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Rebecca Root is relishing returning as Tania Bell in Doctor Who: Stranded 2, the second in a series of four full-cast audio drama box sets from Big Finish Productions.
One of the Doctor’s new housemates, Tania Bell (played by Rebecca Root), made headlines earlier this year as the Doctor’s first transgender companion. Speaking exclusively to Big Finish’s Vortex magazine, Rebecca, who previously appeared in Zaltys and Gallifrey: Time War, admitted that, at first, she hadn’t realised she would be joining the TARDIS team for more than one story.
“It was about a year ago that we recorded Stranded 1, a week or two before Christmas. I thought it was just a single box set but am delighted to be in a storyline that spans an entire series – a great gift to any actor.
“I found out during one of the lunch breaks. Producer David Richardson did his Q&A for the CD extras and one of his early questions was, ‘How do you feel about becoming a companion?’ I knew I was a part of this adventure but I didn’t realise it was going on further so I asked what he meant. And he said, ‘Oh, yes, you’ll be coming back in the next three box sets.’ My jaw hit the floor – I just couldn’t believe it! He said, ‘Didn’t your agent tell you?’ and later that week I spoke to my agent who said, ‘Oh, yeah, there was something else about you doing more! Didn’t I tell you?’ It was such a delightful surprise!”
Rebecca admitted she was surprised by the outpouring of love for her character: “I am delighted by the great comments about her – I feel so embraced by devotees of the show.
“It was most unexpected when Stranded 1 was released last June. There was coverage in the mainstream press and larger entertainment sites. A lot of the Twitterati were going on about her and I had to point out that she’s not in the telly version – not yet!
“I hope Tania carries on with the Doctor for a while. Her relationship with Liv Chenka (played by Nicola Walker) is lovely too. It’s just about two people, and whatever their backgrounds are it doesn’t matter. Two people connecting – that’s all we want, isn’t it?
“What we find in the second box set are pretty difficult things to take. When we think about the future, we don’t only think about our mortality as individuals, but the life of the planet too. Not to be too ‘Extinction Rebellion’ about it, we live on a fragile planet and the Doctor Who storyline really taps into that. The future can be a bit scary, and with what we’ve seen recently with COVID, it is a bit scary.”
Big Finish listeners can save even more money with a bundle of all four box sets, pre-ordering the entire series for just £88 as a collector’s edition CD box set or £79 as a digital download.
Please note that Big Finish is currently operating a digital-first release schedule. The mail-out of collector’s edition CDs may be delayed due to factors beyond our control, but all purchases of this release unlock a digital copy that can be immediately downloaded or played on the Big Finish app from the release date.