Neil Patrick Harris is reportedly set to take on the role of nostalgic villain The Toymaker during his guest appearance in the Doctor Who 60th Anniversary special.
The 49-year-old actor will play “the greatest enemy the Doctor has ever faced,” as showrunner Russell T Davies has previously confirmed.
But now rumors are swirling about the return of the character, who last appeared in the drama in 1966, after a business called Mr Emporium sprung up on the Bristol set.
Exciting: Neil Patrick Harris is reportedly set to take on the role of nostalgic villain The Toymaker during his guest appearance in the Doctor Who 60th Anniversary special
According to The Mirror, it sports a sign claiming the owner is ‘Toymaker of the Year’ and appears to whip out ‘magic items, games and tricks’.
Originally played by Michael Gough in the four-part storyline of The Celestial Toymaker, it is the most missed sixth series of season three, of which only the final episode is preserved in the BBC archives.
An enigmatic being outside of space and time, he rendered William Hartnell’s first Doctor invisible for two episodes and had a number of living toys as his servants.
After he was expected to make a comeback in a 1986 episode filmed at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, plans were scrapped after Doctor Who went on hiatus for 18 months.
Coincidence? Rumors of the character’s return, who last appeared in the drama in 1966, circulated after a business called Mr Emporium sprung up on set
After catching himself, one fan wrote on Twitter: “Neil Patrick Harris better be playing the toymaker from heaven! I can’t bring myself to have it any other way! #DWSR #DoctorWho.”
Others added: “Neil Patrick Harris is such a toymaker from heaven. #DoctorWho” and “Is it just me who thinks Neil Patrick Harris is playing the toymaker because of the costume? #DoctorWho.’
A fourth wrote: “Okay I have a theory about Neil Patrick Harris in the #DoctorWho 60th Anniversary specials. What if he’s playing a new version of the William Hartnell-era toymaker from heaven?’
Fingers crossed! After catching themselves, fans took to Twitter to express their excitement
The BBC declined to comment when contacted by MailOnline.
The news came after it was revealed that Sex Education’s Ncuti Gatwa, 29, will become the 14th doctor on the popular BBC series, after Jodie Whittaker announced last July that she was leaving the show.
Showrunner Russell confirmed that Neil will be joining the cast as the villain.
It remains unclear if Neil will be appearing alongside returning Time Lord David Tennant or Ncuti’s new incarnation – with David currently filming scenes for the 60th anniversary special.
bad guy? The 49-year-old actor will play “the greatest enemy the Doctor has ever faced,” as previously confirmed by showrunner Russell T Davies (Neil pictured April 2022).
Following the BBC’s announcement, Russell wrote on Instagram: “Neil Patrick Harris, welcome to Cardiff! You play as the greatest enemy the Doctor has ever faced.
“Such a great actor, such a great man, it’s an honor and a shout out. Have fun! @nph @bbcdoctorwho Ha!’
Neil added on his page: “My current gig. Never looked dashing. Thanks for inviting me to your Whoniverse, @russelltdavies63.
“I will do my best to do my worst. This doctor has no idea what’s in store for us. And even if he does… who cares? Ha ha ha ha ha-ha-ha!’
Grateful: Meanwhile, Ncuti recently revealed he was “deeply honored” to be chosen to replace Jodie Whittaker after he was confirmed for the title role (pictured in May 2022)
Neil also joins newcomer Yasmin Finney, who is set to take on the role of Rose. Yasmin recently gained recognition for her role as Elle Argent in the Netflix hit Heartstopper.
The new cast is filming scenes scheduled to air in 2023 as part of the show’s 60th anniversary.
Neil’s character’s name and other details about his new role are yet to be confirmed.
Speaking of the newcomer to the sci-fi series, Russell said: “It’s my great honor to open our studio doors to the mighty Neil Patrick Harris… but who, why, what is he playing?
Who will it be? It’s unclear if Neil will be starring alongside returning Time Lord David Tennant or Ncuti’s new incarnation – with Tennant currently filming scenes for the 60th anniversary special (pictured Tennant with Billie Piper as Rose).
“You just have to wait. But I promise you, the stuff we’re filming right now is off the scale. Doctor, beware!’
Queer As Folk and It’s A Sin author Russell is returning as the program’s showrunner after his departure in 2009.
Russell, who was responsible for reviving Doctor Who in 2005, will return in 2023 to celebrate the show’s 60th anniversary, the BBC previously said.
He worked with Neil on the hit Channel 4 mini-drama It’s A Sin, in which the American star portrayed Savile Row tailor Henry Coltrane.
Talented: Russell, who was responsible for reviving Doctor Who in 2005, will be back in 2023 to celebrate the show’s 60th anniversary, the BBC previously said (pictured May 2022)