Mark Gatiss is no stranger to ‘Doctor Who,‘ having not only written for the show for the last 12 years, but also having the privilege of appearing on-screen in three different episodes. While he didn’t write the upcoming Christmas Special episode – the last for current Doctor Peter Capaldi before the impending regeneration into the Thirteenth Doctor, Jodie Whittaker – he does star in the episode, by special request of head writer and (also outgoing) showrunner Steven Moffat.
As Gatiss himself relays, in a recent interview:
“Steven asked me several months ago. He said, ‘Will you keep June and July free? Because I want you to be there when I go.’ And so here I am. It’s an amazing farewell gift of a part. A very lovely Christmas story!”
As for whether he feels that he’ll ever “tire” of working on the long-running British sci-fi show, Gatiss waxed poetic:
“It’s been a privilege to write so much of it, and also to be in it. There was a point, I remember, having a very early meeting with Russell about my first script [2005’s ‘The Unquiet Dead’]. I sort of said, ‘I want to be in it as well!’ but you have to play a long game.
“There always used to be a cliché about writers being Who-ed out. As a teenager, I used to think, ‘This will never happen!’ But of course it’s true. Certainly, I think. everyone benefits from a bit of rest. But, I mean, there’s always more [ideas].”
Marking the official end of the line for both Capaldi and Moffat for their work on the show, the Doctor Who Christmas Special, ‘Twice Upon a Time,’ can be seen on BBC America on December 25, 2017.