Doctor Who guest stars: Who is in the 2023 and 2024 cast?
24 Aug 2023, 11:04
Doctor Who is set to fly the TARDIS back onto our screens later this year in a series of specials made to mark the sci-fi institution’s 60th anniversary - and we can’t wait to celebrate!
But while we know David Tennant, Catherine Tate, Ncuti Gatwa and Millie Gibson are all set to take the lead roles in 2023’s specials and in 2024’s series 14, exactly who will be joining them on screen as guest stars is still more up for speculation.
With that being said, the BBC have confirmed several big names will be making an appearance in Doctor Who, so here’s a rundown of every name we know so far.
Neil Patrick Harris
Hollywood and Broadway legend Neil Patrick Harris was revealed to be a part of Doctor Who’s 2023 cast in June 2022. But despite being the one of the first guest stars announced for returning showrunner Russell T Davies’ anniversary specials, it’s still not known who he will be playing.
Fans have suggested he may be a returning adversary of the Doctor such as the Celestial Toymaker (last seen onscreen in 1966) or the Meddling Monk (also last seen onscreen in 1966).
Young Heartstopper star Yasmin Finney is set to play a big role in the three 60th anniversary specials which have been announced for 2023. She is playing the part of Rose Noble, Donna's daughter, in the much-anticipated episodes.
Yasmin will star in all three of the upcoming episodes announced for 2023: The Star Beast, Wild Blue Yonder and The Giggle.
The Cleaner and Years and Years star Ruth Madeley will be joining the Fourteenth Doctor and Donna as Shirley Anne Bingham in this year’s upcoming specials.
While it isn’t known how many episodes Shirley will be in, the show’s executive producer Phil Collinson did tease in an interview with Doctor Who Magazine that Ruth’s character would play “an integral role in the new Whoniverse.”
The EastEnders legend was revealed to be joining Ncuti Gatwa and Millie Gibson for their first season of telly in January 2023.
"DOCTOR WHO NEWS! Anita Dobson joins us, oh the honour! EastEnders, Strictly, Doctor Who, Anita IS the BBC!" Russell T Davies celebrated in a statement released at the time.
Also announced in January 2023 was It's A Sin star Michelle Greenidge. "And Michelle Greenidge joins us too, my old mate from It’s a Sin. What an amazing cast from @andypryorcasting," Russell's statement continued. He then added a reference to the photos used to announce the arrival of the two actors: "But what is the significance of the doors…?"
The Bramwell actress, who most recently starred as the narrator of Prime’s Red, White and Royal Blue, was one of the first guest stars announced to be returning to Doctor Who’s fourteenth season. She will be reprising her role as Kate Stewart, UNIT’s chief scientific officer - and has even been rumoured to be helming a spin-off series in the future.
Announced alongside Jemma in January 2023, the BBC revealed the Steeltown Murders actor would be appearing in series 14 as “the mysterious Roger ap Gwilliam.”
RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Jinkx was announced as part of series 14’s cast of characters in early April 2023. The award-winning actress and singer’s character has already been described by the BBC as “the Doctor’s most powerful enemy yet.”
Russell T Davies celebrated Jinkx’s arrival in the Whoniverse in April, saying: “In a galaxy of comets and supernovas, here comes the biggest star of all. Jinkx Monsoon is on a collision course with the TARDIS, and Doctor Who will never be the same again!
Broadway and Frozen star Jonathan Groff was revealed to be joining Nucti Gatwa’s Fifteenth Doctor and his companion Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson) in May 2023. Photos of the group on set together suggest that the episode in question will be an historical one, set in the regency era.
“I am so thrilled to jump into the extraordinary mind of Russell T Davies and watch the incredible Ncuti Gatwa soar in this iconic role!” the Glee actor said in a statement which was released along with the announcement revealing he would be joining the show.
Later in May 2023, Obsession and Luther star Indira Varma was announced to be playing the role of The Duchess in series 14 of Doctor Who. The Game of Thrones actress has already got a history as part of the Doctor Who extended universe, having playing the role of Suzie Costello in the spin-off series Torchwood.
Indira referenced her past history with the show during her announcement statement, saying: “I loved playing Suzie Costello for Russell T Davies in TORCHWOOD so am thrilled to be entering this world again.” She also expressed her enthusiasm to be “crossing cosmic paths” with Ncuti Gatwa. “[I] look forward to creating interplanetary mischief with him,” she explained.
While 2023’s 60th anniversary specials feature several exciting return appearances, it was still a surprise to hear in June 2023 that series 14 would also see the return of another former Doctor Who companion, this time Melanie Bush, played by EastEnders icon Bonnie Langford.
Bonnie was one of the Sixth and Seventh Doctor’s companions, and also made an appearance in Jodie Whittaker’s final episode, The Power of the Doctor.
Following on from the reveal that Bonnie would be returning to the show, Russell T Davies revealed he still had more exciting news up his sleeve when Am I Being Unreasonable's Lenny Rush was revealed to be joining series 14 in the role of Morris.
“This is what Doctor Who's all about, brand new talent from the next generation, and no one’s more talented than Lenny!” the showrunner teased. He also added: “[Morris] joins the TARDIS team just in time for the Doctor’s greatest nightmare, so hold on tight!”
Doctor Who returns to screens on BBC One later this year. Series 14 is expected to air in 2024.