Doctor Who editor teases return of 2005 guest star in 2023 Christmas special

Doctor Who script editor Scott Handcock has teased the return of a past guest star in the forthcoming Christmas special.

This year’s festive period will see Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa take over as the 15th Time Lord in the long-running saga.

He’ll be joined by Coronation Street actor Millie Gibson, who was announced as the new companion during Children in Need in November.

While there’ll be plenty of new faces, Handcock has said that a character from 2005 will make a return.

“As we get into the second week of our Christmas Special shoot, a guest star from 2005 returns; one of our writers delivers their fourth draft of a script for Block Three; a hero prop gets its first unveiling in a Block Three tone meeting, and Block Four director Ben Chessell starts work with the crew in Cardiff,” the script editor wrote in the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine.

2005 saw Christopher Ecclestone star as the Doctor with Billie Piper as his companion with David Tennant taking over in that year’s Christmas special.

Billie Piper and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Doctor Who’ (BBC)
Billie Piper and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Doctor Who’ (BBC)

RadioTimes notes that possible returning actors could be Simon Callow as Charles Dickens, Annette Badland as Margaret Blaine, Bruno Langley as Adam Mitchell, or even Simon Pegg’s Editor.

Another star who is confirmed to appear in Gatwa’s new series is 1899 star Aneurin Barnard.

The Welsh actor, who starred in Netflix’s sci-fi series before it was cancelled last week after just one season, will play the “mysterious” new character Roger ap Gwilliam.

Doctor Who is set to return in November 2023 with three special episodes to coincide with the show’s 60th anniversary.

David Tennant, who was initially the 10th Doctor, will return as the 14th Doctor for those episodes alongside former companion Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) before Gatwa begins his tenure in the Christmas special.

Heartstopper’s Yasmin Finney will also feature in the specials.

Speaking about his casting when it was revealed in May, Gatwa said he was “deeply honoured, beyond excited and of course a little bit scared”.