The Incomparable Alan Cumming Will Guest Star on the Next Season of Doctor Who

Alan Cumming attends AARP’s 17th Annual Movies For Grownups Awards.
Alan Cumming attends AARP’s 17th Annual Movies For Grownups Awards.
Photo: Rich Fury / Stringer (Getty)

Jodie Whittaker’s first season as Doctor Who’s Thirteenth Doctor is taking a trip back to the 17th Century—where the Doctor will come face to face with none other than legendary Scottish-American actor Alan Cumming.

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Cumming himself confirmed the casting on the latest episode of Will Young and Christopher Sweeney’s LGBTQ podcast Homo Sapiens, as well as the fact that he’ll be playing King James I (who, confusingly, was also King James VI, of the then-separate Scottish throne)—the first monarch to take England’s throne after the end of the Tudor line with the death of Queen Elizabeth I in 1603. Skip ahead to around 15:55 if you want to hear for yourself, but here’s Cummings’ own description of his role:

I’m about to go and do an episode of Doctor Who, I’m so excited. I’m a nice baddie, I’m James I, so I’m kind of like a dandy, foppy sort of coward who kind of comes alright in the end. And they said he might come back.

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Though this is the first time Cumming will actually be on Who—although he does imply it might end up being for more than just a single appearance—it’s not the first time the actor has been associated with the show. In recent years the actor has been rumored to have been in talks to actually play the titular Time Lord, confirming last year on social media that while he’s been approached for the role multiple times, but has never been directly offered it.

At least now he gets to be on the show, albeit briefly. Doctor Who returns to BBC One and BBC America later this year.

James is a News Editor at io9. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!

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DISCUSSION

falsoman
Falsoman el Garabatero

My life will be complete if he either is a sleazy political advisor or does a burlesque number. I hope it’s a combination of both.