You might remember him from The Curse of the Fatal Death back in 1999, or as the original official Ninth Doctor in 2003’s Scream of the Shalka, but Richard E. Grant finally makes his full Doctor Who debut in The Snowmen this Christmas
He’s not letting much on about his role of Doctor Simeon, however.
“I have been told that on pain of death I am not allowed to reveal anything about my role in the Christmas Special,” explains Richard, “other than that this character has never been in Doctor Who before…”
The mysterious Doctor Simeon is the episode’s villain who comes complete with a vendetta to settle from childhood; to this end, he recruits an army of evil and hungry snowmen to bring together his plan (as you do)
Grant observes that “When you’re born with a 10-foot-long face, you don’t get hero roles,” although he’s clearly forgotten his amazing turn in Warlock. He goes on: “I’m not complaining, as I have hugely enjoyed the wide variety of parts I’ve got to play.”
Growing up in Swaziland, Richard has had to devote time to catching up on the British institution, he explains: “Having grown up in a country without TV, I missed seeing Doctor Who through my childhood, but I have made up for lost time since with box sets.”
As the Doctor battles to defeat Doctor Simeon and his army, Richard shared many scenes with Matt Smith – so what did he make of working Matt? “I have really admired Matt from when I first saw him in a play called That Face at the Royal Court Theatre some years ago,” says Richard, “and have keenly followed his career progress. He is the perfect fit for Doctor Who. His interpretation is very kinetic and fast-talking.”
So will Richard be watching this Christmas? “I love Christmas and everything about it. I will be at home and watching TV after lunch, hoping I can stay awake after the feast!”