Doctor Who’s Tardis gets a Barbie makeover as pink police box materialises in London

‘Come on TARDIS, let’s go party,’ official ‘Doctor Who’ account wrote

Isobel Lewis
Wednesday 12 July 2023 16:22 BST
Trailer for The Barbie Movie

Doctor Who’s Tardis has been given a makeover in an unexpected crossover with the new Barbie film.

Greta Gerwig’s hotly anticipated movie, which stars Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling as Barbie and Ken, arrives in cinemas next week.

Ahead of the release, Barbie-mania has taken over the world, with the first audience reviews suggesting the film lives up to the hype.

On Wednesday (12 July), an image was shared by the official Doctor Who social media accounts showing that the Tardis – the titular Time Lord’s police box time machine – had popped up in London on the banks of Tower Bridge.

Instead of its usual navy colour, however, this Tardis was coated in pink to celebrate the UK premiere of the film, which takes place on Wednesday (12 July).

“Come on TARDIS, let’s go party,” the caption read, while showrunner Russell T Davies reshared the picture, tagging the Barbie account.

The Warner Bros UK Instagram account shared a clip of the Tardis, writing: “Pink TARDIS from @BBCDoctorWho has landed on the banks of Tower Bridge.”

While the link between Barbie and Doctor Who may not be immediately obvious, both projects share a star in Sex Education actor Ncuti Gatwa.

The 30-year-old is not only the next actor to play the Doctor in the BBC sci-fi series, but Gatwa also plays a version of Ken in Barbie alongside Gosling, Simu Liu, and Kingsley Ben-Adir who portray other iterations of the same doll.

Resharing the video of the pink box, Gatwa wrote on Instagram Stories: “Guess who’s in town…”

Gatwa will take over as Doctor Who’s Time Lord over the 2023 festive period. Before then, however, David Tennant will step back into the Tardis, returning as the character after Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor regenerated back into him, rather than Gatwa, in her final episode.

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Tennant will star in three special episodes in November to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Doctor Who, with Catherine Tate also set to return to the show.

The Tardis appeared on the banks of Tower Bridge

While little is known about Gatwa’s take on the Doctor, the Rwandan-Scottish actor dropped a few hints in an interview with Rolling Stone UK this week.

“My Doctor is emotionally vulnerable. He hides it with humour, but he’s lonely,” he said. “I can’t say much more than that; I don’t want to spoil anything. But he’s also energetic! The poor cameramen struggled to keep up.”

Discussing the Doctor’s survival of the war that wiped out his fellow Time Lords, Gatwa said that he saw similarities with his own life. The actor’s family left Rwanda amid genocide in the country. They began a new life in Scotland, when he was two years old.

“This person survived a genocide. This person fits in everywhere and nowhere,” he said. “I am the Doctor. The Doctor is me. I decided that I had to get this role.”

Barbie is released in cinemas on Friday 21 July.

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