Bollocks! Bollocks! Bollocks! While I’m terribly disappointed about the news, the fact that he had to pull out doesn’t come as a huge surprise. We all wish the mighty shouty one and his magnificent beard a speedy recovery, and hopefully we can look forward to hearing his booming voice and kingly laughter echoing across the land once more, without having to go to the trouble of reprogramming our Tom Toms. (Also, the Flash Gordon remake is dead to me without some sort of B.B. involvement.)
At any rate, no, Brian wasn’t going to be resuming his role as King Yrcanos from Trial of a Time Lord. Instead, in what would have been a killer bit of casting, he was scheduled to play an equally appropriate character:
Yes, that Odin.
Bollocks! That would have been perfect.
Instead, the part will now go to actor David Schofield, probably best known for his roles in Da Vinci’s Demons, Merlin, and Mercer in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. I’m sure he’ll do fine, but really... when it comes to playing the shouty king of the Norse gods, nobody can top Brian Blessed.
For those who are interested, the episode(s) in question will be 5 and 6, the block currently being recorded, comprised of The Girl Who Died by Jamie Mathieson (who penned last year’s Mummy on the Orient Express and Flatline) and The Woman Who Lived by Catherine Tregenna (several episodes of Torchwood, Casualty, and Law & Order: UK)
We don’t know much about the plot, except that it in involves an alien spaceship with a vaguely Asgardian-inspired look to it, in what appears to be a medieval village setting (though with Doctor Who, it’s best never to judge by appearances.) For a complete rundown on everything we currently know about Series 9, head over to Blogtor Who, who I think were also the first to break this story.