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Doctor Who: Does RTD Owe Janice From "The Muppets" An Apology?

Doctor Who showrunner Russell T. Davies revealed the TRUE story behind Janis Goblin's name - and he might owe a certain Muppet an apology.

With Russell T. Davies's (RTD) Ncuti Gatwa (Fifteenth Doctor) & Millie Gibson (Ruby Sunday)- starring Doctor Who Christmas Special "The Church on Ruby Road" hitting BBC One, BBC iPlayer & Disney+ screens in less than two weeks, we were treated to a special preview of what to come via Davies & composer Murray Gold's original song from the special, "The Goblin Song." Since the previews for the special first hit – and now, because of the song & lyric video – Janis Goblin has become the face of the goblins. And with a name like "Janis Goblin" singing, the obvious joke comparisons to iconic singer Janis Joplin were inevitable. It turns out that Janis Goblin's name was inspired by another corner of the pop culture universe – and it's forcing us to come to the defense of our Muppets peeps. In an Instagram post, RTD noted the Janis Joplin connection but then added this: "TRUE FACT: the Doctor calls her Janice because she's got blonde hair like Janice from the Muppets." Just so we're clear? The similarities between the goblin with the golden voice and the lead guitarist of Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem begin and end at the hairline. And we're not just talking physical – unless I somehow repressed childhood trauma from an episode of The Muppet Show where they all ate babies before a big number. But I'm pretty sure I would remember that… so do right by Janice, RTD!

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Image: BBC/Disney Screencap

"A message from Janis. (TRUE FACT: the Doctor calls her Janice because she's got blonde hair like Janice from the Muppets. But now I realise Janis Goblin is a much funnier joke, so I'll pretend that's mine.) THE GOBLIN SONG available now, all proceeds to @bbccin. Stay tuned on Christmas Day to hear the Doctor and Ruby's verse!" RTD wrote in the caption to his Instagram post that included a look at Janis Goblin and her message regarding the proceeds from "The Goblin Song" going to "Children in Need" – though considering goblins are known for eating babies, we're going to have to question their motivations…

"The Church on Ruby Road": A Christmas Special Preview

"The Church on Ruby Road" sees the Doctor (Gatwa) come face-to-face with the mythical and mysterious goblins as his life collides with Ruby Sunday (Gibson). Little is known about Ruby Sunday, as she was abandoned on Christmas Eve as a baby. Now living with her mum, Carla, and grandmother, Cherry, her world is about to be turned upside down when she encounters the Doctor – and the two set off on their first adventure together. Joining Gatwa & Millie Gibson (Ruby Sunday) for showrunner Russell T. Davies's special are Davina McCall (playing herself), Michelle Greenidge (Ruby's mum Carla), Angela Wynter (Ruby's grandmother Cherry), and Anita Dobson as Mrs. Flood. Now, here's a look at the trailers that were released by the BBC & Disney+:

And don't forget that composer Murray Gold & Davies teamed up for an original song for the special "The Goblin Song":

Doctor Who: Looking Ahead to Series 14/Series 1 & Series 15/Series 2

Along with Jemma Redgrave (Kate Lethbridge-Stewart), Aneurin Barnard (Roger ap Gwilliam), and Jack Forsyth-Noble (Will), Doctor Who Magazine #589 also confirmed that Bhav Joshi (Wedding Season), Eilidh Loan (Traces), Pete MacHale (Gangs of London), Miles Yekinni (Slow Horses), and Hemi Yeroham (Mamma Mia!) have joined the cast for the new series. In addition, Jinkx Monsoon (RuPaul's Drag Race) was also confirmed to have joined the cast – followed by Jonathan Groff (Glee, Mindhunter) and Indira Varma (Obsession, Game of Thrones) – as The Duchess – in May 2023.

Bonnie Langford was confirmed to be returning as Melanie Bush in June 2023, along with Lenny Rush (Am I Being Unreasonable) as Morris. In early August 2023, we also learned that Gemma Arrowsmith (Gemma Arrowsmith Sketched Out) and Mary Malone (Vera, The Prince) had joined the Christmas Special – while Majid Mehdizadeh-Valoujerdy (Hollyoaks) and Billy Brayshaw (Still So Awkward) had joined the Series 14 cast. In November 2023, we also learned that Nicola Coughlan (Derry Girls, Bridgerton) was set to guest star in the 2024 Christmas Special. On the writing side, we learned late last month that Kate Herron (Loki, Sex Education) & Briony Redman (Pont Brec) had co-written the episode that Groff and Varma are starring in during the upcoming series.

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The Doctor (Ncuti Gatwa). (Image: James Pardon/BBC Studios/Bad Wolf)

And here's a look at Gold, Segun Akinola, and the BBC National Orchestra performing our upcoming Doctor's new theme – along with some words from RTD near the end:

Here's a look back at a video showcasing Gold & Akinola's new take on the Doctor Who theme:

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Ray FlookAbout Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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