It’s been Guest Stars Central in the Doctor Who world lately, what with Keeley Hawes and Tom Riley both recently announced to be appearing in the sci-fi show’s eighth series, the first with new Doctor Peter Capaldi. Now, the BBC have confirmed that comedy star and venerable character actor Ben Miller will also be on this year, playing a villain.
Miller is known in Britain for being one half of the comedy duo Armstrong & Miller alongside Alexander Armstrong (who incidentally guested on the 2011 Doctor Who Christmas special, “The Doctor, the Widow, and the Wardrobe”) as well as being in series like The Worst Week of My Life and in the Rowan Atkinson spy spoof Johnny English. Of late, the actor has featured in more dramatic fare like Primeval and the cop-out-of-water mystery series Death in Paradise. Miller was also one of the names thrown around (along with a million others) to be in contention to fill Matt Smith’s vacating role of the millennium-old Time Lord, but that of course proved not to be true.
Of his being on Doctor Who, Miller said, “As a committed Whovian, I cannot believe my luck in joining the Twelfth Doctor for one of his inaugural adventures,” and added, “My only worry is that they’ll make me leave the set when I’m not filming.”
The episode in question has been written by Mark Gatiss, who has become a staple of the Who writing pool since his friend and Sherlock cohort Steven Moffat took over as head writer and executive producer. Moffat had this to say about the episode and Miller: “Mark Gatiss has written us a storming villain for his new episode, and with Capaldi in the TARDIS, we knew we needed somebody special to send everybody behind the sofa. And quite frankly, it’s about time Ben Miller was in Doctor Who!”
The series is being filmed currently and is expected to air sometime this fall. As always, stay tuned here for more Doctor Who news and various goings-on.
And to prove what a big nerd Miller is, here’s a clip of him explaining the Large Hadron Collider on an episode of British panel series QI, hosted by Stephen Fry.