Doctor Who
2023 specials
Starring
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Release
Original networkBBC One
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The 2023 specials of the British science-fiction television programme Doctor Who are a series of special episodes that will air to celebrate the programme's 60th anniversary. The episodes were written by Russell T Davies and will be broadcast on BBC One in November 2023 in the United Kingdom and Ireland and on Disney+ internationally. David Tennant and Catherine Tate are both returning to the series, as the Fourteenth Doctor and Donna Noble, respectively, as part of the 60th anniversary.

The three specials were directed by Rachel Talalay, Tom Kingsley, and Chanya Button, respectively. Filming moved from Roath Lock Studios to Wolf Studios once Bad Wolf became a coproducer of the series; filming commenced in May 2022 and was completed by July.

Episodes

See also: List of Doctor Who episodes (2005–present)

No.
story
No. in
specials
TitleDirected by [2]Written by [3]Original air date [4]UK viewers
(millions)
AI
TBA1TBARachel TalalayRussell T DaviesNovember 2023 (2023-11)TBDTBA
TBA2TBATom KingsleyRussell T DaviesNovember 2023 (2023-11)TBDTBA
TBA3TBAChanya ButtonRussell T DaviesNovember 2023 (2023-11)TBDTBA

Casting

See also: List of Doctor Who cast members

Tate and Tennant, who will appear as Donna Noble and the Fourteenth Doctor as part of the show's 60th anniversary
Tate and Tennant, who will appear as Donna Noble and the Fourteenth Doctor as part of the show's 60th anniversary

David Tennant and Catherine Tate will return to the series as the Fourteenth Doctor[5] and Donna Noble, respectively, as part of the 60th anniversary.[6] Ncuti Gatwa will appear as the incoming Fifteenth Doctor.[7]

On 13 June 2022, Davies announced that Neil Patrick Harris would be joining the cast, playing an undisclosed role, in a villainous capacity.[8] On 25 December 2022, it was announced that Jacqueline King and Karl Collins are also set to return as Sylvia Noble and Shaun Temple, respectively and that Ruth Madeley would appear as Shirley Anne Bingham.[9][10] Yasmin Finney joined the cast for the anniversary, to portray a character named Rose.[11] Bernard Cribbins is set to posthumously appear as Wilfred Mott.[12]

Production

Development

On 29 July 2021, the BBC announced that Chris Chibnall, who served as executive producer and showrunner of the series since 2018, would depart the series after a run of specials in 2022, alongside Thirteenth Doctor star Jodie Whittaker.[13][14] In the BBC press release, Chibnall is quoted as saying: "I wish our successors - whoever the BBC and BBC Studios choose - as much fun as we've had. They're in for a treat!"[14] The future of the programme was first teased by Piers Wenger on 25 August 2021, when he said an upcoming change for Doctor Who would be "radical".[15]

On 24 September 2021, the BBC announced Russell T Davies would return to Doctor Who as showrunner, after having previously acted as showrunner from 2005–2010 for the Ninth and Tenth Doctors. He will succeed Chibnall for the show's 60th anniversary in 2023 and beyond.[16] Davies will be joined by the Bad Wolf production company, which was founded by former Doctor Who executive producer Julie Gardner and former BBC head of drama Jane Tranter.[17] In October 2021, it was announced that Sony would acquire a majority of Bad Wolf.[18][19] Bad Wolf also took over creative control of Doctor Who beginning with the specials, allowing the BBC to focus on establishing Doctor Who as a global brand.[20]

Phil Collinson returned to the show as executive producer, having previously produced episodes from 2005–2008.[21][22] Davies confirmed by March 2022 that production had begun at Bad Wolf Studios in Cardiff.[23] William Oswald is also editing for the new series, having last edited for Doctor Who in "Twice Upon a Time" (2017).[24] Tranter and Gardner will also act as executive producers alongside newcomer Joel Collins.[22]

