Major Hobbit star makes surprise appearance in Doctor Who's Xmas ep

Contributed by
Jan 14, 2013, 2:52 PM EST

Doctor Who Chrismas episodes are no strangers to stunt casting. Voyage of the Damned gave us Kylie Minogue, and Who's version of A Christmas Carol saw Albus Dumbledore himself, Michael Gambon, in the Scrooge role. But this year we've got the biggest and most surprising appearance yet! [Spoiler ahead!]

So this year's special is called "The Snowmen," and as it turns out, these titular snowmen will, in fact, speak. Apparently they will speak with one particular voice. That voice?

Gandalf the Grey. Yes, none other than Sir Ian McKellen will provide the pipes for the cold-hearted baddies.

Maybe it goes without saying, but this is pretty huge, even for the British institution that is Doctor Who. Good timing, too, with The Hobbit coming out so soon. Sir Ian's appearance will likely guarantee a few more butts in seats to watch the new episode on Christmas.

We're excited that McKellen is dipping his toes, but does this mean we could have him show up in person in a future episode? Please?

(via Doctor Who TV)