Everything we know about David Tennant’s Doctor Who specials as new titles trailer released

Everything we know about David Tennant’s Doctor Who specials as new titles trailer released
Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Specials Trailer

It turns out Saturday was very much Catherine Tate’s night, as in addition to announcing the United Kingdom’s jury votes at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, a new trailer also dropped for the upcoming Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials, in which she is set to reprise the role of Donna Noble and star alongside David Tennant once more.

To recap, beloved screenwriter Russell T Davies is set to return to the BBC sci-fi series he rebooted back in 2005 as the next showrunner, kicking things off with three specials airing in November and starring Tennant as the 14th incarnation of the time-travelling alien (he also played the 10th Doctor between 2005 and 2009).

He’ll then pen episodes for the next full series of Doctor Who, in which Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa will occupy the Tardis as the 15th Doctor alongside companion Ruby Sunday (played by Coronation Street actor Millie Gibson).

But before all of that, what can we expect from the three specials?

The return of Donna

This one is quite obvious, given her appearances in all of the teaser trailers so far, but the last time we saw Donna Noble in Tennant’s last outing as the Doctor (in “The End of Time”), she was living life unaware of her past adventures in the Tardis after having her mind wiped in “Journey’s End”.

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That happened because she had created a “two-way biological metacrisis”, becoming the ‘DoctorDonna’ and part-Time Lord. Her human mind couldn’t sustain the Time Lord consciousness, however, so the Doctor was forced to wipe her memories of the pair travelling together.

Her grandfather Wilf was warned by the Doctor that if she ever remembers who the Doctor is, her mind will burn up and she will die. So, when John Simm’s Master turned the whole human race into copies of himself in “The End of Time”, this triggered her memories – except she didn’t die.

Teaser Trailer | 60th Anniversary Specials | Doctor

Instead, she released a burst of energy which knocked out two Master copies near her and herself as some kind of safety mechanism, but who knows whether that will happen again when the pair meet in the specials.

And we know that happens because December’s teaser trailer cuts to a scene in which Donna’s Mum shields the Doctor from view after the former companion calls him “skinny man”.

The contents of the title announcement trailer also shows that Donna is perfectly fine in the company of The Doctor, so what’s happened?

The episode titles

Saturday’s trailer saw the three specials revealed as “The Star Beast”, “Wild Blue Yonder” and “The Giggle”. So that’s cool. More on the first title shortly...

A new Rose

No, this isn’t Billie Piper’s Rose Tyler, the first companion from Davies’s reboot, but rather a new role played by Yasmin Finney of Heartstopper fame.

She’s not the only character confirmed to appear in the specials, by the way, as Years and Years’s Ruth Madeley is due to star as Shirley Anne Bingham (though there’s few details available about her role in the story).

While further details of the character are yet to be revealed, given she appears alongside Noble and the rest of her family in the previous teasers, we suspect she’ll play Rose Temple-Noble, the daughter of Donna and her partner Shaun Temple

Perhaps Noble (or Temple-Noble, we should say, but we’ll keep using Noble for ease) decided to name her daughter Rose thanks to the Time Lord part of her which still lies in her subconscious?

Beep the Meep and the Wrath Warriors

Previously limited only to audio dramas and comic strips, Beep the Meep is set to make their first appearance in the Doctor Who TV series – and the comics might hold some clues as to what we can expect from the specials, not least because Beep made their debut in a strip titled The Star Beast.

According to the Doctor Who wiki, that story sees Beep’s ship crash land on Earth and the alien being hunted down by insect-like creatures known as Wrath Warriors (we see them in the trailer, too).

Doctor Who 2023 - Titles Revealed! | 60th Anniversary Specials Trailer | Doctor

In the first teaser trailer, we can see Finney’s Rose stumble upon a spaceship in a park, and chatting to Beep about “monsters”, and with the titles trailer showing Beep hiding amongst some cuddly toys, our bet is that Beep has been hidden in a shed or house by Rose, without Noble knowing about it.

See the whole “what the hell” response from Donna at the very end of that trailer.

Neil Patrick Harris and The Celestial Toymaker

It’s widely suspected that the How I Met Your Mother star will appear as a villain from a missing Doctor Who episode known as The Celestial Toymaker.

The story saw the Toymaker set menacing challenges for The Doctor and his companions – again, according to the Doctor Who wiki – and with one of them involving dancing ballerinas dolls, and with the Doctor seen dancing with Harris in the new trailer, evidence points towards Harris playing this classic role.

We’ll know for certain though when the specials air from November 2023.

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