The latest trailer for the Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials has landed, and it’s chock-full of exciting new details.
We may have a whole year to wait until the Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials arrive on our screens but – in lieu of any festive Doctor Who in 2022 – the BBC has released a brand new trailer which teases what is to come when David Tennant arrives as the Fourteenth Doctor.
As we all know, the three Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials will reunite the Time Lord with his former companion Donna Noble, and judging by the new trailer, the episodes will pick up from where we left off in ‘The End of Time – Part Two,’ which aired on New Year’s Day 2010.
It’s the real Donna Noble
So yes, it would seem that this is the actual Donna Noble – not a duplicate or a parallel universe version. Her mum Sylvia Noble was also in the trailer, desperate to keep the new Doctor from seeing her daughter; this is because, back in 2008, Donna became the victim of a human-Time Lord metacrisis which, simply put, means that she if ever remembers who the Doctor is, her mind will burn and she will die.
So it makes sense that Sylvia is keen to avoid this hiccup, and if this were simply a parallel universe version of Donna, or some kind of trick, there might not be so much urgency. After all, an alternative version of Donna might not have gone through the meta-crisis.
There were, however, clips of the Fourteenth Doctor and Donna interacting with each other – one in which they appeared to be hugging, and one in which they were running towards a building. So, presumably, she will find a way of remembering him in the Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials without her brain exploding.
But what is less clear is Donna’s life situation in the Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials. We know that Karl Collins will be returning as her husband Shaun Temple (and that he and Donna will have a daughter named Rose, played by Yasmin Finney) but where will she be living, and what will she be doing? Because in ‘The End of Time – Part Two,’ the Doctor gave Donna a winning lottery ticket as a wedding present, and it was a triple rollover.
So Donna should be a multi-millionaire by this point, unless something catastrophic has happened. And there was certainly no sign of a Temple-Noble family manor in the trailer, and one clip showed Rose carrying a packing box wrapped up in ‘fragile’ tape, suggesting that a house move is on the cards…
Beep the Meep and the Wrarth Warriors are the villains?
Although Beep the Meep hasn’t been officially confirmed as appearing in the Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials, the trailer did show off a character that looked a lot like him.
But who is Beep the Meep, we hear you cry? This is a good question, and indeed many Doctor Who fans will have never heard of him as he made his first appearance in an obscure comic adventure called Doctor Who and the Star Beast way back in 1980, later adapted by Big Finish in 2019. He’s something of a sadistic, galactic criminal – cute in appearance, but manipulative and dangerous.
In Doctor Who and the Star Beast, he is being pursued by the Wrarth warriors who have just defeated the Meep armada in battle. Beep crashes to Earth where he is found by two unsuspecting humans, who nurse him back to health, unaware of his true nature or intentions.
And it seems like the Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials will use this storyline as inspiration. After all, the trailer showed some kind of crashed spaceship (or obscure piece of space debris) and the Beep character was shown to be warning Rose about “monsters” with a frightened look in his eyes.
And then there were beings that looked much like the Wrarth warriors from the comics. So perhaps the Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials will be a retelling of Doctor Who and the Star Beast, in some form.
Ncuti Gatwa will be appearing
We knew from the previous trailer that Ncuti Gatwa will be appearing in the Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials, but we have learned more since his brief appearance at the end of ‘The Power of the Doctor.’ In the ensuing weeks, Russell T Davies confirmed that Gatwa is officially playing the Fifteenth Doctor, and that Tennant is the Fourteenth.
Moreover, Russell T Davies confirmed in an interview to TV Zone that the clip of Ncuti Gatwa isn’t representative of what will appear in the final episode. In the trailer, Gatwa is shouting “Will someone tell me what the hell is going on here?!” against a cloudy backdrop, but Davies has confirmed that this background is just a placeholder. “You’ll never see that again,” he said. “Because the actual location would give away too much!”
So, presumably, the background that will appear in the Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials will be a location that Doctor Who fans will recognise – maybe it will be the new TARDIS interior, or Gallifrey, or somewhere equally iconic like Bad Wolf Bay. Or perhaps the background will just reveal some plot details about the upcoming specials that the production team aren’t ready to tease yet.
There is a bigger power at play
“I don’t believe in destiny,” the Doctor says in the trailer, “but if destiny exists, then it is heading for Donna Noble.” This sentence has echoes of the converging timelines that formed the backbone of Doctor Who Series Four, when events conspired to draw the Doctor and Donna together. So perhaps events are conspiring once again.
Certainly, in Series Four, the Doctor and Donna’s union was influenced by the unhinged Dalek Caan, so perhaps the Daleks are to blame once again. At the same time, we know that Neil Patrick Harris will be playing “the greatest enemy the Doctor has ever faced” (according to Russell T Davies) so perhaps his character will be imposing some kind of god-like influence in the Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials – an influence that could, potentially, reunite the Doctor and Donna Noble.
As for who Neil Patrick Harris is playing, the jury is still out, although the trailer did show the Doctor going into a shop called Mr Emporium which purported to sell “magic” and “board games.” This has echoes of the Celestial Toymaker – a villain from the First Doctor era who hasn’t appeared on screen since 1966.
Alas, we have to wait until November 2023 to see the Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials in all their glory, but there is bound to be lots of exciting news in the meantime. Until then, what did you think of this latest trailer, and what are you most excited to see in the Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials? Let us know in the comments below.