What is the Doctor Who 60th anniversary release date, who is in the cast, and what else do we know about the sci-fi series special? Jodie Whittaker’s time as the 13th Doctor has come to an end and showrunner Chris Chibnall is also stepping down alongside her.
Ushering in a new era will be David Tennant and Russell T Davies. Russell T Davies (or, RTD for short) was the man responsible for the return of Doctor Who in the mid-2000s. He helmed the Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant eras of the show, overseeing one of the most successful and beloved periods of the long-running TV series.
The Doctor Who 60th anniversary special will mark the start of his return to the series and the beginning of a new era in Doctor Who. There’s plenty that we already know about the special including the Doctor Who 60th anniversary release date, the cast, plot, and more. We’re here to break that down for you, and keep you updated when things change. So, get your calendars at the ready.
Doctor Who 60th anniversary release date
The Doctor Who 60th anniversary release date is officially confirmed for November 2023, according to the BBC. It has also been confirmed that the Doctor Who 60th anniversary is going to be a three-episode event which each episode being an hour long, and given that the Doctor Who 60th anniversary is set to commemorate six decades of Doctor Who, we can be pretty sure that the specials will around November 23, 2023.
This would mark exactly 60 years of Doctor Who, but the date itself falls on a Thursday. Because of this, expect the episodes to begin airing on either the weekend before on November 18 or 19, or the weekend after on November 25 or 26. The three episodes will be directed by Rachel Talalay, Tom Kingsley, and Chanya Button respectively.
Doctor Who 60th anniversary cast
Moving on from the era of the 13th Doctor, the Doctor Who anniversary cast is pretty much starting from a blank slate. Whittaker is leaving the show, and it doesn’t look like any of her companions will be sticking around for more Doctor Who, either.
So, as the show enters a new phase, it needs a new cast. The Doctor Who 60th anniversary cast is set to include some familiar faces and plenty of new ones too. So far, there have been several official announcements on the cast for the Doctor Who 60th anniversary.
Who has been officially confirmed for the Doctor Who 60th anniversary cast?
- David Tennant as the 14th Doctor
- Catherine Noble as Donna Noble
- Yasmin Finney as Rose
- Bernard Cribbins Wilfred Mott
- Neil Patrick Harris as an unnamed villain
- Jacqueline King as Sylvia Noble
- Karl Collin as Shaun Temple
- Miriam Margolyes as Beep the Meep
- Ruth Madeley as Shirley Anne Bingham
- Ncuti Gatwa as the 15th Doctor
Let’s start with the big ones first. David Tennant is returning and he will be the 14th Doctor, while Catherine Tate re-joins him as former Doctor Who companion Donna Noble for the first time in over a decade. Exactly how the characters will fit into the Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials is unclear, but they look set to play a major role.
Joining Tate as Donna will be Jacqueline King as Sylvia, Karl Collin as Shaun Temple, and the late, great, Bernard Cribbins as Wilfried Mott. A return to Wilf will be a fitting way to bookmark Cribbins’ exceptional career, and the actor was able to finish filming his scenes as the character before his passing in July 2022.
The three confirmed actors who are new to the Doctor Who cast are Yasmin Finney, Neil Patrick Harris, and Ruth Madeley. Finney is joining the cast off the back of the success of the teen-romance drama series Heartstopper.
Pretty much the only thing we know about Finney’s character is that she is a young woman playing a character called Rose. Set pictures reveal that she is linked with Donna Noble and is potentially the former companion’s daughter with Shaun Temple.
Neil Patrick Harris will also be making his debut in the series. That’s right, one of the biggest names in American TV and the star of Matrix 4 has been confirmed to be involved in the Doctor Who 60th anniversary special.
Unlike with other characters, an official image has been released of Harris’s character, along with the description of him as the “greatest enemy the Doctor has ever faced”. So who could that be? The master? The celestial toymaker? An alternate version of The Doctor? Whoever it is, he’s bound to be a thrilling antagonist.
Ruth Madeley, who has previously worked with RTD on the series Years and Years, also joins the cast as Shirley Anne Bingham. However, nothing’s known about her character as of yet. Miriam Margolyes is heavily rumoured to be in the Doctor Who 60th anniversary cast as well, giving her voice to none other than the fluffiest war criminal in the galaxy: Beep the Meep.
