So, the BBC announced today that they've cast a new villain for the Peter Capaldi-fronted eighth season of Doctor Who. And the guy's name? Ben Miller will play Doctor Who's new villain. And while his is a moniker well known in the U.K., stateside folks are left scratching their heads. But that's what we're here for — to help you get to know the latest addition to Team TARDIS. After all, we've already met Danny Pink, the new companion. (Other recent casting announcements have included Tom Riley and Keeley Hawes.)
"As a committed Whovian, I cannot believe my luck in joining the Twelfth Doctor for one of his inaugural adventures," said Ben Miller in the press release. "My only worry is that they'll make me leave the set when I'm not filming."
According to showrunner Steven Moffat, "Mark Gatiss has written us a storming villain for his new episode, and with Capaldi in the TARDIS, we knew we needed somebody special to send everybody behind the sofa. And quite frankly, it's about time Ben Miller was in Doctor Who!" That last part is likely in regards to the fact that Miller's comedic compatriot, Alexander Armstrong, has already appeared on Doctor Who, during the 2011 Christmas Special (he played Reg Arwell). So who is Ben Miller? Read on to find out!
You Might Know Him from Johnny English
Did you see the 2003 film with Mr. Bean himself, Rowan Atkinson? Then you may recognize Miller's face as the incompetent spy's sidekick, Bough.
Mainly, He's a Comedian
Though he's set to play a villain on Doctor Who, Miller has spent the vast majority of his career as a funnyman. Both as writer and star of his own series, The Armstrong and Miller Show, Miller utilized his sketchwriting chops to create bits not only for on-air but on the radio as well. Since then he's appeared in over 50 projects — including an episode of Showtime's hilarious Anglo-American TV comedy, Episodes (which stars Matt LeBlanc. You might've heard of him).
He's Also a Writer
In addition to writing on his own series, Miller's also written a book titled "It's Not Rocket Science," which is — get this! — actually about rocket science. You see prior to becoming a comedian, Miller was at Cambridge (ooh, a smartypants!) getting his PhD in Physics. Yeow!
And He's Done Science Fiction Before
Outside of his work on The Armstrong and Miller Show, Miller is most notable for his work on the ITV series Primeval, where he starred as James Lester. Considering the main function of that series was to explore temporal anomalies around Great Britain that were causing a ruckus, it's safe to say that a little bit of timey-wimey in the blue box will be a piece of cake for him.
He's Worked with Many Other Whovians
In 2010 he directed the movie Huge, which featured not only Allons-y Alonso himself, Russell Tovey (also of Looking fame), but also Noel Clarke — better known to the Whoniverse as Mickey Smith, Rose Tyler's old beau. And in 2009 he was on The Catherine Tate Show — otherwise known as the best companion that ever was, Donna Noble — where he played the Ghost of Christmas Past during "Nan's Christmas Carol." His latest project, a film called What We Did on Our Holiday pairs him up with none other than Ten himself, David Tennant.
Not Only That, But He's Also an Award-Winner