David Tennant and Catherine Tate returning to Doctor Who

David Tennant and Catherine Tate, two the most popular actors from the reboot of Doctor Who, are set to return to the BBC sci-fi series as part of the 60th anniversary celebrations, the BBC has announced.

In a statement released on Sunday evening, the broadcaster said “the pair had reunited and are filming scenes that are due to air in 2023”

Russell T Davies, incoming showrunner of the series said: “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.”

So, plenty of teases there!

David Tennant played the Tenth incarnation of the Doctor between 2005 and 2010 and Catherine Tate played one of his time travelling companions, Donna Noble. Their time playing opposite each other on the show in 2008 is one of the most successful periods for Doctor Who in the ratings in the rebooted era of the show, and the BBC will surely be hoping that they will bring fans in big numbers to the show again.

Tennant has returned to the show previously, appearing in the 2013 50th anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor, opposite Matt Smith as the current Doctor and a number of other popular characters from the past including Billie Piper‘s Rose Tyler.

This exciting news for Doctor Who fans comes just a week after the announcement that Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa will be taking over from Jodie Whittaker as the leading role of the Doctor in the series from 2023.

Russell T Davies has taken over helming the show from Chris Chibnall, the showrunner who has been in charge of Doctor Who since 2017. He is leaving the programme, along with Jodie Whittaker. There is one final episode of the Chibnall/ Wittaker era remaining in the shape of a 90-minute special in October to coincide with the centenary of the BBC. Although we’re expecting further details of that show soon, it is already known that former companions will be returning alongside several of the Doctor’s most persistent enemies.

Whittaker has been the Doctor in the lead role of the show since 2017 and has recently spoken about her incredibly positive experiences playing the iconic part.

There is no further detail at present as to how David Tennant and Catherine Tate will appear in the show, although the pair have perviously appeared together in a number of audio adventures produced by Big Finish.

It is understood Ncuti Gatwa, who has received messages of support from members of the Sex Education cast, former Doctor Who stars including Peter Capaldi, Matt Smith and Sylvester McCoy as well as former showrunners of the programme including Steven Moffat since his announcement, will be making his first major appearance as part of the 60th anniversary special.

Russell T Davies has said previously that he intended to reserve the majority of the big announcements about the rebooted reboot of the show until after Jodie Whittaker’s last episode. So we may be in for a lot more exciting news when October rolls around.