Doctor Who in 2023: what to expect for 60th anniversary and festive season

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When Jodie Whittaker’s thirteenth Doctor regenerated in the Doctor Who BBC centenary special, The Power of the Doctor, on Sunday 23 October, it was David Tennant who appeared as the fourteenth Doctor. But what has led to the return of the face and body of the tenth Doctor?

In a teaser for the Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials, David Tennant’s fourteenth Doctor was heard to say, “I don’t know who I am anymore.”

Talking about the future of the programme, showrunner Russell T Davies said: “If you thought the appearance of David Tennant was a shock, we’ve got plenty more surprises on the way! The path to [Ncuti Gatwa’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, why? We’re giving you a year to speculate, and then all hell lets loose!”

Speaking at the time David Tennant and Catherine Tate’s return as the Doctor and companion Donna Noble was announced, Davies teased, “Maybe this is a missing story. Or a parallel world. Or a dream, or a trick, or a flashback. The only thing I can confirm is that it’s going to be spectacular, as two of our greatest stars reunite for the battle of a lifetime.”

Yasmin Finney

Yasmin Finney has joined the 60th anniversary cast as Rose, likely as Donna’s daughter. As Russell T Davies says, “You’ll find out in 2023, but it’s an absolute joy to welcome Yasmin to the Doctor Who set. We all fell in love with her in Heartstopper, one of those shows which changes the world – and now Yasmin can change the Whoniverse!”

And there’s also a mysterious new character played by Neil Patrick Harris, possibly the Toymaker.

It has been confirmed that three 60th anniversary specials starring Tennant and Tate will air in November 2023.

The fifteenth Doctor, played by Ncuti Gatwa, will then take control of the TARDIS, with his first episode airing over the festive period in 2023, possibly a Christmas special. At the end of the 60th anniversary teaser, his Doctor is heard to say, “Someone tell me what the hell is going on here!”