For most people, Neil Patrick Harris’ career revival came from Harold and Kumar going to White Castle. Watching a hilariously demented and debauched version of the former child star in the flick caused millions of Americans to fall in love with NPH all over again. However, my first exposure to NPH-mania part Deux came from his role in Undercover Brother. Harris plays an affirmative action hire for a Black spy agency in the film, and his masterful comedic timing made me a fan for life.
Around the same time I became obsessed with How I Met Your Mother, I became a massive Doctor Who fan, so the news from Deadline about NPH stepping into the role of the antagonist for my favorite Timelord has me elated. The picture linked above from NPH’s Instagram features him in an outfit similar to Geppetto’s from Pinnochio. According to Doctor Who’s showrunner Russell T. Davies, NPH plays “the greatest enemy the Doctor has ever faced.” With the photo and the quote in mind, my money is Harris playing the Celestial Toymaker.
Harris’ character has not been revealed, though the British public broadcaster has unveiled a first-look photo of him on set, in an old-timey apron with what appears to be a pair of pliers.
Showrunner Russell T Davies called his character the “greatest enemy the Doctor has ever faced”.
Harris said on Instagram that he will “try my hardest to do my worst.”
Davies added, “It’s my huge honor 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.”
The Toymaker, who debuted during the First Doctor’s tenure in the Tardis, is a powerful being that can bend reality to his whim. Several former showrunners have batted around the idea of bringing the Toymaker back into the fold since his first and only serial in the 60s. The closest any Doctor came to tangling with the Toymaker was Colin Baker’s Sixth Doctor.