Neil Patrick Harris joins Doctor Who cast, Russell T Davies announces

New Doctor Who lead Ncuti Gatwa and Neil Patrick Harris

Neil Patrick Harris will play “the greatest enemy the Doctor has ever faced” in the next iteration of Doctor Who.

Russell T Davies’ latest Doctor Who announcement landed Monday (13 June), via an Instagram post of the How I Met Your Mother star seemingly in character.

“Neil Patrick Harris, welcome to Cardiff,” Davies wrote. “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!”

He added in a BBC statement, which confirmed Harris will appear in the show’s 60th anniversary celebrations, “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!”


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It’s already been confirmed that David Tennant and Catherine Tate will return for the show’s 60th anniversary, and will be joined by Heartstopper’s Yasmin Finney.

Finney will play a character named Rose – it’s not been confirmed whether what connection, if any, she shares to Billie Piper’s assistant of the same name.

Davies rebooted Doctor Who in 2005 before exiting the show – with Tennant – on New Year’s Day 2010.

He’s returning to spearhead the long-running series for its 60th anniversary and beyond.

In his first act as showrunner, Davies cast Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa as the next Doctor. However, with the announcement of Tennant’s return and sightings of him filming, it’s unclear when exactly Gatwa will appear on screens.

Davies said of Gatwa: “The future is here and it’s Ncuti! Sometimes talent walks through the door and it’s so bright and bold and brilliant, I just stand back in awe and thank my lucky stars.”

Gatwa said that there “aren’t quite the words to describe how I’m feeling” after it was confirmed that he would be the next Time Lord. 

“A mix of deeply honoured, beyond excited and of course a little bit scared,” he added.

Davies previously worked with Neil Patrick Harris on It’s a Sin, his Channel 4 drama chronicling the early days of the AIDS epidemic in London.

Doctor Who’s 60th anniversary will be celebrated in 2023. The show will return this autumn for current Doctor Jodie Whittaker’s final episode.