Who does Richard E Grant play in Doctor Who?

Who does Richard E Grant play in Doctor Who?
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Warning: This article contains spoilers for episode six of Series 14/Season 1 of Doctor Who, “Rogue”.

The Fifteenth Doctor (Sex Education’s Ncuti Gatwa) and companion Ruby Sunday (Coronation Street's Millie Gibson) continued to have fun travelling time and space on Saturday, when the pair found themselves at a fancy party in 1813 in the Bridgerton-inspired episode, “Rogue” - but one scene in particular has got Doctor Who fans talking.

We learn soon enough that the episode title relates to the character played by Jonathan Groff (you’ll probably know him for his take on Hamilton’s King George III), who’s a bounty hunter looking for a shapeshifting alien known as a Chuldur.

The only problem is that the Doctor soon arouses suspicion, and the fact that he has the power of regeneration - which sees them become an entirely new person (with a new actor stepping into their shoes as a result) - certainly doesn’t help matters.

And so he’s eventually forced onto Rogue’s spaceship at gunpoint, soon to face a pretty grim death, when a scan reveals he is actually a Time Lord from Gallifrey, with plenty of past faces.

As more faces spin into view, we see 10th and 14th Doctor David Tennant, 13th Doctor Jodie Whittaker, First Doctor William Hartnell and then… Richard E Grant?!

If you’ve been following only the main TV show since it first started in 1963, or from its 2005 reboot, then you will only have come across the Saltburn and Argyle actor during Matt Smith’s time as the Doctor.

He played the villainous Great Intelligence, who caused havoc when he stepped into the Doctor’s timeline, until Jenna Coleman's Clara Oswald did the same to stop him, becoming the “Impossible Girl”.

However away from the central series, Grant appeared as a Doctor in the 1999 Comic Reliefspecial “The Curse of Fatal Death”, penned by future showrunner Steven Moffat, after the Rowan Atkinson incarnation is fatally injured by Daleks.

Then in 2003, to mark the show’s 40th anniversary, he starred as an alternative Ninth Doctor (the main TV series’ Ninth Doctor was Eccleston) in the web series, “Scream of the Shalka”.

And while other Doctor Who adventures in different formats speak to each other and allow for crossovers, Whovians have become very excited by the news that Grant’s face popping up in “Rogue” has effectively canonised these previously separate bits of lore:

Doctor Who continues next week with the first of its two-part series finale, “The Legend of Ruby Sunday”.

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