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Doctor Who 60th Special Three: "The Giggle" Is No Laughing Matter: RTD

Russell T. Davies' ominous tease about Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Special Three: "The Giggle" has left us feeling more than a bit concerned.

The last time we checked in on how things were going with the BBC, Disney+ & Doctor Who showrunner Russell T. Davies's upcoming three-episode 60th-anniversary Doctor Who special event, we were getting a very tension-filled (and redacted) look at Catherine Tate's Donna Noble, David Tennant's Fourteenth Doctor, and more. But along with that look at "Special Two: Wild Blue Yonder," RTD dropped some choice emojis to tease us about what we can expect. But for this go-around, we have a look at "Special Three: The Giggle" – but RTD's clue has a much more ominous vibe to it…

doctor who
Image: BBC Screencaps

Following up on the post's caption ("Who's laughing at who, and why?"), RTD left the following ten-ton tease: "Oh you won't be laughing when…," along with a sad emoji with its eyes turned downward. Uh-oh… I mean, it is the third of three specials before the next generation of the show kicks in (welcome, Ncuti Gatwa & Millie Gibson!), so we're expecting some serious punches to our "feels." That said? RTD can always help us find a way to reach new levels of concern…

doctor who
Image: Screencap

Here's a look at the mini teaser that was posted over on the long-running series' main Instagram account – with RTD's ominous comment available to interpret to your heart's content right at the top:

Joining Tennant and Tate are Neil Patrick Harris in a big bad role (possibly The Toymaker/The Celestial Toymaker?) & Yasmin Finney as the interestingly-named Rose (Hmmm…). Also, Jacqueline King & Karl Collins are returning as Sylvia Noble & Shaun Temple, respectively, Ruth Madeley is set to appear as Shirley Anne Bingham, and Bernard Cribbins is set to posthumously appear, reprising his role as Wilfred Mott. In addition, fans of the comics can expect to see Beep the Meep and the Wrarth Warriors play a major part, and – as if all of that wasn't enough – Ncuti Gatwa is expected to debut as the Fifteenth Doctor. With all three episodes written by Davies, we learned the episode titles during this weekend's Eurovision 2023 broadcast: Special One: "The Star Beast" (directed by Rachel Talalay), Special Two: "Wild Blue Yonder" (directed by Tom Kingsley), and Special Three': "The Giggle" (directed by Chanya Button). Here's a look at the announcement video that was released to confirm the episode titles:

Button, Kingsley & Talalay on Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Episodes

Directors Button, Kingsley & Talalay shared their reactions to first reading Davies's scripts with Doctor Who Magazine. "Each special has a really different flavour. It feels like Russell [T. Davies] flexing his muscles and showing all the different things 'Doctor Who' can do," Kingsley shared – a sentiment shared by all three directors. Here's a look at some of the highlights:

Kingsley Discusses "Absolute Nightmare" Episode, Teases "Aliens" & "The Thing" Comparison: "I opened mine and just tore through it. Even as a reading experience, it was so exciting. But I kind of got to the end of it and thought, 'Well, I pity whoever has to direct that cos it's an absolute nightmare!' I was planning to email my agent the next day and say, "It's amazing, but… no way." But when I woke up the next morning, I was still thinking about it, and I started to figure out: 'Well, how could you actually do this?' Because a lot of my episode is quite weird. Even at the readthrough, Rachel, your episode went down so well, and I was really jealous of you getting to direct it. Because there are so many complicated stage directions in mine, the reaction in the room was a bit like, 'Um, sorry, what?' Which made me think it was going to be a disaster. But of course, when you come to film it, it's actually really cool. It's got a lot of similarities with two of my favourite films, 'Aliens' and 'The Thing.' It's a little bit of the DNA of those mixed in with 'Doctor Who.'"

Talalay Read All Three & Outlines Some Key Differences Between Them: "I read all three, and my first reaction was, 'Wow!' The first one is classic family 'Who.' It's bringing back that world that Russell left [in 2010] with David and Catherine. And then after that, it becomes much more expansive, with Russell really throwing his massive imagination at it while also being thoughtful about setting up the next series.

Talalay's Episode Allowed Director a Chance to Embrace "The Stuff That Scares You": "My episode features lots of people in lots of scenes. There's soldiers, there's battles, and I thought, 'I haven't always succeeded in doing the action stuff, with loads of extras, that well in the past. This is really scary for me.' So I was determined to do that part really, really well. It's all about embracing the stuff that scares you."

Button's Episode "Was Just the Most Expansive Thing" That the Director Has Ever Read: "It was just the most expansive thing I've ever read. Every page I turned, it was a different world and a different idea and a different sort of bonkers and inspiring adventure. It was just the ultimate luxury to read it and go, 'This is a writer at the very peak of his abilities, completely unbound and confident in what he's putting on the page.' Which, as a director, is really empowering. It's challenging, in the most positive way possible, for someone to go: 'Here's a big idea; let's see how you do it.'"

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Ray FlookAbout Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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