David Tennant is set to return to Doctor Who, reprising his role as The Doctor in three new special episodes commemorating the 60th anniversary of the show.
The episodes have been penned by former showrunner Russell T Davies, who was at the helm during Tennant’s first stint on the show. Joining him are fellow returners Catherine Tate, reprising her role as Donna Noble, and Bernard Cribbins, who was able to film his scenes in the summer of 2022 shortly before his sad passing just weeks later, aged 93.
Fans have been expressing their delight at Tennant’s return; he is arguably the definitive and most recognisable face to play the lead role since the show’s reboot in 2005. Known for his captivating charm and hilarious quick-wit, Tennant played the role for three series and nine specials, first airing on Christmas Day of 2005 and ending with an emotional farewell on New Year’s Day in 2010. The finale was watched by over 12 million people.
“It all felt very natural, and I felt at home very quickly” Tennant told BBC News, when asked about how it felt to be back in the TARDIS. He described the filming process as a “total joy from start to finish”. Despite various trailers and fan speculation, Tennant reassured viewers that along with his co-stars, they have “managed to keep the essence of where the story goes pretty much under wraps… There are still a lot of things to look forward to.”
These specials will hope to bring fans back to Doctor Who after a recent slump in viewing figures, with many criticising confusing characters and weak storylines under the direction of Chris Chibnall. For many viewers, David Tennant is The Doctor, carrying the history of a time when the show was a staple of Saturday night British TV, and was always a fun, festive hit every Christmas Day.
For many viewers, David Tennant is The Doctor, carrying the history of a time when the show was a staple of Saturday night British TV, and was always a fun, festive hit every Christmas Day.
So, will Tennant and Davies resurrect Doctor Who? These three episodes will certainly be a step in the right direction, bringing back the nostalgic feeling that fans most have been desperate for. With the sturdy foundations of a reliable Davies script they are sure to be a success. The biggest challenge for the new showrunner will come after these specials when Ncuti Gatwa takes the baton from Tennant for a full series in 2024. To add to the pressure, the BBC has also recently announced a partnership with Disney+, transforming Doctor Who into a global franchise for audiences across the world.
In the months to come the bruised reputation of the show will be on the line, and with the buzz generated from the specials expected to continue into Gatwa’s reign, Davies will be hoping to utilise this to help return the show back to where it belongs. It belongs on the TVs of Britain every Saturday night and with the help of Disney+, will introduce The Doctor and his adventures to millions more across the world.
Doctor Who returns with ‘The Star Beast’ coming to iPlayer and airing on BBC One on Saturday 25th November.