The ongoing thirteenth series of Doctor Who has introduced fans to a plethora of new characters – from new companion Dan (John Bishop) to mysterious space travellers Vinder (Jacob Anderson) and Bel (Thaddea Graham).


And one new character who has played a major role in recent instalments is the devious Grand Serpent, played with real menace by former Line of Duty star Craig Parkinson.

The character was first seen in the third chapter, Once Upon, Time, when he was introduced as Vinder's rather despotic old boss – and showrunner Chris Chibnall recently confirmed that he had written the role especially for Parkinson.

"Creating villains and monsters for Doctor Who takes teamwork," Chibnall explained in this week's issue of Radio Times magazine. "Every monster is the result of an assembly of talents. The starting point can be an image, an idea or an actor.

"I wrote the Grand Serpent specifically for Craig Parkinson," he added. "We’d wanted him in the show for a long time. For a warm, funny and delightful man, Craig can do cold, quiet and threatening in a way that chills the blood.

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And he concluded, "I didn’t mention to Craig the disgusting way the Grand Serpent dispatches his enemies — I left that as a surprise for when he read the script!"

After his first Doctor Who appearance, Parkinson revealed that his role on the show was only just getting started, explaining on Twitter that there was "much more to come" from the Grand Serpent.

Responding to a fan who had Tweeted, “It seems like there’s got to be more with Vinder in the future… at least I hope,” Parkinson replied: “Oh there is.”

And he reassured another fan, telling them not to panic after they tweeted that they’d hoped Parkinson would be in it “waaayyyy more”.

Earlier, prior to his debut, Doctor Who producer Matt Strevens had promised that Parkinson would play “one of [the] greatest characters of the series” – and so it seems all but certain he'll be of vital importance as we end towards the conclusion of Doctor Who: Flux.


Doctor Who continues on BBC One at 6:20pm on Sunday 5th December. Check out more of our Sci-Fi coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight.