cucumber, and Banana, the LGBT show created by former Doctor Who showrunner Russell T. Davies, will be appearing in the upcoming “scary” episode written by Mark Gatiss.

Black confirmed the news on her Facebook fan page, writing: “Now to sit back and wait until The Mail realizes the BBC have cast an open trans lesbian in a family show.”

Black’s casting is a significant step towards having transgender people represented in media, particularly in science fiction and fantasy. While shows like Sense8 and Orange is the New Black feature trans characters played by trans actors, Bethany Black’s character in Doctor Who is not transgender. According to The Independent, and in a refreshing twist, she was chosen because “she was considered the best actor for the role.”

There aren’t a lot of details known about Gatiss’ episode other than it co-stars Reece Shearsmith, Gatiss’ co-conspirator from the days of his cult comedy show The League of Gentlemen.

Black is the latest addition to the growing cast of talented guest stars for the BBC drama’s ninth season, including Michelle Gomez, Maisie Williams, Rufus Hound, Rebecca Front, Elaine Tan, Neet Mohan, and Paul Courtenay Hyu.

Doctor Who season 9 begins on September 19 on BBC One.