Behind the camera, Rachel Talalay, Chanya Button, and Tom Kingsley are expected to direct one episode each, which will make the Doctor Who 60th anniversary an event with a trilogy of episodes.
The list of confirmed actors will undoubtedly grow as we get closer to November 2023, and we’re here to keep you up to date with developments and what they mean for the Doctor Who 60th anniversary as they come through.
Finally, it was confirmed via the Doctor Who 60th anniversary teaser trailer that Ncuti Gatwa will show up in the specials in some form, and the teaser showed Gatwa yelling “Will someone tell me what the hell is going on here?” That could be the most exciting announcement of all.
Which previous Doctors will return in the Doctor Who 60th anniversary?
Alongside the return of David Tennant, there has been endless speculation that former Doctors could be returning in the Doctor Who 60th anniversary special. No other Doctors have been confirmed yet for the special.
Multi-Doctor stories are always fun, and this time speculation has focussed primarily on Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi, though neither have given any hints that they are involved in the episodes, and have tried to defuse speculation.
Another Doctor that could feasibly return is Christopher Eccleston – though that is unlikely as the actor has consistently turned down the opportunity to return as the character ever since his departure after one season back in 2005.
Then, of course, previous Doctors like Paul McGann and Sylvester McCoy could also be involved, though that is also less likely that the return of Smith or Capaldi.
If, or when, we do get more updates on the inclusion of other Doctors in the Doctor Who 60th anniversary we’ll keep you up to date with all the news here.
Is Ncuti Gatwa in the Doctor Who 60th anniversary?
Ncuti Gatwa, best known for his leading role in comedy series Sex Education, is set to be the next incarnation of the titular Gallifreyan Timelord after the 60th anniversary specials. He will be taking over from David Tennant once the specials are done, and will be the star of Doctor Who season 14.
However from the teaser trailer, we know he will also have some role in the Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials. We just don’t know how big it’s going to be, or how he’s going to be involved.
So, if you’re watching the Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials because you’re expecting to see Gatwa as one of the main characters, don’t get your hopes up. Think of it as an appetiser before the main course.
Doctor Who 60th anniversary plot speculation
Post-regeneration, a Doctor Who story can go absolutely anywhere. The majority of the plot speculation for the Doctor Who 60th anniversary comes from who we know is in the cast. The big question is why did Jodie Whittaker’s 13th Doctor regenerate back into the 10th Doctor?
The Doctor Who 60th anniversary will likely be exploring this mystery, and the plot could focus on a re-regenerated 10th Doctor who enlists Donna to help him once again.
We also know that Harris’s character will have a significant part to play, and footage from on-location filming makes it look like he’s due to cause a lot of pandemonium that the Doctor and Donna are due to get caught up in. There’s also the suggestion that Beep the Meep, a character from the Doctor Who comic strips, will be appearing as an antagonist and this was confirmed in the latest trailer.
So, Whittaker has regenerated into Tennant, who will regenerate into Gatwa. That will make Tennant the 10th and 14th Doctors, and Gatwa the 15th Doctor, as officially confirmed by Russell T Davies.
Does the Doctor Who 60th anniversary have a trailer?
The Doctor Who 60th anniversary now has two teaser trailers. The first dropped after Whittaker’s final episode, The Power of the Doctor. Check it out below:
It looks like a hell of a lot of fun, and gives us our first look at the one and only Ncuti Gatwa as the 15th Doctor. It shows The Doctor in action, Donna Noble, and Harris’s villain.
Then, the second trailer dropped on Christmas Day 2022. It gave a much more in depth look at the Doctor Who 60th anniversary special, and showed Donna’s tense reunion with The Doctor as well as more detailed examination of Harris’s villain. Take a look below:
And, that’s it. That’s all we know about the Doctor Who 60th anniversary. We’ll keep this updated with the latest information as it comes in, so be sure to keep checking back for updates.
If the idea of travelling through time and space has got you in the mood for adventure, check out our guide to the best adventure movies of all time. Or, stick with Doctor who and find out the identity of the 15th Doctor’s companion.