The official Twitter of Doctor Who tweeted earlier this evening that British actor Richard E. Grant, perhaps best known in the U.S. as Dr. Jack Seward in 1992’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Bob Cratchit in Patrick Stewart’s A Christmas Carol but is well known in the U.K, will guest star in this year’s Christmas Special of Doctor Who.
Grant is no stranger to the actual role of the Doctor, however…he’s unofficially filled the role twice. He first appeared, albeit briefly in the 1999 Comic Relief special skit, “Doctor Who and the Curse of the Fatal Death”, written by none other than current showrunner Steven Moffat and which starred Rowan Atkinson as the Doctor and Absolutely Fabulous‘s Julia Sawalha as his companion Emma, whom he intends to marry. But after a confrontation with the Daleks and the Master (Jonathan Pryce), he regenerates several times, first into the “handsome” Doctor (Grant), then the “shy” Doctor (Jim Broadbent), then the “smooth” Doctor (Hugh Grant), but in the end regenerates one more time, into a woman (Joanna Lumley).
He then also starred as the Ninth Doctor in the 2003 animated online adventure, “Scream of the Shalka”, before the revival of the series. When the series was to come back, he was reportedly offered the role, and regrets turning it down. It later went to Christopher Eccleston – and thus is appearance as the Ninth Doctor was relegated to unofficial status.