The folks behind the scenes at Doctor Who not wasting any time while the series is on a bit of a hiatus. Although we won't see new episodes of the series until November and Ncuti Gatwa won't officially take over as the Doctor until the Christmas special, we all assume new (and returning) showrunner Russell T. Davies is plotting, the show's steady stream of casting announcements and fabulous fashion updates are keeping the off-season TARDIS hype set to eleven.
Former stars David Tennant and Catherine Tate are returning for the show's 60th-anniversary celebrations, where they'll be accompanied by Heartstopper breakout Yasmin Finney and all-around icon Neil Patrick Harris. Production on Season 14 is well underway and is set to feature appearances by fan-favorite Jemma Redgrave, who'll be reprising her role as Kate Lethbridge-Stewart, and newcomers Aneurin Barnard (1899), Anita Dobson (EastEnders), Michelle Greenidge (It’s a Sin) and Jinkx Monsoon (RuPaul's Drag Race).
But the latest buzzy name to join the group is none other than King George III himself — Hamilton star Jonathan Groff. The Tony-nominated actor is perhaps best known among Anglophiles for playing England's mad king on Broadway and in the Disney+ stage film. (Ed note: Does this make him an official Disney king? Discuss.) He's also starred in everything from the musical comedy series Glee (also on Disney+) to Netflix's twisty crime drama Mindhunter and the most recent installment in The Matrix franchise.
"I am so thrilled to jump into the extraordinary mind of Russell T. Davies and watch the incredible Ncuti Gatwa soar in this iconic role!" Groff said in a statement following the announcement of his casting.
Unsurprisingly, specific details about Groff's forthcoming role are being kept under wraps, and it is described only as "mysterious and exciting." (A phrase that could honestly be applied to literally any Doctor Who character.) The press release does refer to him "jumping aboard the TARDIS," so that at least hints that he probably won't be another high-profile villain for Gatwa's Time Lord to face off against.
"This is an incredible coup, and a great honor, to get such a huge star striding on to our set," Davies added. "So strap on your space boots; this is going to be a blast!”
Doctor Who will return in November for a trio of special episodes celebrating the series’ 60th anniversary. Though we don’t have firm airdates for those episodes just yet, it is expected they will day and date on both sides of the pond when they debut on BBC One and Disney+. Gatwa's first episode as the Doctor will air over the festive period, and Season 14 is slated to premiere in 2024