Doctor Who Brings Back A Fan-Favorite Character For New Season

Jemma Redgrave's character, UNIT Science Officer Kate Stewart, returns in Doctor Who's upcoming season.

By Sean Thiessen | Published

Doctor Who is gearing up for an epic return to the small screen this Fall. Fans have been treated to several exciting announcements about the show, including the return of David Tennant as the fourteenth Doctor in a three part special, and the casting of  Ncuti Gatwa as the newest iteration of the Doctor for the show’s fourteenth season. The official Doctor Who Twitter account just shared another update, announcing the return of actress Jemma Redgrave as Kate Stewart, head of the Earth protection organization UNIT, and the addition of Peaky Blinders actor Aneurin Barnard as a new character, Roger ap Gwilliam.

Jemma Redgrave started on Doctor Who during series seven back in 2012, and her character has returned several times since. In addition to appearing in numerous episodes of the television series, Redgrave has also voiced Kate Stewart in Doctor Who podcasts. The character has appeared in a number of other audio stories and novels.

In the world of Doctor Who, Kate Stewart is the Chief Science Officer of UNIT, an organization that has been a part of the show since the 1960s. Kate succeeded her father in the role, and has shifted UNIT’s focus away from its militaristic roots and toward a more peaceful, scientific approach. Stewart’s role in UNIT has found her working alongside the Doctor numerous times to thwart threats from above, and it seems she’ll be back for another round in the upcoming season.

As for Aneurin Barnard’s character, Roger ap Gwilliam, there is much less to go off of. Fan theories about his role speculate him to be a British politician of the Albion party. Others anticipate that Gwilliam is actually the next incarnation of a classic Doctor Who villain, a Time Lord gone mad with power called The Master.

Kate Stewart, Matt Smith, and Karen Gillan from Doctor Who

Returning showrunner Russell T. Davies has teased that the show will honor its roots, citing the return of legacy characters like Mavic Chen, another politician from the show’s early days. If Barnard’s character does turn out to be running for office, then the involvement of Kate Stewart and UNIT could help make for a complex and timely political story. Doctor Who is a show that has often been at its best when it reflects the real world, and it seems the pieces may be falling into place for the next season to do just that.

The new season will also bring a new companion to Doctor Who, a young woman named Ruby Sunday. Ruby will be played by 18-year-old actress Millie Gibson, best known for her role on the long-running British soap opera, Coronation Street. Aside from her casting and quirky name, little is known about Ruby Sunday or how she will tie in with Ncuti Gatwa’s Doctor.

As new bits of information drop about the upcoming season of Doctor Who, the excitement will have plenty of time to build, as the show will not resume until late November of 2023. However, the news so far indicates that the show is headed for epic heights, with its episode budgets increasing dramatically thanks to backing by Disney. When it returns, Doctor Who will air on the BBC in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and on Disney+ worldwide.