Season 7 of ‘Doctor Who’ is turning out to becoming the largest extravaganza season for the series! With the announcement of old companions leaving, a new companion coming in, the return of Daleks and Weeping Angels, Dame Diana Rigg to guest star, and an epic trailer to tease what’s to come, what more can Steven Moffat have planned? Apparently much more as BBC has made the announcement that Richard E. Grant has now been signed on to appear in this season’s Christmas special!
Grant is known from his work on ‘Whitnail and I’, ‘The Iron Lady’, ‘Love Hurts’, and the 1992 version of ‘Dracula’ with Keeanu Reeves. But for those who follow the ‘Doctor Who’ franchise beyond the television series, Grant was the voice of the 9th Doctor in the 2003 animated web series ‘Scream of the Shalka’. He had also appeared as a regenerated version of the Doctor in the 1999 Comic Relief mini-movie ‘The Curse of Fatal Death’. (On a side note, ‘The Curse of Fatal Death’ was the first ‘Doctor Who’ script that Steven Moffat wrote for the franchise. Although it was a parody, it was commissioned by BBC.)
As usual, the exact nature of Grant’s role is unknown but it’s being reported by ‘The Sun’ that he will play a villain. Filming for the Christmas episode began today with Saul Metzstein (who was also the second unit director for the upcoming ‘Dredd’ reboot) in the director’s chair. Metzstein has already directed quite a few episodes this season including ‘The Crimson Horror’ with Dame Diana Rigg, ‘Dinosaurs on a Spaceship,’ and ‘A Town Called Mercy.’ Moffat scribed the script for the seasonal episode and it will mark the first appearance of the Doctor’s (Matt Smith) new companion played by Jenna Louise Coleman.
Of the announcement Grant has said, “I played ‘Doctor Who’ in the digital animated ‘Scream of the Shalka’ episode and I’m honored to be in the Christmas special.”
More details about Grant’s role will undoubtedly surface soon but until it does, here’s a video playing the Doctor from the Comic Relief segment ‘The Curse of Fatal Death’ (Grant appears at the 3:06 mark):