Doctor Who showrunner reveals surprise anniversary crossover as potential new spin-off revealed

Virgin Radio

9 Nov 2023, 13:09

Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor and a poster for Doctor Who's 60th anniversary specials

Credit: BBC/X (formerly Twitter) (@bbcdoctorwho)

Doctor Who’s returning showrunner Russell T Davies has revealed this year’s 60th anniversary specials will feature a surprise crossover with another of his television shows.

Speaking with Doctor Who Magazine about the guest cast for this year’s episodes The Star Beast, Wild Blue Yonder and The Giggle, Russell revealed that the actor John MacKay will be appearing in The Giggle as the same character he played in the writer’s other recent drama, Nolly.

“John MacKay is the most perfect choice to play [real life television pioneer] John Logie Baird - so perfect, I’ve done it twice!” the screenwriter revealed.

He continued by explaining: “John first took on this role in my ITV production of Nolly, because Noele Gordon (played by Helena Bonham Carter) was - true fact fans - the first woman in the world to appear on colour TV, put there by JLB himself.”

“So now, to have the same actor play the same character means that all my shows are set in the same universe, officially!” he then jokingly confirmed.

Other guest cast revealed this week for this year’s specials, which will air on the 25th November, plus the 2nd and 9th of December, include Dara Lall as Fudge, Charlie De Melo as Charles Banerjee, and Alexander Devrient as UNIT Colonel Christopher Ibrahim.

Russell’s Doctor Who Magazine revelations come as a source suggested to the Mirror that the showrunner may be considering greenlighting a Doctor Who spin-off idea which is very popular amongst fans.

Reportedly, the writer “likes the idea” of a series which would see Paul McGann get to reprise his role as the Eighth Doctor, almost 30 years after he originally appeared in the American-made Doctor Who TV Movie which failed to relaunch the show in 1996.

Despite not getting a series to play the Eighth Doctor on TV, Paul’s Doctor was embraced by fans and has gone on to have many adventures in official tie-in novels, comics, and audio dramas.

His short TV reprisal appearances as the Doctor in the show’s 50th anniversary’s short The Night of the Doctor, and most recently in Jodie Whittaker’s final episode The Power of the Doctor, were also very excitedly received by fans.

Therefore, while this spin off concept is - like others - still completely unconfirmed, it may be that Russell T Davies is interested in bringing the Eighth Doctor back to our TV screens sometime in the near future.

Doctor Who returns to BBC One and BBC iPlayer on 25th November for the first of its three 60th anniversary specials.