Two days after it wrapped filming on Doctor Who season 12, the BBC announced a pair of British TV legends set to make their TARDIS debut.
Stephen Fry (A Bit of Fry and Laurie, Bones) and Sir Lenny Henry CBE (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) will guest star in the series opener—whenever that may be.
“Short of being picked for a British space exploration program, and I readily concede that I’m past the age where I’d be considered (if I was ever the right age for such a posting), then being in an episode of Doctor Who will certainly do as a very sweet second-place excitement,” the 62-year-old comedian said.
Considering the long-running sci-fi drama is basically the Law & Order of the UK—i.e. anyone who’s anyone has made at least one appearance—it’s hard to believe Fry never cameoed.
U.S. viewers may recognize him as Dr. Gordon Wyatt on Bones or Gordon Deitrich in V for Vendetta. Or, though disappointingly not named Gordon, as himself in the travel series Stephen Fry in America. He was also the host of BBC quiz show QI for 13 years.
Sir Lenny, on the other hand, is likely less familiar to non-anglophiles, despite his 40-plus years on the stage and screen.
Aside from playing Knight Bus’s shrunken head accessory in the third Harry Potter film, Henry is known for his comedy, starring in programs like The Lenny Henry Show, Lenny Goes to Town, and Chef!
He showed off his dramatic chops in the third season of Broadchurch, alongside the Thirteenth Doctor herself, Jodie Whittaker.
“It was absolutely brilliant to be welcomed into the fantastical world of Doctor Who,” Henry said in a statement.
“The nearest I have been to the TARDIS was when I played the Caribbean Doctor in The Lenny Henry Show,” he continued. “So as a life-long (hiding-behind-the-sofa type) Doctor Who fan, this is a very special moment for me.”
A release date for the new series has not yet been announced (though rumor has it the show will return on New Year’s Day to kick off its 10-episode run).
Keep an eye on the BBC this Saturday for a big announcement.
The broadcaster last week unveiled an exciting lineup of directors and writers, announcing a host of new and returning faces—featuring showrunner Chris Chibnall, who has reportedly penned four episodes (including the season’s first).
“One of the great joys of Doctor Who is getting to work with actors from your wishlist,” according to Chibnall, who counts Fry and Henry among his “absolute favorite actors.”
“And to be able to bring them into Doctor Who, in one of our biggest-ever stories to kick off the new series, is an absolute thrill,” he added.
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