Hermione Norris is to guest star opposite Peter Capaldi in Doctor Who when the show returns this autumn.
Norris will appear in the first episode filmed on the island of Lanzarote since the 1984 Peter Davison adventure Planet of Fire.
Showrunner Steven Moffat said that the story – penned by Wallander and Case Histories writer Peter Harness – will see the Time Lord “return to the scene of an old adventure”.
Planet of Fire featured the Doctor’s arch enemy The Master – portrayed in 1984 by Anthony Ainley – which is liable to lead to speculation that the character last played by John Simm could make a surprise reappearance.
Moffat said: “It’s a testament to the quality of Peter Harness’s intense and emotional script, that we’ve been able to attract an actress of the brilliance of Hermione Norris. And for the first time since 1984, the Doctor Who production team is heading to Lanzarote. The Doctor is returning to the scene of an old adventure – but there have been sinister changes since his last visit.”
Norris, star of shows including the classic ITV noughties series Cold Feet, BBC1 spy thriller Spooks and wartime drama The Crimson Field, which concluded on Sunday night, said of her casting: “It’s exciting to be part of such an iconic show, and one that my kids can watch.”
The episode also stars Ellis George, Tony Osoba and Phil Nice.
Other guest stars confirmed to join Capaldi and companion Jenna Coleman in the 12th Doctor’s first series on BBC1 later this year include Ben Miller, Tom Riley and Keeley Hawes.
Around five are understood to have been completed and a source on the show says that Capaldi looks on course to “make one of the best Doctors ever”.
RadioTimes.com understands that the storylines have started from “the bottom up” with Capaldi’s Doctor having a clean slate of storylines with little reference to his predecessors.
“He is his own man – very distinctive,” said the source.
The further good news for fans is that the chemistry between Capaldi and Coleman is said to be “sizzling”.
“He is the oldest Doctor and there is a sense he is more distanced from his assistant, more of a mystery He is perhaps less a mate, and someone she looks up to. She has to try and gauge him – but dramatically it’s very satisfying and onscreen they work very well together.”