We’ve already enthused over the casting of Withnail & I star and original Ninth Doctor (above) Richard E Grant in the 2012 Doctor Who Christmas Special, but what else is going on?
The actor – who also played an alternate Tenth Doctor in Steven Moffat’s The Curse of the Fatal Death for Comic Relief back in 1999 – is rumoured to be playing the villain in the episode which will also introduce the Doctor’s new companion (whose name may or may not begin with a “C”…), played by Jenna-Louise Coleman.
Also cast in the episode is Tom Ward, known to BBC One viewers as Harry Cunningham in Silent Witness. Shooting for the episode kicks off this week (although several from the second half of Series 7 have already been filmed), which can explain the late-night release of the news. The Christmas Special will be directed by Saul Metzstein, who certainly seems to have made an impression this year – much of the footage in the recent trailer was overseen by the Scottish director, straight from his work as second unit director on Dredd.
Richard E. Grant has a good movie pedigree, appearing in productions as disparate as Withnail & I, The Player, How to Get Ahead in Advertising, Pret a Porter, Hudson Hawk and a recent short with Paul McGann, Always Crashing in the Same Car (below). He also starred as a dashing Scarlet Pimpernel on the BBC in the early 2000s.