David Tennant and Catherine Tate return to Doctor Who for three specials in November 2023

David Tennant and Catherine Tate will star in Doctor Who for three specials next year.


Tonight (23 October) saw Jodie Whittaker’s final episode as the Thirteenth Doctor regenerated.

And it was none other than David Tennant who appeared as the Fourteenth Doctor with the BBC teasing: “What has led to the return of a much loved face?”

David Tennant as the Doctor. Credit: BBC Studios/Screen Grab
David Tennant as the Doctor. Credit: BBC Studios/Screen Grab
Donna (Catherine Tate).
Donna (Catherine Tate). Credit: BBC STUDIOS 2022/Alistair Heap

David Tennant and Catherine Tate will reprise their roles as the Doctor and Donna Noble for the 60th anniversary.

They will appear in three special episodes, set to air in November 2023. The next Doctor, played by Ncuti Gatwa, will then take control of the TARDIS, with his first episode airing over the festive period in 2023.

Returning 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’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!”


A teaser for the upcoming specials reads: “The Doctor and Donna parted ways when the Doctor had to wipe Donna’s memory, making her forget him, in order to save her life.

The Doctor (Ncuti Gatwa)
The Doctor (Ncuti Gatwa). Credit: BBC Studios/Screen Grab

“He left her family with a warning: if ever she remembers, she will die. But with the two coming face to face once more, the big question is, just what brings the Doctor and Donna back together?

“In his last ever episode, David’s critically acclaimed portrayal of the Doctor famously said “I don’t want to go…” Well it seems he – and fans across the globe – have got what they wanted as the iconic duo are on their way back…”


It was confirmed earlier this year that Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa is to become the new Doctor.

Ncuti said: “This role and show means so much to so many around the world, including myself, and each one of my incredibly talented predecessors has handled that unique responsibility and privilege with the utmost care. I will endeavour my utmost to do the same.”

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