Out With the Old, In With the New (Sort of!)
After three seasons, the Thirteenth Doctor took her last spin through time and space and shocked the world as she regenerated into the new (okay, not really new) Fourteenth Doctor.
In her final episode, ‘The Power of the Doctor’, Jodie Whittaker is surrounded by the traditional golden glow of regeneration energy. Whovians across the globe held their breath as a familiar (but very unexpected!) face emerged from the fire. Wearing his signature trench, the familiar face muttered, “I know these teeth.”
David Tennant and Catherine Tate are Back!
It’s official! David Tennant is returning to portray the Fourteenth Doctor in three very special episodes to mark the show’s 60th anniversary. And it’s been a while since we’ve seen him. Tennant controlled the Tardis from 2005 to 2010 and returned once in 2013 for the 50th-anniversary special (‘The Day of the Doctor’).
And if bringing back David Tennant wasn’t enough excitement, popular companion Donna Noble (played by Catherine Tate) is also returning for next year’s landmark set of specials. She’ll be joined by the Tenth Doctor’s final companion, Wilf, portrayed by British national treasure Bernard Cribbins, in his final TV role before passing away earlier this year.
The last time we saw Tennant, Tate, and Cribbins on screen together was in the Tennant’s regeneration episode (‘The End of Time’). So obviously, with the trio back together again, we’re all asking the same question: What could possibly have brought them back together again?
And this brings us to the showrunner.
Russell T. Davies, who regenerated the series in 2005 and put the “new” into NuWho, is also making a comeback. At the helm for next year’s 60th-anniversary specials, Davies will also map out the future as Tennant’s Fourteenth Doctor passes the torch to the highly anticipated fifteenth incarnation, set to be played by newcomer Ncuti Gatwa.
Davies remains tight-lipped about the new season (and we have so many questions!), but he did speak about the future of the series in Variety: “If you thought the appearance of David Tennant was a shock, we’ve got plenty more surprises on the way! The path to Ncuti’s Fifteenth Doctor is laden with mystery, horror, robots, puppets, danger, and fun! And how is it connected to the return of the wonderful Donna Noble? How, what, and why? We’re giving you a year to speculate, and then all hell lets loose!”
Yasmin Finney will also join the crew for the 60th anniversary special as the Doctor’s latest companion. Finney played trans teenager Elle Argent in Netflix’s Heartstopper. An immediate phenomenon, this 19-year-old star is sure to command the screen.
The ‘Next’ New Doctor & Companion
Following David Tennant’s three-episode miniseries, Ncuti Gatwa will step into the Tardis, the first black actor to portray the 2,000-year-old Time Lord. You may have seen Gatwa on Sex Education, the Netflix series that brought him critical acclaim, earning him a BAFTA Scotland Award for Best Actor in Television. Gatwa will have some big Converse to fill but will undoubtedly put his own stamp on the role—and we’re excited to see what type of doctor Fifteen will be!
Starring alongside Ncuti Gatwa will be Millie Gibson, playing the role of Ruby Sunday—the Fifteenth Doctor’s companion. Best known for her role in Coronation Street (check out the British soap on BritBox!), she won the Best Young Performer Award at this year’s British Soap Awards.
The rumor is Gatwa and Gibson’s first episode will air around Christmas 2023.
If you haven’t seen it already, check out the trailer! And yes, that is a creepy-looking Neil Patrick Harris you see.
Following a landmark deal between the BBC and Disney +, the latter acquired streaming rights beginning in 2023. As a result, Disney + will be the new official home for Doctor Who (outside of the U.K. and Ireland). And Disney + has big plans for the hit sci-fi series. Hoping to reach up to 245 million subscribers by 2024, Disney + plans to expand streaming to over 160 countries next year. This expansion will reach a new generation of fans around the world.
At the time of the announcement, the BBC also revealed a new diamond-shaped logo for Doctor Who, similar to the show’s 1970s logo.
Doctor Who will return in November 2023.
If only we could borrow his Tardis to travel through time and get a sneak peek…