Back in May, Doctor Who fans learned that David Tennant and Catherine Tate would be joining incoming/returning showrunner Russell T. Davies for the upcoming Doctor Who 60th-anniversary event. Since that time, we would learn that Yasmin Finney & Neil Patrick Harris had also joined the cast, with Rachel Talalay, Chanya Button & Tom Kingsley directing. Speaking with the BBC in support of his return to live theater in CP Taylor's play Good, Tennant offered some insight into how his & Tate's returns came about ("It all slightly happened a little bit by accident") and how the global COVID-19 pandemic played a major role.
Remember those "Doctor Who: Lockdown!" social media "watch-alongs" of old episodes that took place while everyone was locked down at home? "That's where this all started," Tennant explained. "At a certain time and day, everyone would press play on a certain episode, and some of the people who had been involved in those episodes were tweeting along," he continued, adding, "I don't tweet, but my wife helped me." From there, he, Tate, and Davies "were just having a text exchange, and Catherine said, 'wouldn't it be fun to do it again?' Russell said, 'We could do a one-off, maybe they'd let us.'" But as much as the trio liked the idea, nothing much would come from the exchange… at least for a little while. But when Davies was announced as returning to the long-running franchise, Tennant and Tate got the call. "Suddenly Russell let us know that he was taking over the show again, and he would be back fully in charge, and would we come and play a little bit for him?" said Tennant. "So I don't know if we gave him the idea to take 'Doctor Who' back but certainly we thought if he's doing it, we can't let these young people have all the fun."