The new casting announcement came directly from Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies during a Q&A on Monday night at a press screening for The Star Beast, the first of the upcoming specials (as per Variety).
During the Q&A, Davies was asked if he could reveal any special guest appearances in the next series, which prompted the confirmation that Coughlan will be appearing.
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The Doctor Who showrunner confirmed that fans of both the show and Loughlan will have to wait about a year to see her onscreen alongside Gatwa and his companion Ruby Sunday (played by Millie Gibson).
Davies confirmed that Coughlan’s character will be in the Doctor Who Christmas special, “not this Christmas, next Christmas – We’re shooting Christmas 2024 now.”
Coughlan also starred in Greta Gerwig’s 2023 Barbie movie as one of the Barbies alongside the new Doctor star Gatwa who starred as one of the Kens.
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During the Q&A at the recent screening, Davies went on to discuss the upcoming three specials which feature the return of David Tennant and Catherine Tate as the Doctor and Donna Noble.
The third out of the three specials is Gatwa’s first Doctor Who episode that’s set to air this Christmas, “that Christmas Day episode is gorgeous, it’s absolutely gorgeous,” Davies said.
“When you cast great actors, the pressure is to live up to them, is to give them stuff that they love. And also stuff that will push them every day.”
Davies had one word to describe the next Doctor Who series, a word to describe the experience of working with Gatwa and Gibson on each episode, “thrilling”.
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Davies also touched on the upcoming episodes, as he says that “some of the stories” they have worked on are stories that they have “never done before, the style of which we’ve never done before – we’re doing brand new things on screen,” he added.
“Again, you write this stuff because they’re so good – and they meet that challenge every time – I am literally so excited to show it.”