Russell T Davies, the showrunner of Doctor Who, has revealed a key guest star who will feature in next year’s Christmas special.
We still have to wait until the 60th anniversary specials to see David Tennant and Catherine Tate, and even longer when Ncuti Gatwa and Millie Gibson take over the Tardis for season 14.
Fans have even more to look forward to, as film and TV actor Nicola Coughlan has joined the cast, with Russell revealing the news ahead of the anniversary episodes, which will air later in November.
At the occasion, noted Doctor Who fan Jo Whiley moderated a Q&A and became every Whovian’s best friend when she asked the showrunner which more guest stars we may anticipate in the future season, wheedling: ‘Just one?’
To his credit, Russell trembled, stuttered, and muttered, ‘oh, they’ll tell me off.’
It didn’t take long for him to declare that they ‘want Nicola Coughlan for Christmas.’
He clarified, ‘not this Christmas, next Christmas,’ – making Christmas 2024 one to look forward to for Derry Girl, Bridgerton and Doctor Who fans.
(And believe me, those fandoms overlap.)
RTD went on: ‘We’re shooting Christmas 2024 now,’ before apologising and arguing: ‘Jo Whiley was staring at me!’
Some fans have previously assumed Nicola was joining the cast after sleuths claimed to have seen her shooting in Cardiff.
Nicola’s popularity has skyrocketed since she initially rose to prominence in Channel 4’s Derry Girls, where she portrayed Clare Devlin for four seasons before the show ended last year.
She went on to play Penelope Featherington in Bridgerton, where she gained thousands of admirers all over the world.
Nicola confirmed her place as an icon this summer when she appeared in Barbie alongside Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling.
There are many of Doctor Who theories circulating right now, with stories on Thursday sending fans into a frenzy about the possibility of another Time Lord returning to the role.
Back in 1996, Paul McGann played the eighth Doctor in a television film with Eric Roberts, Daphne Ashbrook, and the outgoing seventh Doctor, Sylvester McCoy.
The film was an attempt to bring the beloved programme back to life, but it was not to be, with the film being the last fresh content fans had before RTD made it into a phenomenon in 2005.
8th Doctor Paul has revisited the character on a few occasions, most recently in last year’s The Power of the Doctor special, which marked Jodie Whittaker’s final appearance in the Tardis.
But now he’s going to appear in his own spin-off, with a source adding Russell ‘likes the idea of bringing back McGann with his own set of episodes in the Tardis.’
‘Disney are on board as they want more original content and want to fully exploit the franchise as they know how big it could become,’ they added when speaking to The Mirror.