Doctor Who Is Officially Bringing Back David Tennant, And He Won't Be Alone

David Tennant and Catherine Tate in Doctor Who on BBC America
(Image credit: BBC America)

When Doctor Who recently announced Ncuti Gatwa as the Fourteenth Doctor, it felt as though the madness that gripped the fandom was finally over. Fans could finally lay to rest some of the wild theories regarding previous Doctors appearing on the show... or so we thought. Just when it seemed like David Tennant wasn't returning as The Doctor, the show has announced that he is, and he's bringing the wonderful Catherine Tate along with him.

The Eleventh Doctor and Donna Noble are back in Doctor Who for the 60th anniversary of The BBC series, and both are currently filming. BBC News shared a tease from incoming showrunner Russell T. Davies about why the Tenth Doctor and Donna are back but, of course, he kept everything spoiler-free:

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.

Now would be a great time for anyone with an HBO Max subscription to binge the pair's greatest adventures and, if they do, they'll likely have one big question. One that likely refers to the fact that The Doctor had to erase Donna's memories of him and all of their adventures together in order to save her life and prevent her Doctor Donna alter-ego from resurfacing and destroying her mind. The duo may enter the story ahead of that event, or maybe The Doctor found a way to cure her? A statement from The BBC said the duo was "back together" following those events, but perhaps that was just a reference to the actors and not a hint that this all takes place after those events occurred for the characters. 

Another unknown at this time is whether or not David Tennant's hero and Donna Noble will team up with Ncuti Gatwa's incoming Fourteenth Doctor. When Tennant reprised his role during the 50th anniversary, he teamed with then-current Doctor Matt Smith, but there are no guarantees that the 60th anniversary will play out the same way. All I want to know is that if the rumors about Catherine Tate and Tennant returning are now true, does this mean the one about Hugh Grant playing a major role is as well? 

I’m sure there’s a crowd thrilled to see Catherine Tate back in Doctor Who though, when news first surfaced about David Tennant’s return, I’m sure many hoped Billie Piper was also around for the ride. For what it's worth, Piper hinted she was willing to reprise her role as Rose Tyler not long after The BBC announced Russell T. Davies was back on as showrunner. It certainly would be a treat to see Piper's Rose back with David Tennant’s Doctor as well but, considering that I never expected to see Tate back in the franchise, perhaps it's best just to be grateful for now. 

Of course, we'll just have to wait and see and what happens when Doctor Who's 60th-anniversary episode drops sometime in 2023.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

I like good television but also reality television. His day largely consists of balancing his workload between reporting on the latest and greatest news in Star Trek and other sci-fi, as well as 90 Day Fiancé, WWE, Big Brother, and more.