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Doctor Who specials: Shirley Anne Bingham explained

UNIT's Shirley Anne Bingham could be an important character as Doctor Who progresses. Here's everything you need to know about her.

Ruth Madeley as Shirley Anne Bingham in Doctor Who

Who is Shirley Anne Bingham in Doctor Who? From the start of Christopher Ecclestone’s era to the end of David Tennant’s, Russell T Davies was the man behind the show, in charge of its stories and development. Now, alongside Tennant, he’s back once again to oversee a new renaissance.

One of the showrunner’s strengths is his ability to introduce new (and instantly iconic) characters to Doctor Who, and with the release of the first Doctor Who 60th anniversary special, he’s doing it again. While Donna’s daughter Rose got a lot of attention, we’re obsessed with The Doctor‘s new pal Shirley Anne Bingham. Here’s everything we know about her so far.

Everything you need to know about Shirley Anne Bingham in Doctor Who

Played by Ruth Madeley, Shirley Anne Bingham is a scientist who works for UNIT, who the 14th Doctor meets while analyzing Beep the Meep’s crashed spaceship.

She later assists The Doctor, Donna, and Donna’s family in escaping from the steelworks compound and in gaining access to the ship using gadgets equipped on her wheelchair, including darts and missiles.

She’s a new character, introduced for the first time in ‘The Star Beast’; however, she knows The Doctor by his reputation and seems to have already formed her opinions on him as a smug, lucky, and slightly over-interfering force (though ultimately a force for good). She’s shown to be innovative and confident and one of many scientific advisors who work for UNIT (the 56th, to be precise). She also clearly knows a lot about The Doctor, having read his files and knowing his regeneration history.

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Will Shirley Anne Bingham be back?

Yes, Shirley Anne Bingham will return for at least one more time, as we’ve seen further footage of the character in the trailer for the specials.

She also seems like the kind of character who could return after that, too, acting as a recurring presence throughout Doctor Who season 14 and beyond as someone for The Doctor to bounce science-related ideas off of. Perhaps she’ll even have a stint as a Doctor Who companion. But that’s just speculation, for now.

For more on Doctor Who, read our The Star Beast review and see our picks for the best sci-fi series of all time. Or, check out our explainer on the TARDIS to get more into the lore, and see what else is new on Disney Plus.