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Doctor Who: BBC "Network Error" Brings New 60th-Anniversary Teaser

A BBC "network error" earlier today quickly became an interesting mini teaser for the BBC's Doctor Who 60th-anniversary special event.

With everything that's been going on lately in regards to new Doctor Ncuti Gatwa and new companion Millie Gibson (Ruby Sunday) currently filming the next series of adventures, we've been a bit lacking when it comes to covering what showrunner Russell T. Davies has in store for the 60th anniversary of the BBC & Disney+'s Doctor Who. But with the three Chanya Button, Tom Kingsley & Rachel Talalay-directed episodes set to hit this November, the BBC has gotten our attention in the form of a new (and unexpected) mini teaser featuring David Tennant's Fourteenth and Catherine Tate's Donna Noble. Set up to be a "transmission break" on the BBC, the clip has some interesting on-screen text to decipher as well as some interesting audio (with Donna asking, "Why did this face come back?" when played backwards).

doctor who
Image: BBC Screencaps

Here's a look at a clip of the preview that hit BBC screens earlier today, courtesy of Tardis Central & Doctor WhoTube:

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

The trio shared their reactions to first reading Davies's scripts. "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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