New Who… Old Who? Tennant and Tate are back…

He didn't want to go... now he's back. David Tennant will be back as the Doctor... but how?

What…. what…. what?

Less than a week after the new Doctor Who was confirmed as Ncuti Gatwa, returning showrunner Russell T Davies has just confirmed an old Doctor. There have been rumours for several weeks that both David Tennant and Catherine Tate (who played the Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble respectively) might be part of upcoming plans for the show. At one point some fans even speculated that the regenerating Jodie Whittaker might ‘degenerate’ into a previous incarnation.

Though we don’t know the how and whys of the Who apperances, we do know that Tennant and Tate will be back in some form for scenes to be shown in 2023. The timing of the announcement is likely driven by the new filming about to begin and the fear of leaks.

“They’re back!” Davies confirmed in an official statement: “And it looks impossible – first, we announce a new Doctor, and then an old Doctor, along with the wonderful Donna, what on earth is happening?  Maybe this is a missing story. Or a parallel world. Or a dream, or a trick, or a flashback. The only thing I can confirm is that it’s going to be spectacular, as two of our greatest stars reunite for the battle of a lifetime.”

The last time they were on screen together in the show, the Tenth Doctor had had to erase all of Donna’s memories of travelling with him, a painful experience for both of them. However in the dying moments of his regeneration, he ensured that Donna had a happy – if more simple and unremarkable time – by having a winning lottery ticket and a settled, domestic married life, oblivious to the important role she’d played… and knowing if she ever remembered, it would literally kill her.

Both Tennant and Tate had denied their involvement in recent weeks, though the wording of the denials still gave some hope. How that now plays out… only time (and space) will tell. Roll on 2023…