This year’s ‘Doctor Who’ Christmas special – ‘Twice Upon A Time – is a big one for the program, seeing as it does the departures of both incumbent star Peter Capaldi and writer/producer Steven Moffat, who’s contributions date back to the very beginning of the series’ 2005 revival. But even as the show prepares to usher in a new era, there’s still room for a familiar face to make a return of sorts.
The face in question belongs to Mark Gatiss, a longtime friend and collaborator of Moffat’s (their most significant work together being ‘Sherlock’) who is in his own right a force to be reckoned with in the world of ‘Doctor Who’. While the bulk of his ‘Who’ contributions have come in the form of scripts, he has also appeared in front of the camera (or behind the microphone, in the case of his work with Big Finish). His best recognized ‘Who’ role to date was opposite David Tennant in 2007’s ‘The Lazarus Experiment’, in which he played the titular villain – though he has appeared in a number of small parts and cameos since. But it’s his role in ‘Twice Upon A Time’ that may be his most important yet.
As Gatiss explains:
“As we discovered at the climax of the last season, the Doctor is about to regenerate, but doesn’t want to. Not because he doesn’t want to change his face, but [he thinks] maybe this is time to finish it. And then unexpectedly, out of the snow, arrives his very first incarnation, now played by the great David Bradley. I play a captain from the First World War who is kind of plucked out of time and then gets involved with the Doctor’s adventures. So, it’s essentially a kind of chamber piece of David, and Peter, and Pearl, and me, and this strange mysterious threat. But really it’s about the wonderful interplay between the two Doctors. Both Doctors are about to regenerate, one of them for the first time, one for the thirteenth, or whatever it is now. [Laughs] It’s a very charming, funny, and rather moving script, and it was just a privilege to be part of it. I mean, for me, as a lifelong fan, to be in a regeneration story, and to be in Peter’s one, and to be also with the First Doctor, it was amazing. I just had to pinch myself at times. I looked across the set to see to TARDISes next to each other and got a real frisson of old-school ‘Doctor Who’-ness.”
Gatiss will next appear on ‘Doctor Who’ for this year’s Christmas special, ‘Twice Upon A Time’. The special, which will culminate in the regeneration of Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor, will also feature Pearl Mackie and David Bradley. The special will also see longtime showrunner Steven Moffat will also bid farewell to the program. The outgoing star and producer will be succeeded by Jodie Whittaker and Chris Chibnall, respectively.
Be sure to check back with ScienceFiction.com for more news on both ‘Twice Upon A Time’ and the upcoming eleventh season of ‘Doctor Who’ as it becomes available!