Neil Patrick Harris, American star of stage and screen, has joined the cast of Doctor Who and is currently filming scenes set to air in 2023 as part of the show’s 60th anniversary
The BBC have announced more of the cast for Doctor Who’s 60th Anniversary celebrations. Neil Patrick Harris is entering the Doctor Who universe for the first time. He joins the already announced David Tennant, Catherine Tate, and Yasmin Finney.
Russell T Davies discussed his excitement at welcoming Neil Patrick Harris to the Doctor Who family. “It’s my huge honour to open our studio doors for the mighty Neil Patrick Harris… but who, why, what is he playing? You’ll just have to wait. But I promise you, the stuff we’re shooting now is off the scale. Doctor beware!”
Harris is rightly famous for a long career across films, television, and theatre. Significantly, last year he appeared in Russell T Davies’ award winning Channel 4 drama about gay men during the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s, It’s A Sin. He played Henry Coltrane, the expert tailor who mentors Callum Scott Howell’s Colin, before becoming ill with a mysterious disease.
Over his career so far, Harris has won four Emmys, a Tony and been nominated for a Grammy. He’s also notable for starring in a succession of hit shows. He first came to fame as the teenage genius doctor in Doogie Houser, MD. He’s also starred in nine seasons of sitcom How I Met Your Mother, as the glib, charming womaniser Barney Stinson. And he was the deliciously malign Count Olaf in Netflix’s three season adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events. Other noteworthy roles have included Gone Girl, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog, American Horror Story and, on stage, Tick, Tick, Tick.. BOOM! and Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
Could Harris’ character be our new villain? Or perhaps even an old one…
As Davies says, exactly whom Harris is playing is yet to be revealed. But the sinister look of the official photo, and that parting remark “Doctor beware!” suggests the 60th Anniversary may have found at least one of its villains. And with his Victorian garb, apron, and background decorated with what may be stars and clouds, dare Blogtor Who say he looks like some sort of… maker of toys?
Of course we still know surprisingly little about the 60th Anniversary celebrations. Even this latest press release continues the trend of carefully leaving even the number of episodes we can expect unmentioned…
UPDATED: Neil Patrick Harris has teased the nature of his Doctor Who role on Instagram
Neil Patrick Harris has now shared the news on his own Instagram page, and essentially confirmed his villainous role.
“I’ll try my hardest to do my worst,” wrote the actor. “This Doctor has no idea what’s in store. And even if he does… Who cares? Ha ha ha HA ha-ha-ha”
Russell T Davies has also expanded on his original comments, saying Harris is “playing the greatest enemy the Doctor has ever faced. Such a great actor, such a great man, it’s an honour and a hoot. Have fun!”