Earlier this month it was announced that this year’s Doctor Who Christmas Special will be a superhero caper called “The Return of Doctor Mysterio”.
The trailer (linked below) looks like quite the fun adventure. We get images of Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi with a young boy in his jammies, journalist/superhero Mysterio (Charity Wakefield) beating up folks, Nardole from “The Husbands of River Song” in some type of ceremonial outfit and some serious looking soldiers.
The news got me thinking about all the great guest stars and characters we have had in Christmas specials over the years and I decided to do a countdown. I have omitted guest stars/characters who went on to become show regulars or would return in future episodes so you will not find Catherine Tate/Donna Noble from “The Runaway Bride”, Jenna Coleman/Victorian Clara from “The Snowmen”, Wilfred Mott/Bernard Cribbins from “The End of Time Part One” or Nardole as he is reappearing in “The Return of Doctor Mysterio” and will be a regular in Season 10 next year.
So with the ground rules out of the way and a big SPOILER ALERT Allons-Y, Geronimo and here we go. Here are the Top 7 Christmas Special Guest Stars:
#7 Katherine Jenkins, Abigail, A Christmas Carol, Series 6
“A Christmas Carol” was a bit of a strange tale with its flying shark and the power of song but the retelling of the Dickens classic packed quite the emotional punch. This is due in part to the performance of Welsh singer/actress Katherine Jenkins who made us fall in love with the sweet and doomed Abigail. It was truly heart breaking when we and Kazran had to finally say goodbye to her.
#6 Kayvan Novak (voice), Handles, The Time of the Doctor (2013 specials)
How can you not love a silly talking extremely literal Cyberman head? We only had him for one episode but that was enough for Handles to become a fan favourite. We watched him share adventures with the Doctor and keep him company for centuries. And when he finally “died” we joined the Doctor in tearing up. Handles was voiced by British-Iranian voice actor and comedian Kayvan Novak who is pictured below.
#5 Michael Gambon, Kazran, A Christmas Carol, Series 6
For our number five entry we return to “A Christmas Carol” and the character of Kazran. Though we see him as a youth and as a young man it is Gambon’s version of the character in his old age that really captures our fancy. He goes from a Scrooge-like grump into a wild romantic with childlike glee and watching that transition is heart warming. Kudos to Gambon for a great performance.
#4 Jimmy Vee, Zocci Bannakaffalatta, Voyage of the Damned, (Series 4)
With a brave heart, tiny stature and a head that looks like a lychee fruit, cyborg Zocci Bannakaffalatta (always the full name please) was instantly memorable. He was just so cute and plucky. But, in true Doctor Who style, they had to rip our hearts out and have Bannakaffalatta heroically sacrifice himself.
The diminutive character was played by British actor and stunt performer Jimmy Vee (pictured above) who has played a number of Doctor Who aliens and will also play R2-D2 in Star Wars Episode VIII.
#3 David Morrissey, Jackson Lake, The Next Doctor, (2009 specials)
Years before he was terrorising Rick Grimes and the survivors on AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’ as The Governor, David Morrissey was playing a confused man in Victorian London who believed he was the Doctor. Charming and effortlessly witty his faux Doctor was the best aspect of a not so great special. It was also very touching seeing him reunited with his son.
#2 Nick Frost, Santa Claus, Last Christmas (Series 9)
With a name like Nick Frost you are born to play Santa. And Frost was a riot and a half as Ole Saint Nick in the superb “Last Christmas”. Hilarious, proud and blustering, his Santa was a scene stealer and watching Frost and Capaldi square off was magical. Just writing this is making me feel to rewatch “Last Christmas” right now.
#1 Kylie Minogue, Astrid Peth, Voyage of the Damned, (Series 4)
You have to be really good to beat Santa on a list of Christmas Special guest stars but there could not be another number one than singer/actress Kylie Minogue’s Astrid Peth. This space Titanic waitress who dreamed of seeing the stars was so warm, sweet and full of life and energy. And she had tonnes of chemistry with the Eleventh Doctor. Could you imagine her as a full time companion?
But sadly we were stabbed in the heart when she fell to her death and then the knife was twisted even more when the Doctor tried to save her with the transmat but only ended up saving a non corporeal form that was neither alive or dead. In the episode “Journey’s End” we are reminded of her death in a flashback after Davros asks the Doctor “How many more have died in your name?” Astrid may be atoms floating in the cosmos but she will not be forgotten.
Wow. That is a sad way to end a Christmas-related post. Go listen to some Christmas music. Like “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” or “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree”. That should do the trick.
So who is your favourite Christmas Special guest star? Feel free to comment below.
To catch up with 9 Former Companions you can click here and to catch up with 9 Former Doctors you can click here. And for more wibbley wobbly timey wimey posts you can like our Facebook page Movieville here or follow me on Twitter @suprememango012.
Julien is outie like a navel. l8rs