Writing

In December 2021, Davies confirmed that he had already written some episodes for the anniversary and succeeding fourteenth series.[25] Scott Handcock will act as script editor for the series, having previously worked on Doctor Who Confidential, The Sarah Jane Adventures, and most notably written, produced, directed and acted in numerous Doctor Who audio dramas for Big Finish Productions.[26][22] The episodes are set to include the characters Beep the Meep and the Wrarth Warriors.[27]

Filming

Filming for the programme is set to mark a change in the studio location, with the new studio, Wolf Studios, taking over from Roath Lock Studios as the company for in-house filming, where the programme has filmed since 2012.[28] This change came about as Bad Wolf was set to co-produce along with the BBC going forward.[17] Bad Wolf further filed for a new subsidiary company, also run by Gardner and Tranter, called "Whoniverse1 LTD".[29]

Filming for the specials commenced in May 2022 in the London Borough of Camden,[30] and concluded that July.[31] Rachel Talalay returned to direct the first special;[32] Tom Kingsley directed the second,[31] and Chanya Button directed the third.[33] Vicki Dellow and Chris May will produce the specials with Ellen Marsh co-producing.[22] Cribbins had completed filming shortly before his death in July 2022.[34]

Production blocks were arranged as follows:[2]

Block Episodes Directors Writer Producers
X TBA Rachel Talalay Russell T Davies Vicki Delow and Chris May[22]
TBA Tom Kingsley
TBA Chanya Button

Music

On 20 July 2022, Segun Akinola, who had served as composer since 2018, confirmed that he would not return for the 60th anniversary specials.[35]

Release

Three specials are set to be aired in November 2023, marking Doctor Who's 60th anniversary.[4][36] In October 2022, the BBC and Disney Branded Television announced that the specials would be the first Doctor Who episodes to be released internationally on Disney+; it will continue to be aired on BBC One in the United Kingdom.[37]

