Former Primeval and Death in Paradise star Ben Miller has been cast as an unnamed villain in Doctor Who Series 8 in the episode written by Mark Gatiss.
Speaking on the BBC Doctor Who website, the actor – who has worked with Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi previously – observed:
As a committed Whovian I cannot believe my luck in joining the Twelfth Doctor for one of his inaugural adventures. My only worry is that they’ll make me leave the set when I’m not filming.
Miller famously quit the apparently cushy job of spending half the year in the Caribbean for Death in Paradise last year (prompting speculation he may have been cast as the Twelfth Doctor), but was adequately replaced in surprisingly competent manner by Kris Marshall, guaranteeing the show a fourth series. Meanwhile Primeval fell foul of the ITV commissioner’s sword in 2010 following the channel’s inability to offer it any support.
(Miller’s comedy partner Alexander Armstrong is probably best known for Pointless these days, although he appeared in The Sarah Jane Adventures as the voice of Mr Smith, and in 2012 Christmas special The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe as Reg Arwell.)
Says Steven Moffat of the casting:
Mark Gatiss has written us a storming villain for his new episode, and with Capaldi in the TARDIS, we knew we needed somebody special to send everybody behind the sofa. And quite frankly, it’s about time Ben Miller was in Doctor Who!
While Moffat heavily indicates that Miller is playing a villain, the big question is, what sort? We’ve had months of speculation concerning the return of the Master, after all.
Could Ben Miller be the Master?