Doctor Who star David Tennant has warned fans that his Time Lord character in the show’s 50th anniversary special episode may seem “slightly different”.
Speaking to SFX, the Tenth Doctor actor revealed that working alongside his sci-fi successor Matt Smith has provided him with “fresh challenges” in revisiting the role that won him four National Television Awards.
"The Doctor tends to lead every scene he is in and when you are sharing that out it becomes slightly different," the 42-year-old explained.
"You have a new relationship with that aspect of the character and that gives you fresh challenges to work on."
The Broadchurch star added that he was not "surprised" to be asked back for the anniversary celebration, scheduled to air across the world on November 23.
"There is a precedent to this, isn't there?" he said.
"For a long time I was starting to think it was never going to happen, so there was an element of surprise there. But the general concept [of a story involving multiple Doctors] was something I always expected."
Earlier this month, a Doctor Who costume designer seemed to confirm that the special episode will feature a “dark Doctor”.
Howard Burden is believed to have said that John Hurt will play a ‘missing link’ in the Time Lord regeneration process during a royal tour of the BBC studios in Cardiff.
He is reported to have said: “There was a gap between Paul McGann playing the Doctor and Christopher Eccleston, when we didn’t see a regeneration, and John Hurt will fit into that gap. He is a past Doctor, not a future Doctor.”
In May, 73-year-old Hurt revealed that he plays “part of the Doctor” in a “kind of trinity” when speaking to the Eastern Daily Press.
Hurt had previously remained tight-lipped about his role in the episode – although he looked to be dressed in historical attire when snapped on set at Chepstow Castle in Wales in April.
Rory Kinnear’s chances of taking over from Matt Smith in Doctor Who look to have disappeared entirely after the Skyfall star was announced as the star of a new ITV drama.
Lucan, a two-part series based on the life of the flamboyant aristocrat that disappeared after his children’s nanny was found murdered in 1974, begins filming in London next month – at a time when the 35-year-old may otherwise be expected to be on the Doctor Who Christmas episode set.
Cast in the title role, Kinnear will star alongside former Doctor Christopher Eccleston and Michael Gambon - who has previously played Kazran Sardick in the 2010 Who Christmas special – in the feature-length episodes.
Smith, 30, will film his final scenes as the Eleventh Doctor for this year's Christmas special in September.
BBC bosses have told the Mirror they will announce the new Doctor Who casting in “August or September” ahead of the show’s 50th anniversary celebrations in November.
While a cameo appearance as Smith’s Time Lord regenerates could be possible on Kinnear's tight schedule, insiders believe that series filming with the Twelfth Doctor at the helm of the sci-fi favourite is likely to begin before the end of the year.
In early June, bookies announced that they were no longer taking bets on the identity of the new Doctor following a report in the Sunday Telegraph that Kinnear had been offered the part.
The newspaper quoted an undisclosed source that said the award-winning RSC actor was the "perfect choice".
A BBC Drama spokesperson at that time insisted that the search for Smith’s replacement was at a very early stage.
She said: “The Doctor is one of the biggest roles in TV and speculation around the identity of who will be next to step in to the TARDIS is rife, but the search has only just begun so only believe what you hear from us, and that won't be for a while!”
Kinnear, soon to be seen in Channel 4’s Southcliffe, spoke out earlier this month to squash the casting rumours - insisting he had not been approached over the Time Lord vacancy and had little interest in making a long-term commitment to a part.
"I haven't been, and I'm totally certain that I will not be, asked to be the next Doctor Who,” he said.
"If I was an actor who was really longing to play Doctor Who then this would be torturous, but it's a programme I've never watched, so I don't even really know what it is.
"I don't know where it came from and how these things evolve."
He added: "I really enjoy acting. So the idea of doing the same part over a number of years is not something I've longed for."
Ben Daniels has been installed as the bookies’ favourite to assume control of the sonic screwdriver after Kinnear ruled himself out of the Time Lord running.
But Kinnear is still considered a strong favourite to be cast, with Ladbrokes pricing him at 16/1 – the same odds as a number of other potential contenders, and behind only Cutting It star Daniels, Homeland’s David Harewood, fellow Bond star Ben Whishaw and BAFA-winning Broadchurch lead Olivia Colman in the sci-fi reckoning.
I'm just hoping this means we're one step closer to Capaldi, tbh. What say you, ONTD?