Doc­tor Who

Peter Ca­paldi’s man of mystery

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This time( lord)- hon­oured Christ­mas tra­di­tion is jolly good fes­tive fun.

It’s

Christ­mas and that means we get to watch the an­nual

Doc­tor Who spe­cial – much to the de­light of fans, who have been hang­ing for this since the last episode an en­tire year ago.

This in­stal­ment, show­ing on ABC on Box­ing Day in true hol­i­day tra­di­tion, is called “The Re­turn of Doc­tor Mys­te­rio” and sees the Doc­tor, played by Peter Ca­paldi, join up with an in­ves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist, played by Char­ity Wake­field ( Wolf Hall,

The Player) and a su­per­hero called The Ghost to save New York from the deadly threat of brain- swap­ping aliens. Can the Doc­tor save Manhattan?

Se­rial mis­take- maker Nar­dole ( re­turn­ing guest star Matt Lu­cas, who is repris­ing his role from last year’s Christ­mas spe­cial “The Hus­bands of River Song”) fills in as the Doc­tor’s com­pan­ion af­ter Jenna Cole­man ab­di­cated as gal­axy- hop­ping as­sis­tant Clara. How Nar­dole ended up here, con­sid­er­ing he was last seen as a sev­ered head in con­trol of King Hy­droflax’s ro­bot body, is any­one’s guess right now. This might be Lu­cas’s last stint too, as the lit­tle- known Lon­doner Pearl Mackie is due to make her de­but as Ca­paldi’s new­est trav­el­ling com­pan­ion Bill in 2017.

Grant – The Ghost in hu­man guise – is played by Justin Chatwin ( Or­phan Black, War of the Worlds) who was de­lighted to join the cast: “Work­ing with the amaz­ing peo­ple at Doc­tor

Who has been one of the most fun and rewarding projects I’ve ever had the plea­sure of be­ing in­volved with,” he said.

Also look out for new face Adetomiwa Edun ( Lu­cifer,

Bates Mo­tel), who makes a brief ap­pear­ance in the clip as Mr Brock, the hu­man face be­hind the in­va­sion who is there “to open minds” – lit­er­ally.

The mem­o­rable ti­tle “The Re­turn of Doc­tor Mys­te­rio” is in­spired by the Mex­i­can name for Doc­tor Who, and the fes­tive hour is look­ing to chan­nel the fun spirit of vin­tage Su­per­man movies as it’s be­ing pitched as “Doc­tor Who does su­per­heroes”.

The show’s writer, Steven Mof­fat, has given a hint about what to ex­pect: “I’ve al­ways loved su­per­heroes,” he said. “This Christ­mas Doc­tor Who dives into that world.”

The Doc­tor Who fes­tive feast doesn’t end there, with the an­i­mated se­ries Doc­tor Who: The Power of the Daleks be­ing fast- tracked to ABC iview af­ter the Christ­mas spe­cial. It’s one of the most cel­e­brated Doc­tor

Who ad­ven­tures, and yet no com­plete film record­ings are known to have sur­vived.

This new an­i­ma­tion, be­ing re­leased 50 years af­ter its only UK broad­cast, is based on the pro­gram’s orig­i­nal au­dio record­ings, sur­viv­ing pho­tographs and film clips, and brought to life us­ing modern an­i­ma­tion tech­niques.

The six- part ad­ven­ture fea­tures the re­gen­er­a­tion of First Doc­tor, Wil­liam Hart­nell, into Sec­ond Doc­tor, Pa­trick Troughton, and fol­lows the Time Lord and his com­pan­ions Polly ( An­neke Wills) and Ben ( Michael Craze) as they do bat­tle with the Daleks on the planet Vul­can.

This time( lord)- hon­oured Christ­mas tra­di­tion is jolly good fes­tive fun for the whole fam­ily.

Doc­tor Who: The Re­turn Of Doc­tor Mys­te­rio, ABC, Box­ing Day, 7.30pm

Ghost of Christ­mas past: Doc­tor Who: The Re­turn Of Doc­tor Mys­te­rio stars Matt Lu­cas, Char­ity Wake­field, Justin Chatwin and Peter Ca­paldi.

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