The Doctor is in the house, and it’s just as well, since Doctor Who has been absent from our screens for what seems like an awfully long time. Doctor Who has had a tradition of debuting a new season every year since its 2005 relaunch, so it has seemed a little strange not to have Peter Capaldi and his TARDIS on the air this fall. However, Doctor Who will soon be back with its annual Christmas special, followed by season 10 (which will air in the spring of 2017).
The 2016 Doctor Who Christmas special is titled “The Return of Doctor Mysterio,” and introduces Justin Chatwin as Grant Gordon – or, as his alter-ego is known, The Ghost. Showrunner Steven Moffat has said the episode draws influence from the Christopher Reeve era of Superman, and the superheroes of old. A new teaser for the episode, detailing its BBC America show time and date, has been released and can be viewed, above. In addition, the episode will also be getting a limited theatrical release.
Described as “the masked vigilante, but he’s super,” Chatwin’s role really does seem to fit the classic superhero description; a man with superhuman strength, the ability to fly and of course, the ability to rescue damsels in distress. Traditionally, Doctor Who Christmas specials are lighter in tone than the episodes that come in a season, and that comes across in this trailer (as well as the previously-released teaer).
Certainly the welcome addition of Nardole looks set to bring a lot of comic relief, and it’s nice to see Capaldi getting back to his comic roots, too. The Doctor is capable of being a very humorous character when he wants to be; something that was sadly lacking in the latter half of season 9. As Nardole, Matt Lucas joins Doctor Who season 10 as a recurring character come spring, so we could well see a lighter tone to the entire season, too.
Back to “The Return of Doctor Mysterio” then, and Moffat has said that the episode is about a boy who is given superpowers, and is also a fan of comics – therefore, he grows up thinking he should use these powers to become a superhero. But will his expertise be needed when the Doctor is around? Can the two work together, or will they clash? The Doctor working with a comic book superhero is an interesting concept indeed.
Elsewhere, the trailer gives us a look at brains floating in jars, curiously preempted by what looks like a corporate presentation which promises to open people’s minds. Also, Nardole is sporting a fabulous pair of glasses. Want to see more? Tune in at Christmas!
Doctor Who: The Return of Doctor Mysterio will air on BBC America and BBC 1 on December 25th.