What the 'Doctor Who' Guest Stars Mean

While you're waiting for the new season of Doctor Who to premiere, news about the upcoming season has been trickling in. The latest announcement has Michelle Gomez joining the show as "the Gatekeeper of the Nethersphere." Although there hasn't been much information released about the character, she doesn't exactly sound like she's going to be the Doctor's best friend — if you haven't already gathered that from her name. Recent pictures from set have her standing in a severe schoolmarm-esque outfit in front of a gang of Cybermen. And of the casting announcement, showrunner Steven Moffat said, “I've known Michelle for years, and I'm thrilled to welcome her to Doctor Who. She’s everything we need — brilliant, Scottish, and a tiny bit satanic.”

Doctor Who has a long and rich history of guest stars. Sometimes, they've been huge celebrities like Kylie Minogue. Other times, they made such an impression on the audience that they came back again, like Catherine Tate. Even Peter Capaldi, the newest Doctor, made his first appearance on the show as a guest on the episode "The Fires of Pompeii." Guest stars have often made a huge impact on Doctor Who, and can potentially give clues as to where the show is heading. So what do this season's guest stars say about series eight?

Keeley Hawes

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Michelle Gomez isn't the only villainous woman that's been cast in the show. Keeley Hawes has signed on to play Ms. Delphox, a powerful villainess and banker with a "dark secret." It's hard to tell how serious a foe she'll be for the Doctor, but The Guardian is already theorizing that Ms. Delphox could also be the Master...

Tom Riley

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Tom Riley has also signed onto the show, and while no official information has been released about his character, rumor has it that he's set to play Robin Hood. The rumors don't seem too off the mark — in photos released of Riley's episode, he certainly looks like he could play the part of the medieval rogue.

Hermione Norris

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Not much has been released about the character Hermione Norris will be playing on the show, but what has been released is fairly exciting. When her casting was announced, the show tweeted a picture of Norris in costume, looking somewhat like an old-timey (wimey) nurse. And Moffat announced that the episode that Norris will be featured in is set in Lanzarote, a location that was last used on the show when the fifth Doctor took on the Master.

Ben Miller

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Doctor Who is keeping even more mum about guest star comedian Ben Miller. There's no information that's been released about his character, but Moffat did confirm that Miller will be playing a villain by saying: “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.”

Frank Skinner

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Well, it's confirmed. Television host and comedian Frank Skinner will have a guest role on Doctor Who. But other than that, you know about as much as we do, unfortunately.