There are so many reasons for Doctor Who fans to be hyped by this year’s incoming 60th anniversary celebrations. Naturally, David Tennant’s grand return as the
Tenth Fourteenth Doctor is grabbing much of the attention, but let’s not forget the fact that he’s getting himself an intriguing new nemesis for his landmark comeback to the Whoniverse in this monumental milestone for the immortal sci-fi series.
In what is probably one of the biggest casting coups of the entire revived series, major Hollywood star Neil Patrick Harris is joining the cast for the three specials that’ll arrive over the course of 2023. No specific details have been revealed about the How I Met Your Mother actor’s character as yet, but we just got our first glimpse at him in action as the Time Lord’s latest mysterious foe in the recent Christmas Day trailer.
So, who could Harris be playing in Doctor Who? The signs are pointing to him being a new incarnation of familiar character. And the fans are convinced they’ve worked out who it is.
Here’s who Neil Patrick Harris might be playing in Doctor Who
Image via Neil Patrick Harris/Instagram
Harris was first announced to be part of Doctor Who‘s big birthday celebrations once filming began in June 2022, with showrunner Russell T. Davies immediately promising that he’s playing “the greatest enemy the Doctor has ever faced.” Obviously, this initially got folks thinking he might be the latest version of the Master, but the Geppetto-like get-up Harris was sporting in the first promo image for his character suggested an alternate explanation.
The most common theory surrounding Harris’ role is that he’s the Celestial Toymaker. The Celestial Toymaker originally appeared in the 1966 story of the same name starring William Hartnell’s First Doctor and was played by Michael Gough (Alfred in Tim Burton’s Batman movies). This established that the Toymaker was a vastly powerful, immortal being who could warp reality to his whim and loved to manipulate and “play with” the Doctor. In many ways, then, he can be likened to Star Trek‘s Q.
Despite his power-levels, the Toymaker has yet to return to the TV series since, but the 60th anniversary could be the perfect time to bring him back. Harris’ transformative appearance in the show certainly adds credence to this theory — in addition to his Geppetto look, he’s also depicted sporting a more Cabaret-style appearance, which fits with his affected German accent. Reimagining the Toymaker as a Germanic character, thereby removing his culturally appropriative fashion sense from Gough’s portrayal, would be a smart move.
Then again, who says the Doctor’s “greatest enemy” has to be a returning character? After all, another — even more obscure — villain is already returning for these specials. …….