The BBC's Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials: Everything we know so far

By Rob FreemanFeatures correspondent
David Tennant regenerating as the Doctor in the latest season of Doctor Who
David Tennant

With Russell T Davies back as Doctor Who writer and showrunner, David Tennant and Catherine Tate return as The Doctor and companion Donna Noble for three hour-long specials. They are the centrepiece of the 60th anniversary celebrations for the legendary sci-fi series.

The specials begin streaming from 25 November, and will be available on Disney+ globally for fans outside of the UK. Here's what we know so far:

When are the new Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials streaming?


As part of the show's 60th anniversary, viewers globally will be able to stream three new hour-long special episodes of Doctor Who, and the BBC has confirmed the first episode will premiere on Disney+ on 25 November. The two other anniversary specials will be available on 2 December and 9 December, while a Christmas special will then air over the festive period.

Can I stream Doctor Who in the US?

Viewers outside of the UK can watch new episodes via Disney+; previous episodes are available via HBO Max.


Is there a trailer for the Doctor Who specials?

There sure is. Disney+ premiered a new trailer on their YouTube channel on 25 October, and you can watch it here:

Who is in the cast?

David Tennant, who left the show in 2010, returns as The Doctor, alongside Catherine Tate reprising her role as Donna Noble. Neil Patrick Harris (It's a Sin, Doogie Howser, MD) plays a mysterious character called the Toymaker, and newcomer Yasmin Finney (Heartstopper) stars as Rose Noble. Also recently announced are Miriam Margolyes as the voice of the Meep, Ruth Madeley as Shirley Anne Bingham, and returning characters Jacqueline King as Sylvia Noble, Karl Collins as Shaun Temple, and Jemma Redgrave as Kate Stewart.

Neil Patrick Harris joins the cast as the mysterious Toymaker (Credit: BBC)
Neil Patrick Harris joins the cast as the mysterious Toymaker (Credit: BBC)

What are the new episode titles?

In May 2023, the BBC announced that the episodes would be:


  • The Star Beast (airs 25 November)
  • Wild Blue Yonder (airs 2 December)
  • The Giggle (airs 9 December)


David Tennant recently told Empire magazine what to expect from the three episodes, revealing that he was: "surprised when I saw what that first script was based on, then I read the second script, which is unlike any Doctor Who episode ever. These new specials are Russell off the leash." 

Ncuti Gatwa is taking control of the Tardis later this year (Credit: BBC)
Ncuti Gatwa is taking control of the Tardis later this year (Credit: BBC)

Catch me up – what happened in the last episode? And why is Donna back?

We'll have to wait for the new episodes to find out exactly what's happening, but the short version is: at the end of the last episode, after saving the world from Daleks for the umpteenth time, the 13th (played by Jodie Whittaker) regenerated into the 14th Doctor (played by David Tennant – who also played the 10th Doctor). Confused? Luckily for you, we have a beginner's guide to Doctor Who to give you a bit of context.


As well as David Tennant's Doctor returning, Catherine Tate is back as Donna Noble. Donna was The Doctor's companion in season three of the Russell T Davies reboot, but due to a disastrous (and heartbreaking) series of events involving time beetles, reality bombs, and the end of the world (again), The Doctor was forced to wipe her memory. As it was understood, if Donna remembered anything about The Doctor, from then on her mind would overload and she would die – so it will be interesting to see what actually happens now they are reunited.


Who is the 15th Doctor?

Sex Education's Ncuti Gatwa takes over as the 15th Doctor with his first proper episode airing on Christmas Day, alongside Millie Gibson as companion Ruby Sunday and Indira Varma as a mysterious character called The Duchess.


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