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Alan Cumming to Play a “Nice Baddie” on DOCTOR WHO

Alan Cumming to Play a “Nice Baddie” on DOCTOR WHO

We’re still likely eight months away from the premiere of series 11 of Doctor Who, the first to feature Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor and the first under new showrunner Chris Chibnall. And we’re going insane about it, because we know next to nothing about how the series is going to shake out. Tons of speculation, but so far all we’ve really known is the Doctor, her new outfit, her new “friends” (not companions?!?!) and that it’ll run 10 episodes rather than the usual 12 or 13. Come on! Tell us SOMETHING! Well, whether he was supposed to or not, actor Alan Cumming let slip that he’ll guest star in a possibly recurring role.

Cumming said on the Homo Sapiens Podcast (shared via EW) that he’s about to film a guest role for series 11, playing a famous royal figure from British history.

“I’m about to go and do an episode of Doctor Who,” he said to podcast hosts Will Young and Christopher Sweeney. “I’m so excited.”

Naturally, they asked, “Are you a baddie?” to which Cumming replied, “Like a nice baddie. I’m James I, so I’m kind of like a dandy, foppy sort of coward who comes all right in the end. They said he might come back.”

For those who don’t know their monarchical history, James I was originally known as James VI as King of Scotland from 1567. The son of Mary, Queen of Scots, he became King of England and Ireland in 1603 as well following the Union of the Crowns where he styled himself James I, “King of Great Britain and Ireland,” and reigned until his death in 1625. As James was the first British monarch following Elizabeth I’s death, it seems fairly likely there’ll be some reference to Liz’s tryst/marriage with the Tenth Doctor, as depicted in “The Day of the Doctor.”

One can imagine a storyline involving James I needing to unite the people after years of Scottish and English hostilities, and the Doctor would be of great help in that arena. Or it could just be about some aliens trying to do something; you never know with this show.

Cumming is an accomplished stage and screen actor, who’d been “approached” on two occasions about playing the Doctor, though that never quite came to be. He’d have been an excellent Doctor, surely, but I’m quite thrilled to see him spark off of Jodie Whittaker in a full-on period setting.

Images: Disney/BBC

Kyle Anderson is the Associate Editor and the resident Whovian for Nerdist. Follow him on Twitter!

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