10 things we learned at the launch of this year’s ‘Doctor Who’ Christmas special

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CultBox was lucky enough to be invited to the premiere of this year’s Doctor Who festive special, ‘The Return of Doctor Mysterio’, in London earlier this week.

This Christmas sees The Doctor join forces with a masked Superhero for an epic New York adventure. With brain-swapping aliens poised to attack, the Doctor and Nardole link up with an investigative reporter and a mysterious figure known only as The Ghost. Can the Doctor save Manhattan? And what will be revealed when we see behind the mask?

Pre-order ‘The Return of Doctor Mysterio’ on DVD on Amazon here.

After the screening, there was a Q&A session with Peter Capaldi (the Doctor), Matt Lucas (Nardole), Charity Wakefield (Lucy) and writer Steven Moffat.

Doctor Who The Return of Doctor Mysterio

Hosted by Radio 2’s Jo Whiley, questions primarily coming from the younger members of the audience.

Here are some of the highlights…


Steven Moffat revealed that his affection for superheroes comes from the fact that their alter-egos are usually “socially incompetent shy people” with whom he feels an affinity. He set the special in New York because he thinks superheroes work best between tall buildings and he feels that they feel like a “New York thing”, with both Metropolis and Gotham seeming like they are really New York. Also, he was hoping for a trip if they filmed there!

Matt Lucas was thrilled to bring Nardole back and says that we are stuck with him for a little bit. He says Nardole was played “a bit broader last year” but the new season has allowed him to “explore more aspects of the character.”

Charity Wakefield revealed she was “unbelievably excited” about being cast but that she found coming on to Doctor Who “a bit terrifying… because it’s so loved all over the world”. Peter Capaldi described her performance as “absolutely amazing”, saying that “people don’t quite realise how hard it is to be that light and that funny. It seems like a very straightforward thing to be but it’s not.”

Peter thinks Doctor Who suits Christmas as it is “that wonderful mix of being a little bit scary, a little bit nostalgic, and being a little bit festive.” He thinks Christmas should be scary!

Peter Capaldi was full of praise for the Doctor Who crew who, while working on a show that is technically challenging, never stop being “cheerful, friendly, supportive and warm.” He now also believes that he has filmed inside every power station in Wales!

Peter Capaldi describes the upcoming Season 10 with Pearl Mackie’s Bill as having “a whole different kind of energy, because her character doesn’t know anything about the world… so in a way it’s a sort of reboot because we take this series back to its roots in a way, because essentially it is this mysterious stranger from outer space, with his time and space machine, whisking Bill off into corners of the universe to blow up monsters.”

When quizzed on Nardole’s status as a companion, Matt Lucas describes him as a “sort of valet” and that he is a bit of a thorn in the Doctor’s side… to which Peter Capaldi simply replied “big time!”

Matt Lucas finds it novel that Pearl Mackie plays a human, while the Doctor and Nardole are aliens, says that Bill grounds them and that there is something “very contemporary about that character… and about her performance” adding that it has been “great watching her grow during the filming process.”

Asked to tease monsters for the new season, Steven Moffat promised some “properly scary ones, some new ones, some old ones” while Peter Capaldi advised us to “be very wary when you hear a creak when you step on a floorboard… I think you should think twice about what the creak is. It may not just be a creak!”

Peter was asked if the Doctor changed in the upcoming season? “All the time really… I don’t know technically what the process of regeneration involves, but I probably think you are quite surprised to find yourself renewed with aspects of you that are different …all of the Doctors develop quite a lot over their seasons. I think when we started he was more severe, then I think he became more clownish last season – now it’s a kind of mix of both of those things.”


‘The Return of Doctor Mysterio’ airs at 5.45pm on Sunday 25 December on BBC One.

Pre-order ‘The Return of Doctor Mysterio’ on DVD on Amazon here.

Are you looking forward to the Christmas special? Let us know below…

Follow Ian McArdell on Twitter here.