A group of Doctor Who's enemies - the Sontarans - will be revived, 35 years after first appearing in the BBC drama.
The warriors will feature in an episode which will also mark the return of Freema Agyeman as Martha Jones.
She will run into the Doctor's new companion - Donna Noble, played by Catherine Tate - for the first time.
Another plot for the new series will be a meeting between the Doctor and Agatha Christie, and guest stars will include Felicity Kendal and Sarah Lancashire.
There will also be appearances from Tim McInnerny, who played Percy in the first two series of Blackadder and Captain Darling in the fourth.
Peter Capaldi - a fierce spin doctor in political satire The Thick of It - and Phil Davis, who appeared in Quadrophenia and Bleak House, will also be seen on the show, the BBC has confirmed.
The series, once again starring David Tennant as the Doctor, is due to be seen in the UK next spring. Filming is under way in Cardiff.
Doctor Who won top drama at the National TV Awards on Wednesday
The run will begin with Donna tracking down the Doctor during an alien emergency in modern-day London.
Martha will be back halfway through the series, once actress Agyeman has appeared in three episodes of Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood.
"Martha Jones returns in a fantastic storyline and the fans will get to see her in a whole new light," Agyeman promised.
The Sontarans were first seen on The Time Warrior, an episode of the show in 1973, when Jon Pertwee was in the lead role.
Christopher Ryan, known as Mike in 1980s TV sitcom The Young Ones, will play the head Sontaran.
And the tentacle-faced Ood will return in an episode called Planet of the Ood.