Neil Patrick Harris Joins Doctor Who as 'The Greatest Enemy the Doctor Has Ever Faced'

"Thank you for inviting me into your Whoniverse, [returning showrunner Russell T. Davies]. I'll try my hardest to do my worst."

Neil Patrick Harris has already been Dr. Horrible, and now he’s going to be horrible to the Doctor. The actor shared a first glimpse of his villainous new character for the upcoming “Doctor Who” 60th anniversary celebration.

NPH has plenty of experience playing bad, notably doing so on “A Series of Unfortunate Events” television series, with a similarly dour expression — though the nose is noticeably more normal.

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NPH took to Instagram with the big news, joking in his caption that he’s “never looked more dashing.” Honestly, we’re still getting “Unfortunate” vibes from it!

“Thank you for inviting me into your Whoniverse, [Russell T. Davies]. I’ll try my hardest to do my worst,” he wrote. “This Doctor has no idea what’s in store. And even if he does… Who cares? Ha ha ha HA ha-ha-ha!”

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Returning showrunner Davies confirmed the casting by commenting directly on Harris’ post, writing, “We are honoured! So much fun!” The showrunner also released a statement with the official share of the image, but kept things typically pretty vague.

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“It’s my huge honor to open our studio doors for the mighty Neil Patrick Harris,” he wrote. “But who, why, what is he playing? You’ll just have to wait. But I promise you, the stuff we’re shooting now is off the scale. Doctor beware!”

Davies was only slightly more forthcoming on his own Instagram, where he captioned the same image by telling fans NPH is “playing the greatest enemy the Doctor has ever faced.” Considering some of the foes the Doctor has faced, that’s a pretty big claim.

His most famous and dastardly foe has always been The Master, a fellow Time Lord. He’s been portrayed by several actors over the years, so is Davies suggesting Harris will be portraying this character, or someone new?

The “Queer as Folk” creator was the mastermind behind the 2010 revival of the venerable BBC franchise, starring Christopher Eccleston in the titular role for the first season before making way for arguably the most popular doctor of the new era, David Tennant. Davies then departed in 2010 alongside Tennant.

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After the completion of Jodie Whittaker’s tenure as the Thirteenth Doctor, both she and current showrunner Chris Chibnall announced they were stepping down, leaving the door open for Davies to return just in time for the show’s anniversary.

Davies has already announced the returns of Tennant, alongside companions Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) and her grandfather Wilfred Mott (Bernard Cribbins). There was briefly speculation that Tennant might return to the role, but then Ncuti Gatwa was cast as the Fourteenth Doctor.

Gatwa will play the first Black Doctor, after Whittaker’s first female Doctor, to lead the series. Actress Jo Martin portrayed an earlier version of the Doctor referred to as the Fugitive Doctor, but it was only a guest role performance.

The last of three “Doctor Who” specials is expected to air in October 2022, during which Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor will regenerate into Gatwa’s Fourteenth. Her final episode will also feature returning cast-members, though reaching much further back to Fourth and Fifth Doctor companion Tegan Jovanka (Janet Fielding) and Seventh Doctor companion Ace (Sophie Aldred).

“Doctor Who” reaches its 60th anniversary in 2023, with Davies run expected to begin in November of that year.


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