References

  1. ^ Parkel, Inga (25 October 2022). "Doctor Who reveals new 'remastered' logo and fans are divided on its appeal: 'Very old school'". The Independent. Retrieved 7 November 2022.
  2. ^ a b Marcus (11 November 2022). "Production Team Confirmed". Doctor Who News. Retrieved 11 November 2022.
  3. ^ Hattenstone, Simon (22 December 2021). "Russell T Davies: 'I genuinely thought – who wants to watch a show about Aids?'". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 December 2021.
  4. ^ a b "Doctor Who: Here they come..." BBC. 23 October 2022. Retrieved 23 October 2022.
  5. ^ "Doctor Who: Here they come". Doctor Who. Retrieved 23 October 2022.
  6. ^ "David Tennant and Catherine Tate return to Doctor Who". Doctor Who. Retrieved 15 May 2022.
  7. ^ Cremona, Patrick (11 November 2022). "Doctor Who runtime for 60th anniversary specials revealed". Radio Times. Retrieved 11 November 2022.
  8. ^ "Neil Patrick Harris joins Doctor Who". Doctor Who. 13 June 2022. Retrieved 13 June 2022.
  9. ^ "60th filming reveals who Yasmin Finney's Rose is". Doctor Who TV. 17 May 2022. Retrieved 17 May 2022.
  10. ^ "Doctor Who 60th anniversary trailer - Merry Christmas and a very Happy Who Year". www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 25 December 2022.
  11. ^ "Heartstopper's Yasmin Finney Joins 60th Cast as "Rose"". Doctor Who TV. 16 May 2022. Retrieved 16 May 2022.
  12. ^ "Bernard Cribbins Returning as Wilfred Mott for 60th". Doctor Who TV. 16 May 2022. Retrieved 16 May 2022.
  13. ^ Kanter, Jane (29 July 2021). "'Doctor Who': Jodie Whittaker & Showrunner Chris Chibnall Are Leaving Iconic Sci-Fi Series, BBC Confirms". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 29 July 2021.
  14. ^ a b "Jodie Whittaker and Chris Chibnall to leave Doctor Who in a trio of Specials in 2022". Doctor Who. Retrieved 29 July 2021.
  15. ^ Holmes, Martin (26 August 2021). "BBC Boss Promises 'Radical' Change for 'Doctor Who' After Jodie Whittaker Exits". TVInsider. Retrieved 12 December 2021.
  16. ^ Fullerton, Huw (24 September 2021). "Russell T Davies to return as Doctor Who showrunner". Radio Times. Retrieved 24 September 2021.
  17. ^ a b "Doctor Who: Russell T Davies returns as programme showrunner". BBC News. 24 September 2021. Retrieved 24 September 2021.
  18. ^ Morris, Lauren (11 October 2021). "Doctor Who producer Bad Wolf 'to be acquired by Sony'". Radio Times. Retrieved 23 October 2021.
  19. ^ Laford, Andrea (1 December 2021). "Sony have acquired future 'Doctor Who' producer Bad Wolf". CultBox. Retrieved 2 December 2021.
  20. ^ Craig, David (2 November 2021). "Doctor Who will "radically build" on success as Bad Wolf assumes 'creative control'". Radio Times. Retrieved 23 December 2021.
  21. ^ "Phil Collinson". Independent Talent. Retrieved 20 January 2022.
  22. ^ a b c d e TVZone (9 November 2022). "DOCTOR WHO: SERIES 14 UPDATES AND PRODUCTION TEAM CONFIRMED". TVZoneUK. Retrieved 10 November 2022.
  23. ^ Sarrubba, Stefania (3 March 2022). "Doctor Who's Russell T Davies teases return as season 14 production begins". Digital Spy. Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  24. ^ "Jenny Carney Associates". Jenny Carney Associates. Retrieved 22 July 2022.
  25. ^ Wright, Minnie (22 December 2021). "Russell T Davies has already written new Doctor Who episodes ahead of November 2023". Radio Times. Retrieved 23 December 2021.
  26. ^ "Scott Handcock joins Bad Wolf". www.bigfinish.com. 9 November 2022. Retrieved 10 November 2022.
  27. ^ Whitbrook, James. "Doctor Who's 60th Anniversary Monsters Have a Deep Cut History". Gizmodo. Retrieved 27 December 2022.
  28. ^ Laford, Andrea (10 November 2021). "Doctor Who to move its filming base from Roath Lock Studios to Wolf Studios". CultBox. Retrieved 12 December 2021.
  29. ^ Jasper, Matthew (27 November 2021). "New Doctor Who Production Company Name Hints at Shared Universe & Spinoffs". Screen Rant. Retrieved 27 October 2022.
  30. ^ Morris, Lauren (17 May 2022). "Doctor Who's Bernard Cribbins looks set for return as he's seen filming". Radio Times. Retrieved 17 May 2022.
  31. ^ a b Laford, Andrea (6 September 2022). "Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials: third director discovered". CultBox. Retrieved 6 September 2022.
  32. ^ Busch, Jenna (17 May 2022). "Director Rachel Talalay Confirms Doctor Who Return For 60th Anniversary". Slash Film. Retrieved 18 May 2022.
  33. ^ Laford, Andrea (6 July 2022). "Russell T Davies praises Doctor Who BBC centenary special". Cultbox. Retrieved 7 July 2022.
  34. ^ Harp, Justin (19 August 2022). "Doctor Who's Russell T Davies shares touching tribute to Bernard Cribbins". Digital Spy. Retrieved 30 August 2022.
  35. ^ Langford, Andrea (20 July 2022). "Composer Segun Akinola reveals special for BBC centenary is his last Doctor Who job". CultBox. Retrieved 20 July 2022.
  36. ^ Ritman, Alex (12 August 2022). "Ncuti Gatwa to Start Filming First 'Doctor Who' Season This November (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 13 August 2022.
  37. ^ Hayes, Dade (25 October 2022). "'Doctor Who' Moves To Disney+ Outside UK And Ireland Via BBC-Disney Branded Television Partnership". Deadline. Archived from the original on 25 October 2022. Retrieved 26 October 2022.