With production for the Doctor Who 60th anniversary celebrations now complete, here’s a rundown of everything we know so far…
Ncuti Gatwa is the Fifteenth Doctor
It’s official. Ncuti Gatwa is now the Fifteenth Doctor, and will be appearing on our screens after (or perhaps during) the Doctor Who 60th anniversary celebrations. His first full series is likely to be in 2024, after a trio of specials in 2023 starring David Tennant. More on those below.
In the meantime, here’s how Russell T Davies announced his casting: “The future is here and it’s Ncuti! Sometimes talent walks through the door and it’s so bright and bold and brilliant, I just stand back in awe and thank my lucky stars. Ncuti dazzled us, seized hold of the Doctor and owned those TARDIS keys in seconds. It’s an honour to work with him, and a hoot, I can’t wait to get started. I’m sure you’re dying to know more, but we’re rationing ourselves for now, with the wonderful Jodie’s epic finale yet to come. But I promise you, 2023 will be spectacular!”
David Tennant is the Fourteenth Doctor
It’s complicated, but David Tennant is officially the Fourteenth Doctor following the Thirteenth Doctor’s surprise regeneration at the end of ‘The Power of the Doctor.’ We know that he will be reunited with his old companion Donna Noble played by Catherine Tate, and that the pair of them will be starring in three specials which will be broadcast during the Doctor Who 60th anniversary celebrations in November 2023.
The precise details of this reunion are still under wraps, however, and we will have to wait and see if an explanation will be given for the Doctor’s returning face, or regenerating clothes. Moreover, we still don’t know how Donna can be in the same room as the famous Time Lord without her head exploding!
Anyway, here’s how Russell T Davies announced their casting: “They’re back! And it looks impossible – first, we announce a new Doctor, and then an old Doctor, along with the wonderful Donna, what on earth is happening? 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 is playing Rose
In another twist that is sure to melt brains, the actor Yasmin Finney has been confirmed to be playing Rose in scenes that will coincide with the Doctor Who 60th anniversary celebrations.
Again, this announcement raises a lot of questions. “Life on Doctor Who gets brighter and wilder,” says Russell T Davies. “How can there be another Rose? 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!”
But does this mean that Yasmin Finney is playing Rose Tyler in the Doctor Who 60th anniversary, or simply a character called Rose? Or is it a version of Rose Tyler from another dimension, or – as Davies suggests – simply “a dream, or a trick”?
Neil Patrick Harris is playing “the greatest enemy the Doctor has ever faced”
One of the more recent casting announcements is Neil Patrick Harris, who will be playing one of the baddies across the Doctor Who 60th anniversary celebrations. Here’s how Russell T Davies announced his casting…
“It’s my huge honour to open our studio doors for the mighty Neil Patrick Harris… but who, why, what is he playing? You’ll just have to wait. But I promise you, the stuff we’re shooting now is off the scale. Doctor beware!”
Davies expanded on this on Instagram, posting: “Neil Patrick Harris, welcome to Cardiff! Playing the greatest enemy the Doctor has ever faced. Such a great actor, such a great man, it’s an honour and a hoot. Have fun!” He later followed this up with a photo from the set wishing Harris a happy birthday.
Inevitably, the announcement that Harris would be playing “the greatest enemy the Doctor has ever faced” in an “off the scale” Doctor Who 60th anniversary led to wild speculation on the Twittersphere. Could Harris be playing a dark, alternate version of the Doctor, such as the Valeyard or the Dream Lord? Or could he be playing a villain from the Doctor’s past, such asthe Celestial Toymaker, or the Great Intelligence? Or even the Master?
Interestingly, the BBC’s photo of Harris is the first official look at the Doctor Who 60th anniversary, so it’s now up to the internet to dissect what it means, and who exactly Harris is playing. As Davies says, “Have fun!”
When will we know more?
Casting announcements for the Doctor Who 60th anniversary scenes could come at any time, so be sure to stay tuned. Could 2023 finally see the return of warrior queen Peri and Turlough of Trion?! After all, we’ve already seen a slew of former Doctor Who companions turn up in ‘The Power of the Doctor,’ including Tegan, Ace, Mel, and even Ian Chesterton.
Plus, the production team even found a plausible way to bring back the former Doctors David Bradley, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann, so the door is not closed to more returning faces amid the Doctor Who 60th anniversary celebrations. Indeed, the initial trailer for the 2023 specials even showed Ncuti Gatwa’s Doctor asking “What the hell is going on here?!” And he appeared to be wearing David Tennant’s costume.
Simply put, Donna Noble might not be the only person about to experience a brain melt!
How do you think the Doctor Who 60th anniversary year will play out? And who do you think Neil Patrick Harris is playing? Let us know in the comments below.
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