Harris is already filming scenes set to air in 2023 as part of the show’s 60th anniversary.
Showrunner Russell T Davies wrote in a statement: “It’s my huge honour to open our studio doors for the mighty Neil Patrick Harris… but who, why, what is he playing? You’ll just have to wait. But I promise you, the stuff we’re shooting now is off the scale. Doctor beware!”
It’s not yet clear who US actor Harris (Doogie Howser MD, How I Met Your Mother) will play, but the end of Davies’ statement could hint at a villainous role for the star who played the evil Count Olaf in A Series Of Unfortunate Events.
Gatwa said he was “deeply honoured, beyond excited and of course a little bit scared” to become the next timelord in the show’s storied history.
Other actors who have portrayed the shape-shifting Time Lord since the show’s return in 2005 include Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi.
Gatwa’s Barbie costar Simu Liu said that the actor needed to hire protection after news of his casting.
Liu said (per Variety): “He had to get security in and around not only his place of residence, but the places of residence of his entire family.”