Movies & TV Shows

Every Tennant Set Photo & Reveal (So Far)

Production for the Doctor Who 60th anniversary is now in progress, revealing the return of David Tennant, Bernard Cribbins, and more. Excitement is building in the Doctor Who fandom. Later this year, Jodie Whittaker will depart as the Thirteenth Doctor in a special celebrating the BBC’s 100-year anniversary. This will also mark the end of current showrunner Chris Chibnall’s tenure, with Russell T. Davies – the mastermind behind the 2005 relaunch – returning.

Davies is, naturally, attempting to say as little as possible about his plans. In part that’s out of respect for Whittaker and Chibnall, as he wants as much attention as possible to remain focused upon the Centenary Special; but in part, it’s because he knows he has to start with a bang. Doctor Who is the world’s longest-running science-fiction TV show, and 2023 is the 60th anniversary, meaning expectations have never been higher. Production has now begun for the 60th anniversary, and set photos are beginning to give tantalizing hints about the story.

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Related: Doctor Who’s 14th Doctor Repeats Matt Smith’s Best Casting Trick

David Tennant and Catherine Tate are returning as part of the 60th anniversary celebrations, although it’s currently unknown whether it will be as part of a multi-Doctor special or a loose series of episodes building up to the introduction of 14th Doctor Ncuti Gatwa. Whatever the case may be, though, the set photos clearly show they won’t be the only characters from Davies’ first era making their return. Here’s everything revealed in the set photos to date.

David Tennant Has A Brand New Costume

The Doctor Who 60th anniversary set photos have confirmed David Tennant’s return, with the iconic actor strolling around the set in costume. Curiously, there have been some changes to the Tenth Doctor’s costume; although he’s wearing his characteristic brown pinstripe suit, he’s now covered it with a darker coat. The look is actually similar to one seen in the comics, where it was adopted by a twisted hallucinatory version of the Tenth Doctor projected inside the Matrix. Davies has always embraced the transmedia side of Doctor Who, so the reference may be intentional. This is leading to some speculation Tennant is portraying a mirror Doctor from another universe.


Catherine Tate’s Donna Noble Is Back As Well

David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor isn’t the only one who’s back, of course. Catherine Tate is back as Donna Noble, a surprising return given the end of her story. Donna absorbed the Doctor’s own knowledge, far too much for her human mind to comprehend, and the Doctor was forced to erase her memories. “If she remembers,” he warned her grandparents, “just for a second, she’ll burn up.” While it’s possible this story is set before the end of her adventures with the Doctor, during Doctor Who season 4, if it is in fact a continuation of her arc then the stakes have never been higher.

Bernard Cribbins’ Wilf Is Returning To Doctor Who

Catherine Tate’s Donna Noble is also being joined by her wider family. Bernard Cribbins – who played her grandfather Wilf – was shown being wheeled around in a wheelchair. One of the U.K.’s most popular actors, Cribbins won over Doctor Who viewers with an unforgettable portrayal. He was loved so dearly that Davies brought him back in David Tennant’s regeneration story, “The End of Time,” with the Doctor sacrificing himself to save Wilf’s life. The wheelchair doesn’t fit with Wilf’s season 4 story at all, raising the possibility this is indeed set in his present day – and therefore Donna’s as well. Meanwhile, Jacqueline King – who played Donna’s mother Sylvia – has also been seen on set.


Related: Doctor Who: How The First & Last Lines Of Each Doctor Explain Their Arcs

New Companion Rose May Be A Part Of The Noble Family

“The End of Time” confirmed Donna Noble married a man named Shaun Temple (played by Karl Collins, who’s reportedly also been seen on set). There have been rumors incoming Doctor Who companion Rose – played by Heartstopper star Yasmine Finney – is in fact Rose Temple-Noble, their daughter. Certainly Finney has been seen on set, and she’s seemed to be very close to members of the Noble family. If the character is indeed Donna’s daughter, the name-choice may reflect memories of Donna’s past slipping through.

The Doctor Seems To Have A New Sonic Screwdriver

Every incarnation of the Doctor has their own sonic screwdriver – Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor constructed her own from Sheffield steel, a major plot point in her debut story “The Woman Who Fell To Earth.” Surprisingly, set photos have shown David Tennant using a version of the sonic screwdriver that’s never been seen before. This raises a lot of questions about how the 60th anniversary special fits into the Doctor’s personal continuity.


The Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Uses Jodie Whittaker’s TARDIS

Curiously, the Doctor Who 60th anniversary set photos reveal the production is using Jodie Whittaker’s TARDIS model. This may well be for convenience’s sake – Patrick Troughton used a modern model of the TARDIS rather than a duplicate of his old one in “The Two Doctors.” But this is naturally leading to some speculation Jodie Whittaker will transform into David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor somehow, rather than going straight to Fourteenth Doctor Ncuti Gatwa.

The Extras’ Clothing May Hint At A Christmas Special

There’s increasing speculation Russell T. Davies is planning much more than a single Doctor Who 60th anniversary special; rather, some are suggesting there could be a number of specials releasing throughout the year. It’s interesting to note the extras in the David Tennant filming are all wearing winter clothing, perhaps hinting at a winter special. Current showrunner Chris Chibnall has preferred New Year’s Day Specials, but Christmas Specials were a tradition under Davies, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them return.


Related: How Tennant & Tate Can Stay In Doctor Who Beyond The 60th Anniversary

The Doctor Who Set Includes A Wonderful Easter Egg

Set decorations feature a wonderful Easter egg to “Rose,” the episode that launched the 2005 relaunch. That introduced companion Rose Tyler, played by Billie Piper, with the Doctor encountering her when he uncovered Autons at a department store called Henriks. It seems Henriks is back in business, with posters advertising the company.

Rachel Talalay Appears To Be Returning To Doctor Who For The 60th Anniversary

Finally, set photos have also appeared to confirm director Rachel Talalay is involved in the Russell T. Davies era. A tremendously experienced director, Talalay worked on some of the best episodes of former showrunner Steven Moffat’s Doctor Who run, including “Heaven Sent,” “Hell Bent,” and “Twice Upon A Time.” Talalay has taken to Twitter to insist she was only on set visiting friends, but her wording seemed carefully chosen to suggest that was only true on that day. She hasn’t denied being involved in the Doctor Who 60th anniversary special(s).

More: Doctor Who’s New Story Is Everything RTD’s Season 14 Needs To Be


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