20 years later, an obscure Doctor was just made canon in Doctor Who

Doctor Who
(Image credit: BBC)

No, you’re not seeing things. Doctor Who just pulled one of its most unlikely Time Lords into canon for the first time during its latest episode.

The Bridgerton-style 'Rogue' saw Ncuti Gatwa’s Doctor collide with Jonathan Groff’s mysterious bounty hunter. 

After a mix-up that almost saw the Doctor mistaken for the villainous Chuldur, Fifteen reveals his long, storied history – as a stream of floating Doctor heads revolves around him.

All fifteen canon doctors are present (including multiple David Tennants), plus Jo Martin’s iteration and John Hurt’s War Doctor. One face, though, is a surprise: it’s a Doctor played by Richard E. Grant.

How? Why? Doctor Who fans of a certain vintage will recall Richard E. Grant voiced the Doctor in the 2003 BBC animated web series Scream of the Shalka. 

Visual effects production coordinator Livvy Edwards took to Twitter to confirm that not only was it Richard E. Grant’s Doctor, but they even took fresh photos of the actor just for the ‘Rogue’ scene.

"Our VFX producer had to go oversee a little photoshoot with him to get that specific headshot for this," Edwards wrote.

Now, it seems, that adventure is canon – or is it? Ever since David Tennant’s Fourteen used a superstition – a line of salt – at the edge of the universe, things have been decidedly less timey-wimey and more completely messed up. Are timelines out of order? And is the Doctor’s own history even correct? With the likes of the Toymaker and Maestro suggesting something more sinister is afoot, there could be more serious consequences in store for the Doctor as hurtle towards the season’s endgame.

For more, check out the new TV shows coming your way very soon.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.