How that New Superhero Works in the 'Doctor Who' Mythology  

BBC America

The next new big character in the Doctor Who universes won’t be a time traveler or monstrous alien. This year’s Christmas special “The Return of Doctor Mysterio” will introduce a superhero complete with a cape, mask, and secret identity. That may sound strange, but Peter Capaldi explained how that superhero fits in with the rest of Doctor Who.

“The Christmas specials generally always have a kind of warmer feel … this Christmas special that we’ve done … has caught the feeling of that kind of superhero movie,” Capaldi said in new sneak-peak from BBC America. He also called this superhero “ironic” and “funny,” but made it clear that this would be a legit superhero story in that it would be “quite exciting.”

The new clip from BBC America isn’t a full trailer, so we don’t have much new information about the superhero, still only mysteriously known as “Grant.” Reiterating his previous comments from New York Comic Con, Who showrunner Steven Moffat said that he feels the best superhero story is still “Clark Kent,” which doubles-down on the idea that this story and “Grant” in particular will be more focused on a secret identity than a story about superpowers.

“In an age of bitter, sad, anti-heroes, the Doctor’s boundless heart and huge optimism fits perfectly on Christmas Day,” Moffat said. While this could give you warm thoughts about the holidays, it also might indicate that the story of Grant/Doctor Mysterio might have more to do with the Doctor himself. After all, the name “the Doctor” is still a secret identity of sorts.

The “true” name of the Doctor the oldest question on Doctor Who, and though the new Christmas special probably won’t reveal that name, it will probably speak to why the Last of the Time Lords needed another identity in the first place.

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