Varada Sethu has been confirmed as a new addition to BBC’s Doctor Who, playing Ncuti’s Gatwa’s companion in his second series as the Doctor.

She steps aboard the TARDIS for a journey through time and space alongside Ncuti and Millie Gibson as Ruby Sunday.

Varada said it is an “honour” to appear in the show.

“I feel like the luckiest person in the world," she said. “It is such an honour to be a part of the Whoniverse, and I’m so grateful to the whole Doctor Who family – because that is what they are – for welcoming me with open arms and making me feel so at home.

"I couldn’t ask for a better team than Ncuti and Millie to be on this adventure with, this is SO much fun!” Varada Sethu is best known for her standout role as Cinta Kaz in the Disney+ Star Wars series Andor, with additional credits including Jurassic World Dominion, Annika and Strike Back.

Ncuti Gatwa’s first series as the Doctor will begin in May 2024, with Coronation Street actress Millie Gibson playing companion Ruby Sunday. According to the BBC, Varada will join the pair in the following series which will be broadcast in 2025.

Earlier in 2023, there had been speculation that Varada would be replacing Millie in the long-running time travel show. The pair were first seen together in the show’s Christmas Special, The Church on Ruby Road, where viewers learnt that Ruby Sunday was adopted, with the identity of her birth parents a mystery.

No details have been given for Varada’s character but pictures of her alongside Ncuti and Millie at a table read for a forthcoming episode have been released. Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies said: “I first worked with Varada on a BBC production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and it’s a joy to welcome her on board the TARDIS.

“Right now in the studio, shooting for 2025, we’ve got Ncuti, Millie and Varada fighting side by side. We need all three because the stakes are higher than ever!”

Season one of Doctor Who will premiere simultaneously for the first time on BBC iPlayer and Disney+. In the UK, the first two new episodes of the season will premiere at midnight on May 11 on BBC iPlayer, and then on BBC One later that day.

Episodes will drop on BBC iPlayer followed by a primetime slot on BBC One each week following that. Outside the UK, Doctor Who will stream on Disney+ where available.

Doctor Who is produced by Bad Wolf with BBC Studios for the BBC and Disney Branded Television. Additional executive producers include Phil Collinson, Joel Collins, Julie Gardner and Jane Tranter.