Doctor Who Gets A Girl & A Delay

19-year-old Hannah Murray is tipped to be the companion in next year’s fifth season of “Doctor Who” says The News Of The World.

Murray, who plays OCD-suffering Cassie Ainsworth on the raunchy British teenage drama series “Skins”, will join Matt Smith’s eleventh ‘The Doctor’ in the TARDIS when it returns in 2010.

The news comes not long after word that the number of planned specials for this year, starring David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor, looks to have been shrunk. Instead of three or four there will only be two – the Easter episode “Planet of the Dead” and the Christmas Episode. A third special has been pushed back into early 2010 (though could be a New Year’s Day special).

‘Planet’, co-starring Michelle Ryan (“Bionic Woman,” “Jekyll”), involves a mysterious thief who ends up tagging along with the Doctor and leads to a ‘shocking event’ in his life. It was partially shot in Dubai and will air next month.

“Rome” actress Lindsay Duncan stars as the companion in the Christmas episode which sees the return of the Ood and will borrow elements from the novel ‘Who’ tie-in novel “The Highest Science”. Model Gemma Chan will also star in the production which is currently filming.

The third special kicks off shooting at the end of the month. Set on Mars, it will include Aussie actor Peter O’Brien as the villain, and will serve as David Tennant’s final story.

In an interesting coincidence, Matt Smith and Hannah Murray played brother and sister while Lindsay Duncan played their mother in the West End tour of the acclaimed play “That Face” last year.