Sir Ian McKellen, CH, CBE (born 25 May 1939) provided the voice of the Great Intelligence in the Doctor Who television story The Snowmen. He was credited as "Voice of the Snowmen" in Radio Times to conceal this plot surprise.
In 2013, he appeared as himself (though dressed as Gandalf) in the 50th anniversary story The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot alongside Peter Jackson, director of The Hobbit trilogy, in which he stars alongside Sylvester McCoy.
In addition to these roles, McKellen is notable for having been considered for and/or offered numerous roles during the production history of Doctor Who;
- He was considered for the role of Nilson in Warriors of the Deep.
- He was offered a role in Dimensions in Time as the First Rani's assistant. This consideration is evident in the character's name, Cyrian, being a play on "Sir Ian". Even after McKellen passed on the role, the pun stayed in place.
- He was considered for the role of the Eighth Doctor.
- He was considered for the role of Martin Bannister in the Big Finish audio story Deadline.
In the sitcom Vicious, he plays an actor whose Doctor Who character was voted "the 10th most popular villain of all time."
McKellen came out as gay in 1988, during a live interview on BBC Radio. Following this, McKellen became a prominent fight in advocating for LGBT+ rights. This was particularly notable in his work helping found the Stonewall organisation in 1989 with several other individuals, including Michael Cashman. Both McKellen and Cashman would collaborate together on fundraising efforts for the Iris Trust - which raised funds to help support Stonewall and other important research. Additionally, McKellen is also a patron of LGBT History Month and Pride London.
In 2013, he was given an honorary doctorate from the University of Ulster.
- Doctor Who Guide
- TCH 38
- DWM 324
- Doctor Who (1996). A Brief History of Time (Travel). Retrieved on 26 December 2012.
- The Big Finish Podcast 2021-11-07 Jenny Jacobi