Doctor Who (2005– )
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The Return of Doctor Mysterio 

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In New York, with brain-swapping aliens poised to attack, the Doctor and Nardole link up with an investigative reporter and a mysterious masked superhero known only as the Ghost. Can the ... See full summary »


Edward Bazalgette (as Ed Bazalgette)


Steven Moffat





Episode complete credited cast:
Peter Capaldi ... The Doctor
Matt Lucas ... Nardole
Justin Chatwin ... Grant
Charity Wakefield ... Lucy
Tomiwa Edun ... Mr Brock
Aleksandar Jovanovic ... Dr Sim
Logan Hoffman ... Young Grant
Daniel Lorente Daniel Lorente ... Teen Grant
Sandra Teles ... Reporter
Tanroh Ishida ... Operator
Vaughn Johseph ... Soldier


In New York, with brain-swapping aliens poised to attack, the Doctor and Nardole link up with an investigative reporter and a mysterious masked superhero known only as the Ghost. Can the Doctor save Manhattan? And what will be revealed when we see behind the mask?

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

25 December 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Return of Doctor Mysterio See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Grant Gordon is alliterative, similar to the alter ego of Superman (the original inspiration for the "flying brick" trope): Clark Kent. Most famously it is also how Stan Lee named his Silver Age characters, as riffed on in _"The Big Bang Theory" (2007) {The Excelsior Acquisition (#3.16)_, like Peter Parker, Bruce Banner, Matt Murdock, Reed Richards, the Fantastic Four, Victor von Doom/Doctor Doom, Dum Dum Dugan, Fin Fang Foom and J. Jonah Jameson Junior. Stan Lee wrote both "Fantastic Four" #10 (cover dated January 1963) and #16 (July 1963) whose covers announced "The Return of Doctor Doom!". He also created a Spider-Man villain called Mysterio (in "The Amazing Spider-Man" #13, June 1964). See more »


When "Dr. Mysterio" first enters, he is shot at, and when the gun runs dry, it simply makes a click click sound, but this is incorrect. The pistol is a striker fired semi-automatic, when the last round has fired, the slide should be open and locked back, yet this one is closed. Also, even were the slide hold open to fail, there is no hammer to repeatedly "click;" the striker is spring loaded and held back by the sear, when the trigger is pulled, the sear drops and allows the striker (firing pin) to move forward against the primer under spring pressure, this would indeed make a "click" sound, but it does not reset until after the round is fired and the slide cycles (or one manually cycles the slide). So even if the slide hold opened failed, there would be only a single click, not multiple. See more »


The Doctor: Why do they call him Spider-Man? Don't they like him?
Grant: He was bitten by a radioactive spider, and guess what happened?
The Doctor: Radiation poisoning, I should think.
Grant: No. He got special powers.
The Doctor: What? Vomiting, Hair loss and death? Fat lot of use.
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Referenced in Whovians: The Pilot (2017) See more »


Written by Primal Scream
Performed by Primal Scream
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User Reviews

Christmas special 2016: A victory of lowered expectations
26 December 2016 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

There was really nothing that excited me about the return of Doctor Who for the Christmas special; generally they are only so-so episodes, and too often they overplay the seasonal aspect and throw lots of glitter-like aspects into the mix (by which I mean stuff that looks nice from a distance but is a mess and an annoyance when you get to it – source, I have a small daughter and lots of things with glitter stuck to them, and over everything else). On top of that the promotional poster looked cheap and silly – much like the superhero costume itself; and the title (The Return of Doctor Mysterio) screamed of cheese. So, like Doctor Who generally, I almost come at it now with a much lower bar for what will work for me – ie if it is not awful, then it must be one of the good episodes.

And by that yardstick, this Christmas special was quite enjoyable. It featured a topical (if overdone) genre of superheroes, had some sinister creature elements, showed restraint in a lot of areas, and generally was interesting in what it did with the characters. Generally it was greeted by those around me in the same way – satisfied indifference, which I do think is sometimes what this show is happy with – particularly in these big seasonal event shows. However this is not to say that the special is a good watch, because it isn't, and there is a lot to be irritated by. It wastes the aliens – it has some sinister images and ideas but doesn't follow them up, and the invasion plot really has limited menace. It does have a nice romantic plot but it doesn't do it that well, it is very much BBC sitcom level (and that is not a good thing). I liked the restraint it showed regarding the seasonal stuff, and that Matt Lucas was not a big part of it and was really limited in his impact (enough to be a good addition, not enough to be too annoying).

In the end it is an okay Christmas special but suffers from the same issue that much of Doctor Who – it really doesn't know what it wants to do, and feels produced by committee. The mix of content doesn't always work, and as usual we end with the Doctor being all dark and alone – something Capaldi can work with, but is never really fleshed out as it should be. In the context of Christmas Day though, it did work well enough to pass muster thanks to the state of the audience, and the low expectations/requirements the vast majority will have brought with them.

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