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 is coming to an imminent end. Her final episode is set to release in October 2022, and current showrunner Chris Chibnall is also stepping down alongside her.
Whittaker will be replaced as the Doctor by Ncuti Gatwa, while Chibnall will be replaced by 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 Christoper Eccleston and David Tennant eras of the show, overseeing one of the most successful and beloved periods of the long-running sci-fi 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. So, unsurprisingly, there’s a lot of hype and anticipation for its release. There’s plenty that we already know about the special, and this means that it’s possible to speculate on the Doctor Who 60th anniversary release date while compiling everything we know about 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 speculation
Given that the Doctor Who 60th anniversary is set to commemorate six decades of Doctor Who, we can be pretty sure that the special will air on or 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.
Don’t hold your breath for an exact date for some time to come, however, because the BBC doesn’t exactly have the best track record when it comes to giving fans lots of forewarning for its Doctor Who scheduling. The centenary special, Whittaker’s final episode, is set to come out in October 2022, and audiences still haven’t had a date confirmed.
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 tenth 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
Let’s start with the big ones first. David Tennant is returning as the tenth Doctor, while Catherine Tate joins him as 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 two confirmed actors who are new to the Doctor Who cast are Yasmin Finney and Neil Patrick Harris. 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.
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.
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 14th incarnation of the titular Gallifreyan Timelord. He will be taking over from Jodie Whittaker and will be the star of Doctor Who season 14. So Gatwa is going to be involved in the 60th anniversary, right? Actually, as far as we know, it doesn’t seem like it.
We can’t be sure because so little is known about the Doctor Who 60th anniversary, but scheduling and filming dates make it look as if Gatwa’s introduction to Doctor Who will either come at the end of the Doctor Who 60th anniversary special or after.
This is because the actor is currently filming on Sex Education season 4, and will begin filming Doctor Who in November 2022. This means that he will start filming for Doctor Who after work has finished on the Doctor Who 60th anniversary special.
Of course, Gatwa could have already filmed his first scenes, and it is possible that he’s in the Doctor Who 60th anniversary – we just haven’t had any confirmation, and the scheduling dates make it seem unlikely.
So, if you’re getting excited to watch the Doctor Who 60th anniversary because you’re expecting to see Gatwa in the role, 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, which we are currently unable to answer is: is Whittaker’s 13th Doctor going to de-regenerate into David Tennant’s 10th Doctor?
Because Ncuti Gatwa doesn’t appear to be involved in the Doctor Who 60th anniversary, it seems like Whittaker’s Doctor could regress back into Tennant’s incarnation of the character. If this is the case, the Doctor Who 60th anniversary plot could focus on a re-regenerated 10th Doctor who enlists Donna to help him once again.
However, just because Tennant and Tate are in the Doctor Who 60th anniversary doesn’t mean that they are the versions of the characters that we know and love. Tennant could be playing a parallel universe Doctor, or The Master regenerated to look like Tennant’s Doctor. Due to the wibbly-wobbly nature of Doctor Who, the plot reasons for Tennant’s return are hard to speculate on.
We do 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.
So, could Whittaker regenerate into Tennant, who’ll regenerate into Gatwa? Would that make Gatwa the 14th Doctor, or the 15th? So many questions, and so few answers. For now.
Does the Doctor Who 60th anniversary have a trailer?
The Doctor Who 60th anniversary does not have a trailer yet, and with filming not finished on the specials, there won’t be one for a while yet.
However, we do have some indication of when a trailer for the specials might drop going off previous Doctor Who trailer timings. Specifically the trailer for the Centenary special dropped around half a year before the release date.
So, if we assume that the specials will begin airing in November 2023, then we can broadly expect a trailer for the Doctor Who 60th anniversary to be released around May or June 2023. This isn’t an exact science, though, and it could be much later.
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.