Jonathan Groff, made famous for his roles in Glee and Mindhunter, is crossing the pond and joining Disney’s new Doctor Who series. While his role has remained cryptic, the official Doctor Who website did reveal Groff’s “on his way to jump aboard the TARDIS in a mysterious and exciting guest role.” Speaking on his casting, Groff said:
“I am so thrilled to jump into the extraordinary mind of Russell T Davies and watch the incredible Ncuti Gatwa soar in this iconic role.”
“This is an incredible coup, and a great honour, to get such a huge star striding on to our set. So strap on your space boots, this is going to be a blast.”
Much like the casting of the drag queen Jinkx Monsoon, Neil Patrick Harris, and others, this indicates the new era will be flush with cameos and guest stars, possibly in an attempt to entice back the disenfranchised fandom. However, Groff is far from enough to accomplish such a lofty task. If he cannot accomplish it, a drag queen definitely cannot, either.
Whatever Disney’s and RTD’s intentions are with this sudden rise in guest starring appearances, it’s unlikely that any of them will move the needle enough to regain the Doctor Who fanbase, which was mocked, abused, and disregarded. It’s tough to gain a customer, but damn easy to lose one. The BBC lost so many that reconciliation and recuperation may be entirely impossible, regardless of the star power in the cast or the massive funding from Disney. Groff is an incredibly talented actor who proved his ability thoroughly in his performance in Mindhunter. His casting is a positive in the sense that any actor of any quality joining the cast is good news, especially after the constant and repetitive deluge of talentless hacks paraded before the audience during the Chibnall era. However, even an actor of the caliber of Groff can do very little with a poorly written script that has misaligned, agenda-oriented priorities, proven by his involvement in Matrix: Resurrections.