If you've been keeping track of what Russell T Davies has already shared about his return as showrunner then you know that there's a lot for Doctor Who fans to be excited about. First, it was announced that Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa would be coming aboard as the 14th Doctor. And then we learned that David Tennant (Tenth Doctor), Catherine Tate (Donna Noble), Yasmin Finney (Rose), and Neil Patrick Harris would be joining the cast for the upcoming 60th-anniversary special. In fact, there's been so much news about what's to come in 2023 that it would almost be easy to forget that current Doctor Jodie Whittaker and showrunner Chris Chibnall are wrapping up their respective Doctor Who runs with this fall's "Centenary Special." Thankfully, we have an update on that to pass along… from Davies.
Checking in with BBC One's The One Show, Davies was first asked about his plans for the long-running series but he wasn't willing to set himself up to be caught in a spoiler trap. In addition, Davies said he was hesitant to say anymore about what he has up his sleeves for fans out of respect for Whittaker and Chibnall's swan song. "I can't say [spoilers] honestly, because what is coming up in October this year is Jodie Whittaker's farewell, so I feel like I'm upstaging her slightly," he said (though is it already too late for that?). But Davies has seen Whittaker & Chinbnall's finale, and it looks like he likes what he's seen. "I just saw the finished version of that two days ago. It's a 90-minute epic, it's fantastic, [it] is gorgeous. Lots of surprises," Davies added. Here's a look at the clip from The One Show from earlier today teasing the fall special:
Speaking with Doctor Who Monthly last month (which you can subscribe to here), Davies offered some possibilities to explain Tennant & Tate's return, and then he followed that up with some clues regarding what monsters can be expected:
Davies Offers a List of Tennant/Tate Return Possibilities: "A mysteriously forgotten excursion for the TARDIS in between 'Planet of the Ood' and 'Sontaran Stratagem'? Or maybe a multiverse thing, they're all the rage these days. Maybe this is the Doctor and Donna from Universe 557, all set to collide with our own. Then again, maybe, just maybe, this return is so impossible that it's actually an intricate illusion created by an old enemy of the Doctor's. Or maybe an old enemy of Donna's. Nerys!"
Davies on Monsters & Set Leaks: "There might be information leaking beyond our control. For example, at the time of writing, we're six days away from a night shoot in Cardiff in which some monsters might be glimpsed. Monsters which might well be familiar to readers of DWM. Well, familiar, but new. Whatever that means. But there, maybe, for once, we can try to deny, deny, deny."
"There aren't quite the words to describe how I'm feeling. A mix of deeply honoured, beyond excited and of course a little bit scared. This role and show mean so much to so many around the world, including myself, and each one of my incredibly talented predecessors has handled that unique responsibility and privilege with the utmost care. I will endeavour my utmost to do the same. Russell T Davies is almost as iconic as the Doctor himself and being able to work with him is a dream come true," Gatwa said when the news of his casting as the 14th Doctor was first announced. "His writing is dynamic, exciting, incredibly intelligent and fizzing with danger. An actor's metaphorical playground. The entire team have been so welcoming and truly give their hearts to the show. And so as much as it's daunting, I'm aware I'm joining a really supportive family. Unlike the Doctor, I may only have one heart but I am giving it all to this show."
Davies added at the time, "The future is here and it's Ncuti! Sometimes talent walks through the door and it's so bright and bold and brilliant, I just stand back in awe and thank my lucky stars. Ncuti dazzled us, seized hold of the Doctor and owned those TARDIS keys in seconds. It's an honour to work with him, and a hoot, I can't wait to get started. I'm sure you're dying to know more, but we're rationing ourselves for now, with the wonderful Jodie's epic finale yet to come. But I promise you, 2023 will be spectacular!" BBC CCO Charlotte Moore, Chief Content Officer agreed, also adding at the time, "Ncuti has an incredible dynamism, he's a striking and fearless young actor whose talent and energy will set the world alight and take Doctor Who on extraordinary adventures under Russell T Davies' new era." Instead, it's far more likely that he's actually talking about little-known additions to the Doctor Who canon, Beep the Meep and the Wrarth Warriors.