The following contains spoilers from Sunday’s Power of the Doctor episode of ‘Doctor Who’.
Doctor Who fans knew that former Doc David Tennant was eventually set to return, but we didn’t know he’d be back so soon.
Sunday’s third and final special of the year titled The Power of the Doctor showcased Jodie Whittaker’s expected exit from the series, but as her Thirteenth Doctor regenerated at the end of the installment, it was none other than Tennant who (re)appeared as the Fourteenth Doctor.
In a new teaser for the series’ next three specials (which will help celebrate the show’s 60th anniversary when it returns in November 2023), we get our first footage of Ncuti Gatwa’s upcoming Doctor, with Tennant saying via voiceover, “I don’t know who I am anymore.” Also in the short clip is a brief sighting of Neil Patrick Harris, who will co-star as “the greatest enemy the Doctor has ever faced.”
“If you thought the appearance of David Tennant was a shock, we’ve got plenty more surprises on the way!” showrunner Russell T Davies said in a statement. “The path to Ncuti’s Fifteenth Doctor is laden with mystery, horror, robots, puppets, danger and fun! And how is it connected to the return of the wonderful Donna Noble? How, what, why? We’re giving you a year to speculate, and then all hell lets loose!”
As noted by Davies above (and previously announced in May), Catherine Tate, who portrayed Donna Noble during Tennant’s original run, will also be back.
Tennant portrayed the tenth Doctor for three seasons and nine specials between 2005-2010. When we last saw his iteration of the Doc, he and Donna (Tate) parted ways after he wiped her memory in order to save her life. He left her family with a warning: If ever she remembers anything about their travels together, she will die.
Tennant previously reprised the role in 2013 as part of the show’s 50th anniversary, teaming up with then-Doctor Matt Smith.