In “The Return of Doctor Mysterio,” the new Doctor Who Christmas special slated to premiere Sunday, December 25 on BBC America, Canadian actor Justin Chatwin stars as a superhero. No, seriously — the long-running British science fiction series will finally delve into the super-powered waters populated by recent Marvel Studios and DC Comics/Warner Bros. fare, albeit with a completely made-up figure whose presence will likely confound the aged alien’s logical mindset. And guess what? His name, as far as the BBC is willing to reveal, is “Grant.”
That’s right. A new superhero named Grant.
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BBC One’s annual Children in Need telethon debuted an exclusive three-minute preview of “Doctor Mysterio.” After a short beat in which several ominous medical personnel capture a man in a laboratory protected by a vault, Peter Capaldi’s 12th Doctor and Charity Wakefield’s unnamed investigative journalist character follow the villainous figure portrayed by Aleksandar Jovanovic. They eventually run into him, as well as Matt Lucas’ Nardole (from the previous Christmas special), at which point Jovanovic’s character pulls a gun on them. That’s when Chatwin’s Grant arrives to save the day.
The seriousness of the situation notwithstanding, the scene features plenty of outgoing showrunner Steven Moffat‘s typical accents — the Doctor accompanied by a female companion, witty though cheesy dialogue, and a playful sense of danger. Hence why it comes as no surprise that Grant’s arrival toward the end would include a hammy exchange between himself and Jovanovic’s gun-wielding bad guy. That, and a gravely, I-need-to-disguise-my-true-identity voice not unlike Christian Bale’s take on Batman in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy.
“Doctor Mysterio” is shaping up to be a rather interesting entry in the canon of Doctor Who Christmas specials.