Recent set snaps of the Doctor Who Christmas special filming revealed that Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill would all be back, alongside somebody who looked like, but wasn’t, Maxine Peake.* But who was it?
The BBC were set to make an official announcement at Midnight on Tuesday but later postponed this until 8am on Wednesday. Unfortunately, the info leaked out in the wee small hours of Wednesday morning anyway and started cluttering up twitter and my e-mail inbox.
The star we saw in the pictures was Clare Skinner, perhaps best known for Outnumbered. She’s playing a character called Madge in the episode, a young widow with two kids.
Joining her will be comedians and comic actors Bill Bailey, Arabella Weir and Alexander Armstrong. This is Armstrong’s second role in the current Whoniverse as he also provides the voice of Mr. Smith in The Sarah Jane Adventures.
The festive episode is apparently going to be set largely in the midst of World War II and is reputed to be even Christmassier than last year’s absurdly Christmassy offering. If this show keeps heaping on the Christmasness we’ll soon end up with the Doctor regenerating in a manger.
If the BBC come back with even more info at 8am, I’ll update this story.
UPDATE: And here you go. There’s not much more, but I’ll share it anyway. Sorry for the delay but James Cameron and Kermit kept me up late.
The BBC say that, for this special, The Doctor:
finds himself in war-torn England embarking on a magical and mysterious adventure with a young widow and her two children.
The special, set during World War II, sees Madge Arwell and her two children, Lily and Cyril, evacuated to a draughty old house in Dorset, where the caretaker is a mysterious young man in bow tie, and a big blue parcel is waiting for them under the tree. They are about to enter a magical new world and learn that a Time Lord never forgets his debts…
They also provide a typically amusing quote from Steven Moffat:
The Doctor at Christmas – nothing is more fun to write. Maybe because it’s so his kind of day – everything’s bright and shiny, everybody’s having a laugh, and nobody minds if you wear a really stupid hat. Of all the Doctors, Matt Smith’s is the one that was born for this time of year – so it’s the best news possible that he’s heading back down the chimney.
Filming is, as well we know, underway now and will continue until mid-October.
*Wales Online, who published the images, had credited her as Peake, hence the confusion when the pics were new.