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Ryan Sinclair was a 19-year-old man who lived in Sheffield. He worked as a warehouse worker, earning money while studying for his NVQ so that he could become a mechanic. As a child, he attended Redlands Primary alongside Yasmin Khan. He had dyspraxia and ran a YouTube account called RyanS.
Whilst trying to learn to cycle with his grandmother, Grace, and her husband, Graham O’Brien, Ryan fell off and threw the bicycle away into the nearby woods out of anger. After his grandmother and Graham left him to calm down, Ryan went to retrieve it.
Whilst retrieving it from a tree, he discovered a glowing symbol and, upon touching it, summoned a strange blue pod. He touched the pod only to find it freezing, burning his had. Calling the police to investigate, Ryan was reunited with Yasmin Khan, a classmate from school who now worked as a police officer, when she arrived to investigate the scene. Ryan confessed it wasn’t a prank, making Yasmin confirm such by touching the pod. Walking away, Ryan received a call from his grandmother asking for help on the nearby train.
The pair raced to it, where they met the Doctor and were subsequently electrocuted by a coil creature. Ryan helped the Doctor track down the pod’s occupant, Tzim-Sha, and prevented him from claiming Karl Wright as a trophy. However, Grace died via electrocution when disabling the gathering coil. Devastated, her death motivated Ryan to battle his dyspraxia in her honour. He later helped the Doctor make a teleport so she could reach her TARDIS only to be teleported with her. (The Woman Who Fell to Earth)
Believing the pair to be bonuses in the Rally of the Twelve Galaxies, Angstrom scooped Ryan and Graham out of deep space and transported them aboard her ship.
On Desolation, he found Yasmin and the Doctor, who had been similarly saved by Epzo, Angstrom’s rival in what would become the final stage of the rally. The rivals, with the Doctor and her friends in tow, were tasked by Ilin, master of the rally, to race across the planet; the first to reach the finish line at the Ghost Monument would win 3.2 million krin and salvation from planet’s hostile surface. The Doctor discovered that the Ghost Monument was, in fact, her TARDIS, phasing in and out of reality. After the Doctor stabilised the TARDIS, Ryan entered it for the first time and the Doctor attempted to take them home. (The Ghost Monument)
Travels in the TARDIS
Attempting to land the TARDIS back in 21st century Sheffield, the TARDIS had latched onto nearby Artron energy and that they were in 1955 Montgomery, Alabama, exciting Ryan at his first time travel experience However, when he tried to return a dropped glove to a passerby, Lizzie, he was slapped by her husband who threatened to lynch him should he disturb a white woman in Montgomery. After Rosa Parks helped to calm the man, she explained to Ryan that outsiders were not safe from racism in segregated US states and told him of the death of the northern Emmett Till in Mississippi. Later, Ryan was denied service at Slim’s Bar and labelled a “negro”, and had to discretely enter the “whites-only” Sahara Springs Motel. He had to enter through the back door of the buses and sit at the back. To learn more about Rosa, given he only about Rosa Park‘s defiant move which started the Montgomery Bus Boycott led by Martin Luther King, he followed her home and sat in on one of her annual meetings with other blacks campaigning for civil rights. There, he met King, astonishing him and explained how his grandmother Grace idolised the preacher.
Attempting to stop Krasko‘s plot to alter history, Ryan and Graham came to James Blake’s fishing spot. Blake was shocked that the black Ryan was Graham’s grandson and was told by Ryan of a staged event by black citizens in Montgomery that night, causing Blake to resume his place in history as the driver of Parks’s bus. Later, he boarded Parks’s bus to ensure it was crowded enough for whites couldn’t sit at the front. He witnessed Parks refusing to move for the white passengers’ and her historic arrest. Back at the TARDIS, the Doctor told Ryan that Parks was honoured by President Clinton in 1999, which Ryan thought took too long. He was taken to see Asteroid 284996, also named Rosa Parks, in space. (Rosa)
Ryan and team TARDIS travelled to the planet Gatan, arriving in the City of Radiant Stone in the midst of war. (The Warmonger)
After helping the Doctor halt a war on the planet Lobos between the dog-like loba and human colonists, Ryan forgot his mobile phone there and asked to return for it. Accidentally, the TARDIS slipped almost six hundred years into the future, where the planet was now ruled by human zealots, served by slave loba. The zealots derived human superiority over loba from one joke by Graham, now worshipped as “the Good Doctor” while the real Doctor was forgotten. With women treated barely better than loba, Ryan and Yasmin were conflated into “St Rasmin”, which gave Ryan a considerable authority. He befriended Brother Tempika from the Temple of Tordos, who turned out to work for the resistance. This helped the Doctor learn both sides of the story. In the end, the Doctor succeeded in uncovering the lie of the zealots, setting the record straight and brokering a lasting peace between humans and loba. (The Good Doctor)
Ryan had a fear of spiders. (Arachnids in the UK)
In 2012, when he was thirteen, Ryan’s mother died from a heart attack (The Tsuranga Conundrum).
The Doctor and her team were tasked with preventing the Genesis Seed stored in the secret Vault 13 within the Galactic Seed Vault from falling into the hands of Deadly Nightshade. (The Secret in Vault 13)
Ryan would feel an urge to push buttons, and often acted on the urge, (The Woman Who Fell to Earth, Demons of the Punjab) even requesting to fiddle with the TARDIS control console, but respected the Doctor’s denial to the request. (The Ghost Monument)
After his unwillingness to listen to the Doctor nearly cost him his life, (The Ghost Monument) Ryan obeyed any rules the Doctor set without question. (Demons of the Punjab, The Witchfinders, It Takes You Away) As he always trusted the Doctor’s ideas, Ryan would even tell other people that the Doctor was in charge (Arachnids in the UK) and what she was thinking. (The Witchfinders)
Ryan was skilled with social media. He had his own YouTube account called RyanS and chose to search Twitter when asked by the Doctor to look for any unusual recent events. (The Woman Who Fell to Earth)
Ryan’s studies as part of his NVQ meant that had some understanding of mechanical engineering. He was able to fix a solar-powered boat, enabling the group to navigate the waters of Desolation. His qualification also meant he knew basic facts about acetylene. (The Ghost Monument)
His experiences as a warehouse worker proved essential to the team’s investigations at the Kerb!am warehouse on Kandoka’s moon. (Kerblam!)
Ryan expressed that he had no skills working with children, but after initial conflict, developed a close bond with Hanne, who gave him a tight hug before they departed. (It Takes You Away)
He obeyed the Doctor’s rule to never kill, something he successfully got Graham to conform to. (The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos) As he always trusted the Doctor’s ideas, Ryan would even tell other people that the Doctor was in charge (Arachnids in the UK) and what she was thinking. (The Witchfinders)
Behind the Scenes