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New Doctor Who podcast tells trans stories

Words by Smiley Team

In a new BBC audio production packed with Doctor Who references, three young women including a trans character, create a conspiracy theory podcast.

Its playwright, Juno Dawson, draws on her own experiences as a trans woman and those of her trans friends to highlight issues faced by the trans community. 

The lead character in the series, Cleo, is played by a transgender activist Charlie Craggs in her acting debut. 

"It's a trans girl from a council estate in London - which is literally just me," Juno tells the BBC.

But unlike Juno, Cloe has a difficult home life, coming out with family members who have difficulty accepting that she is trans.

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Growing up as a queer child in West Yorkshire, Juno was a big Doctor Who fan, attracted to the idea that a time-traveller might scoop her up and take her to an alternative time and place.

She loved the idea that "You can just hop in a blue box and escape your problems".

Among her many works, Juno has written a Doctor Who novel as well as two Torchwood stories.

Meanwhile, first-time actor Charlie presented a BBC documentary about life as a trans person in the UK. She believes that culture and entertainment are important means of spreading awareness about transgender rights.

She feels that trans characters in dramas introduce audience members to gender politics in a way that doesn’t make them feel they’re “being shouted at”.

Just as shows like Queer As Folk and It’s A Sin have done in the past, Juno hopes that ultimately, her new Doctor Who spin-off will help build understanding around LGBT+ rights.

Inspired to act?

DONATE: Help promote equality for and the rights of LGBT+ people. Donate to Stonewall.

VOLUNTEER: Support people within the LGBT+ community by volunteering with Stonewall.


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