Miriam Margolyes joins Doctor Who cast as classic alien character

Miriam Margolyes has been announced as part of the Doctor Who cast for its forthcoming 60th anniversary special episodes.

The long-running sci-fi series will mark 60 years since its launch in November.

As part of this landmark event, 10th Doctor David Tennant will return to the programme, now as the 14th Doctor, before Ncuti Gatwa makes his highly anticipated debut as the 15th Doctor in December.

On Thursday (14 September), it was announced that Margolyes, 82, will also make her mark on the show, providing the voice of the alien creature, the Meep.

First seen in the Doctor Who and the Star Beast comic strip in 1980, Meeps are small, furry owl-like creatures with large almond-shaped eyes.

In a statement, Margolyes shared her excitement about joining the programme.

She said: “I’m relieved I got to work on Doctor Who before I died. With sci-fi, you never know. Thank you for making an old woman very happy.”

All three of the special episodes are written by showrunner Russell T Davies, and are titled: “The Star Beast”, “Wild Blue Yonder”, and “The Giggle”.

Along with Tennant, Catherine Tate will return to the show in a reprisal of her doctor’s companion role, Donna Noble.

Miriam Margolyes (BBC)
Miriam Margolyes (BBC)

Neil Patrick Harris also features in the specials as a villainous character, while Heartstopper star Yasmin Finney joins as Rose Noble, Donna’s daughter.

In an interview published on 8 September, Tennant shared some insight into his decision to rejoin the programme, on which he originally played The Doctor from 2005 to 2010.

“The real answer is that I still love it,” he explained to EW. “You do spend your years away from Doctor Who, always watching it. Always thinking of ideas. Thinking about how I would expand it, thinking of stories... It never goes away.

“I have been inventing stories in my head ever since I was about six. So when I left the show, that doesn’t stop.”

Jodie Whittaker was the first woman to play the Doctor and ended her tenure as the 13th Doctor in October 2022. However, in her final episode, the Time Lord didn’t regenerate into Gatwa as expected, as he’d previously been announced as a future lead of the show.

Instead, to the viewers’ surprise, the Doctor turned back into Tennant, who looked confused and repeatedly asked: “What?”

Sex Education and Barbie star Gatwa will take up the Doctor role soon after Tennant, making history as the show’s first Black lead.