In the world of Doctor Who , anything is possible. People die and come back to life, doppelgängers exist across time, The Doctor regenerates, the list goes on. Not long after the historic announcement of Ncuti Gatwa being cast as the Fourteenth Doctor one of the biggest casting rumors was confirmed. David Tennant will return to Doctor Who, along with Catherine Tate, who played his trusty companion Donna Noble, and the showrunner has teased they might not be back in the roles we know them for.
Showrunner Russell T. Davies teased in an interview with Doctor Who Magazine (via Digital Spy) that Tennant’s and Tate’s return may not be what we expect, especially in a multiverse-filled zeitgeist these days, anything is possible.
At this point, the multiverse is old hat. A24’s hit Everything, Everywhere All at Once rocked the box office last spring. Marvel has released the movies Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, along with the Disney+ show Loki putting the concept of variants and alternate universes at the center of many future Marvel projects. So it wouldn’t be all that surprising if the new Doctor found himself exploring the complexities of the multiverse.
We’ve already seen something like this on the show with Jenna Coleman’s character Clara showed up in various time periods and planets as different versions of herself before becoming the Eleventh Doctor's companion. But, who knows. On the show’s 50th anniversary Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor had a run in with Tennant’s Tenth Doctor. It wasn’t a variant or a doppelgänger, it was simply the Tenth Doctor we already know and love.
Both Tennant and Tate have been spotted on the set of the show. Photos were published in The Scotsman of Tennant wearing a trench coat and Converse sneakers, a costume similar to what he wore during his tenure as The Doctor. But, as Davies teased, we may not be seeing him in the same way we know him. It's even been theorized that rather than playing the Tenth Doctor, Tennant is actually playing the Doctor who Jodie Whittaker's Thirteenth Doctor will regenerate into, and by the end of the 60th anniversary, he will regenerate into the Doctor Ncuti Gatwa is playing.
Even though we won’t know how the Tenth Doctor (or Tenth Doctor 2.0, perhaps) and Donna will be incorporated into the upcoming Doctor Who story, Davies, who revived the show back in 2005, did say he may have already revealed the answer.
So, we will probably just have to wait patiently for the TARDIS and its new Doctor to arrive whenever and wherever The Tenth Doctor and Donna (or beings who look suspiciously like them) are. Tennant has teased lots of fun surprises about the upcoming 60th anniversary, but we’ll have to wait a while to see what wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff the new Doctor, and some variation (maybe) of the Tenth Doctor, get up to.
Riley Utley is a Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. She spent many years working in local journalism across the country writing about art, news and sports. One of her favorite films is When Harry Met Sally and she walks around constantly quoting Ted Lasso.
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