The 2016 Doctor Who Christmas special will bring back the show's usual cast, including Peter Capaldi as the titular Doctor and some other faces that you'd expect to see. Joining the regular cast is recurring character Nardole, a Doctor Who companion who hasn't been on the show for years now. New Doctor Who fans, or those with short memories, might need a quick refresher on his role and how he'll affect this year's Christmas special, "The Return of Doctor Mysterio." Well, the character, played by UK comedian Matt Lucas, has been recurring on the show for years, but in 2015's Christmas episode, "The Husbands of River Song," Nardole was rendered incapacitated when he was, well, decapitated. That's right, just a year ago, the character had his head chopped off and reattached to the villainous android King Hydroflax. It was presumed that this was going to be the beginning and the end of the character, since, you know, headlessness and all.
According to Lucas' interview with Alex Jones on The One Show, Nardole's one-time headlessness will be explained:
As a cyborg living in a space colony, it seems that there may actually be a reasonable explanation for how Nardole's head gets reattached.
Showrunner Steven Moffat told IMDB that he is "delighted and slightly amazed to be welcoming Matt Lucas back on to the Tardis," and added something much more exciting. "This time it’s not just for Christmas, he’s sticking around," Moffat said.
In his earlier appearance, Nardole contacted the Doctor for help, hoping he'd be able to rescue his colony from the evil despot that eventually stole his head. This Christmas, he'll be rejoining the cast as they travel to New York City to have a comic book-inspired adventure.
Bringing Nardole back means that Pearl Mackie, who's playing the Doctor's new companion, will have another familiar face to ease the transition. Overall, Doctor Who is pleasing fans and delivering yet another Easter egg by bringing Nardole back for the already highly anticipated 2016 Christmas special.