Richard E. Grant (Withnail & I) and Tom Ward (the British crime series Silent Witness) have been cast in the 2012 Doctor Who Christmas special, which starts filming this week in Cardiff, Wales. This is not Grant’s first experience in the Who universe. The actor previously played the time-traveling Doctor himself in the 2003 animated series, Scream of the Shalka (while his Withnail & I costar Paul McGann essayed the role in a 1996 TV movie.).
As previously announced, the Doctor Who Christmas special will introduce the Doctor’s new “companion,” played by Jenna-Louise Coleman. The special has been penned by Who executive producer Steven Moffat and will be directed by Saul Metzstein, who has already overseen several episodes of the forthcoming season of Doctor Who. That new season will debut on BBC America later this summer with Matt Smith continuing in the role of the “Eleventh Doctor” and Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill playing his companions.