Doctor Who Bringing Back A Key Character From The Original Series?

Doctor Who villain Mavic Chen may be returning to the show for the first time since 1966.

By Sean Thiessen | Published

doctor who mavic chen

Fasten your seatbelts, because Doctor Who is coming back bigger than ever, and it’s bringing a decades-long legacy with it. The British cult classic will return in November of 2023 for new adventures, fresh faces, and some familiar ones as well. According to an interview excerpt posted by Twitter user @WilliamWho, Doctor Who showrunner Russell T. Davies has teased the return of a classic villain, the power-mad Mavic Chen.

The only television appearance of the Doctor Who villain Mavic Chen was in 1966 during the fourth episode of the show’s third season, titled “The Daleks’ Master Plan.” Mavic Chen, portrayed by actor Kevin Stoney, acted in a political capacity as The Guardian of the Solar System in the early 41st century. Consumed by a lust for power, Chen allied himself with the Doctor’s greatest enemies, the Daleks, hoping to receive eternal life in return.

Chen was exposed to the public and condemned for treason, and he never appeared in the series again. His story has been expanded upon through novels and comics, but it looks like the upcoming fourteenth season of Doctor Who will see the first television appearance of Mavic Chen in over 50 years. “The Dalek’s Master Plan” is an early episode of Doctor Who that has, unfortunately, been largely lost to time; many early episodes of the show were erased, as the BBC did not see the value of properly archiving the show, and only sections of the episode remain intact.

doctor who mavic chen

Doctor Who, while certainly a show steeped in off-the-wall science fiction concepts, has never been afraid to confront real-world issues, and the political nature of Mavic Chen could open interesting doors for the show’s new season. Chen, it seems, will be a worthwhile adversary for the show’s fifteenth Doctor, played by Sex Education actor Ncuti Gtawa. The fourteenth Doctor will be played by returning actor David Tennant for a three-episode, topsy-turvy special to celebrate the show’s 60th anniversary.

The upcoming special and newest season of Doctor Who will continue to air, as they always have, on BBC for the UK and Ireland, but they have a new home for international viewers. BBC struck a deal that will make Doctor Who and the upcoming return of David Tenant, Catherine Tate, and characters like Mavic Chen available on Disney+ in the United States and around the world. The show, which has always accomplished a lot on a modest budget, will also be the most expensive Doctor Who outing to date, ramping budgets way up to about $11 million per episode, a far cry from the $1-3 million dollar range the show has had in the past.

While Disney’s involvement in Doctor Who raised a red flag for some purist fans of the show, Russell T. Davies shared words of encouragement on the subject. He noted that American involvement in British productions was nothing out of the ordinary, and that the notes coming from the show’s American producers were excellent. Davies assured fans that, despite a new network and bigger budgets, this is the same Doctor Who fans have loved for years, and he cited the reintroduction of classic characters like Mavic Chen as evidence of the show’s dedication to its roots.