It was November 23, 1963: on that date, the very first episode of Doctor Who aired on the BBC, a pioneering science fiction series that would captivate and renew the imagination of both fans and non-fans alike. To celebrate this 60th anniversary, British television is organizing various initiatives. One of the highlights is the return of one of its iconic faces, David Tennant. The actor will unexpectedly reprise the role of the legendary Time Lord. Meanwhile, a celebratory video of these six decades has been published on YouTube, an emotional retrospective of all the faces and typical elements that have animated this ambitious serial production.
David Tennant’s return
Last year, Disney and the BBC had signed an agreement for the global distribution of Doctor Who-related content. Now, this alliance finally becomes a reality after the announcement that the three television specials related to the 60th anniversary of the famous science fiction series will be distributed worldwide on Disney+.
As known, to celebrate this important milestone of one of the world’s longest-running television sagas, a distinguished actor like David Tennant has been called back. He previously portrayed the Tenth Doctor from 2005 to 2010 and is now ready for another regeneration to take on the role of the Fourteenth Doctor. Alongside him, his historical ally Donna Temple-Noble, always portrayed by the extraordinary comedic actress Catherine Tate, will return.
The specials and their villain
The three specials, titled “The Star Beast”, “Wild Blue Yonder”, and “The Giggle”, will debut on the streaming platform on November 25, December 2, and December 9, respectively.
In these new adventures, the protagonists will have to face one of the most terrifying villains ever encountered, the Toy Maker. This character originally appeared in one of the early Doctor Who serials in April 1966, portrayed by the British actor Michael Gough.
The Toy Maker is an eternal being with boundless powers who challenges the Doctor. He is portrayed by William Hartnell in his first incarnation. The Toy Maker engages the Doctor and his allies in a series of childlike games. His ultimate goal is to capture them forever inside some toys. In these new episodes, the antagonist will be portrayed by Neil Patrick Harris, known for “How I Met Your Mother”.
In the cast of these specials, with showrunner Russell T. Davies (known for “Queer as Folk” and “It’s a Sin”) returning, we will also see Yasmin Finney in the role of Rose Temple-Noble (Donna’s daughter). And Miriam Margolyes (Professor Sprite from the Harry Potter films), Ruth Madeley, Jacqueline King, Karl Collins, and Jemma Redgrave.
The future of Doctor Who: the Fifteenth Doctor
We will have to wait for the Doctor Who Christmas special for the introduction of Ncuti Gatwa (Eric from “Sex Education”, also seen in the Barbie movie) as the Fifteenth Doctor. He will be the first Black actor to land in the TARDIS. That special and the fourteenth season of the traditional series, coming in 2024, will also be distributed internationally by Disney+.