The first footage of the long-awaited Doctor Who Christmas special has been released, and it promises a festive fun adventure with a superhero theme. The title of the episode will be "The Return of Doctor Mysterio", with Justin Chatwin playing the superhero in question. The episode will be set in New York, although as the press release proudly states; it was all filmed in the usual Doctor Who home of Cardiff, Wales. The footage can be viewed, above, and the synopsis for the episode is below:
This Christmas on BBC One, the Doctor joins forces with a comic-book superhero in New York for a heroic special written by Steven Moffat, titled ‘The Return of Doctor Mysterio’. The family favorite will return on Christmas day as the Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi, joins forces with an investigative journalist, played by Charity Wakefield (Wolf Hall, The Player) and a superhero to save New York from a deadly alien threat.
The footage takes the form of several behind the scenes shots interspersed with shots from the actual episode. Matt Lucas is also back as Nardole, and based on the shots of him in the TARDIS, he is traveling with the Doctor, which will certainly make for some...interesting...interactions. It's undoubtedly Chatwin's role that will most intrigue viewers; from the image released of him in costume (see below), he looks very similar in appearance to the Caped Crusader.
Showrunner Steven Moffat has given an interesting insight into his own superhero preferences that might well influence the character of Doctor Mysterio, with his own statement in the BBC's press release:
“I’ve always loved superheroes and this Christmas Doctor Who dives into that world. My favourite superhero is Clark Kent. Not Superman, Clark Kent. Working with the amazing people at Doctor Who has been one of the most fun and rewarding projects I’ve ever had the pleasure of being involved with.”
The one hour special has no specific air date yet, but it is usually Christmas Day in the U.K.. The return of Nardole will be a welcome one, and his inclusion will definitely lighten the mood of the show - seeing as it left off on a heavy note at the end of Doctor Who season nine. In addition, the superhero focus could definitely help draw in viewers, given the public's current passion for superhero-based anything. With Doctor Who season 9 ending on a lower viewer count than seasons past, and no season airing this year, a strong, dynamic storyline will be just what the Doctor ordered.
Doctor Who: The Return of Doctor Mysterio will air on BBC1 and BBC America this holiday season. Doctor Who season 10 will air on BBC 1 and BBC America in 2017.