Thespians Turned Whovians: All the Broadway Stars in Disney’s Regeneration of Doctor Who | Playbill

Film & TV Features Thespians Turned Whovians: All the Broadway Stars in Disney’s Regeneration of Doctor Who

Doctor Who has always been a favorite of stage stars, and the 60th Anniversary Specials and Season 14 of Doctor Who are no exception.

Jonathan Groff in Doctor Who Courtesy of Disney Plus

Whovians and theatre fans, did you spot some familiar faces in this season of Doctor Who? The 14th season of Doctor Who has just concluded on Disney+, and a few Broadway stars made guest appearances. The BBC staple, which has been running for over 60 years, has always had a rich relationship with the stage. 

Many stars and guest stars of Doctor Who have connections to the theatre, including The First Doctor, William Hartnel, who was a prolific Shakespearean actor before ever stepping into the TARDIS. The 10th (and 14th) Doctor (played by David Tennant, who has been in countless theatrical productions) once landed his TARDIS inside The Globe to fight off witches with Shakespeare himself. That episode was filmed at Shakespeare’s Globe in London—where the current 15th Doctor, played by Ncuti Gatwa, starred as Demetrius in A Midsummer Night's Dream in 2016.

And now that Disney has signed on as a distributer and co-producer on Doctor Who with the BBC, this season of the popular show has come with some well-known American names. Below are some of our favorite cameos from actors who have walked the boards on Broadway in the recently aired 60th anniversary special of Doctor Who and the 14th season of the show (both available for streaming on Disney+). 

As River Song always says, there are “spoilers” ahead.

Neil Patrick Harris in Doctor Who Courtesy of Disney Plus

“The Giggle”

As part of Doctor Who’s 60th anniversary, David Tennant returned to the blue box as the 14th Doctor for three specials. Neil Patrick Harris joined the third of the specials as the creepy Spice Girls-loving Toy Maker, one of The Doctor’s oldest villains. In the role, Harris gets to show off his closeup magic, juggling, and card skills. Using screens, arpeggios, and puppets to bring chaos to humanity. He also serves as a powerful enough character to split The Doctor in half and introduce us to the 15th Doctor, quite wibbly wobbly timey wimey.

Jinkx Monsoon in Doctor Who Courtesy of Disney Plus

“The Devil’s Chord”

Three episodes later in the 14th season of Doctor Who, we are introduced to The Toymaker’s child, Maestro, played by RuPaul's Drag Race alum (and current Chicago star) Jinkx Monsoon. As the manifestation of music, Maestro enters the world on a lost tritone called The Devil’s Chord. Their goal is to rid the world of music and create world-wide destruction. Maestro feeds off the potential energy of the music that was never created, leaving the only noise on Earth to be aeolian tones. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Jinkx Monsoon moment without a fantastical villain piano number. 

In true Doctor Who fashion, they are defeated by the Doctor and Ruby Sunday (with the help of John Lennon and Paul McCartney) at Abbey Road.

Jonathan Groff and Ncuti Gatwa in Doctor Who Courtesy of Disney Plus


In this episode, the Doctor has traveled to Regency England for an 1813 house party. A dapper young bounty hunter, using the alias Rogue, is standing on a balcony overlooking festivities. It is none other than newly minted Tony Award winner, Merrily We Roll Along’s Jonathan Groff! The Doctor and Rogue have a lovely tête-à-tête and a true grumpy/sunshine romance, the first same-sex relationship with The Doctor shown on the show. They work together to stop the Chulder, a family of shapeshifters, from taking over the world. Though the season is now over, the show has left it open for Rogue to return for future adventures. We can only hope!

Neil Patrick Harris in Doctor Who Courtesy of Disney Plus

This is not the first time The Doctor has come in contact with our Broadway brethren. Carrie Mulligan fought off Weeping Angels as Sally Sparrow in the Season 3 episode “Blink.” The season 11 episode “The Witchfinders” had Tony winner Alan Cumming as King James I. Long before he won his Tony Award for playing Prior Walter in Angels in America, Andrew Garfield played another New York native, Frank, in two Doctor Who episodes, “Daleks in Manhattan” and “Evolution of the Daleks. Who's your favorite stage actor cameo in the Whoniverse? 

Photos: Jinkx Monsoon, Jonathan Groff, More Cameo on Doctor Who

Today’s Most Popular News:

Blocking belongs
on the stage,
not on websites.

Our website is made possible by
displaying online advertisements to our visitors.

Please consider supporting us by
whitelisting with your ad blocker.
Thank you!