Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Specials: Everything we know so far

An image of David Tennant as the fourteenth Doctor as featured in the Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials.BBC / Doctor Who

The 60th anniversary of Doctor Who will be celebrated through a number of special episodes later this year. Here’s everything we know about the beloved series’ anniversary specials so far, including trailers and confirmed cast members.

Doctor Who will continue its reign as the longest-running Sci-Fi show ever by celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2023.

The celebrations will be headlined by three special hour-long episodes written by returning showrunner Russell T. Davies (who will remain at the helm for Season 14 and beyond). Fan favorites David Tennant and Catherine Tate will also reprise their roles as The Doctor and Donna Noble.

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Here’s all the information we have about the specials so far, including official trailers and confirmed cast members.


An official promotional image of David Tennant as The Doctor from the Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials.BBC / Doctor Who
David Tennant will reprise his role as The Doctor for the show’s 60th anniversary.

Is there a release date for the Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials?

There are currently no confirmed release dates for the 60th anniversary specials, however, we do know that they will all air in November 2023.

As soon as official dates are revealed for each episode we’ll make sure to update this page.

Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials trailers

On September 23, 2023, BBC provided a two-minute trailer featuring footage of Neil Patrick Harris playing the Celestial Toymaker villain. The video also featured Jemma Redgrave reprising her role as Kate Lethbridge-Stewart.

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You can watch the trailer below:

On May 13, 2023, a brand new trailer for the 60th anniversary was broadcast live on BBC1 and shared across Doctor Who’s social channels. The 35-second clip featured some new footage from the specials and also revealed the titles of the upcoming episodes:

  • The Star Beast
  • Wild Blue Yonder
  • The Giggle

While The Star Beast is a clear reference to ‘Doctor Who and the Star Beast’, a comic story that featured the first appearance of Beep the Meep – a creature who will play a big role in the specials – the other titles remain a mystery but there’s no doubt fans will be theorizing about them in the months to come.

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You can check out the trailer below:

Doctor Who’s Season 13 finale, ‘The Power of the Doctor’ confirmed David Tennant’s return in its final scene and was immediately followed by a short 2023 teaser.

On December 25, 2022, an extended version of the teaser was released on YouTube that offered a brief glimpse at new and returning characters including the Fourteenth Doctor, Donna, and Ncuti Gatwa‘s Fifteenth Doctor.

You can check out the full teaser below:

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Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials cast

The following cast members have been confirmed to appear in the Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials:

  • David Tennant as The Fourteenth Doctor
  • Catherine Tate as Donna Temple-Noble
  • Bernard Cribbins as Wilfred Mott
  • Yasmin Finney as Rose Temple-Noble
  • Jacqueline King as Sylvia Noble
  • Karl Collins as Shaun Temple
  • Ruth Madeley as Shirley Anne Bingham
  • Neil Patrick Harris as the Celestial Toy Maker
  • Miriam Margolyes as Beep the Meep
  • Ncuti Gatwa as The Fifteenth Doctor
  • Ronak Patani as Major Singh
  • Jemma Redgrave as Kate Lethbridge-Stewart

Doctor Who 60th anniversary plot details

Plot details for the special episodes are understandably being kept tightly under wraps but we do know that it will feature the reunion of The Doctor and Donna and that Ncuti Gatwa’s Fifteenth Doctor will be involved in some capacity before taking over for Season 14.

One small detail the teaser did reveal was the first on-screen appearance of Beep the Meep – a beloved alien character who debuted in the Doctor Who comics during the 1980s. This adorable creature isn’t quite as cuddly as it looks, however – according to official comic lore Beep is a world conquerer who leads the fearsome Meep Armada.

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An image of Beep the Meep, a creature who will be in the Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials.BBC / Doctor Who
Beep the Meep is an adorable but dangerous creature.

In the latest issue 589 of Doctor Who Magazine it was confirmed that another classic monster will feature in the specials. Insectoid police force, the Wrath Warriors, who originally appeared alongside Beep in the 1980s Doctor Who comic story ‘Doctor Who and the Star Beast’ will play a role in the upcoming episodes.

When asked about the monsters, anniversary episode director Rachel Talalay told the magazine that they were “these eight-foot-tall monsters on stilts, in massive plastic suits, who couldn’t see a thing and could barely stand up… so a classic Doctor Who situation.”

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She also commented on just how excited David Tennant was to see the classic creatures on set, stating “When David comes along and says he wants a photograph with them. And he says, ‘That smell – that slightly rubbery smell is exactly everything I remember!’ And I just thought, ‘It’s amazing that this is my job.”

An image of David Tennant in Doctor Who.BBC / Doctor Who
According to the 60th specials directors, The Doctor will have a new TARDIS design in the anniversary episodes.

Another aspect of the specials that has been discussed is the brand new TARDIS set, which all three directors of the upcoming episodes talked about in issue 589 of Doctor Who Magazine.

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Chanya Button commented on the scale of the set, saying “Oh my gosh, it’s enormous. I mean, it’s absolutely beautiful. It’s sort of church-like in scale, and yet it’s also this intimate space that takes you from one place to another – to even larger, wider worlds.”

Tom Kingsley remarked on the attention to detail in the newest version of The Doctor’s trusty blue box assuring that “So much detail and love and thought has gone into it. You can point the camera anywhere at it and it looks amazing.”

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Finally, Rachel Talalay spoke about just how long it took to build the set, saying: “I was around for the four months watching it being built. My DP [director of photography] and I were having all these conversations about how to light the wall roundels, and things like that, but I just kept thinking, ‘It will never be ready in time…’ So the fact that, in the last couple of days of my contract, we finally got on there, was amazing.”

60th anniversary soundtrack

On April 24, 2023, it was announced that composer Murray Gold will be returning to Doctor Who alongside the National Orchestra of Wales for the three 60-anniversary episodes, as well as soundtracking Ncuti Gatwa’s time in the TARDIS for Season 14.

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Gold originally began working on Doctor Who during the 2004 revival and stayed with the series for over twelve years, soundtracking the entire runs of Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith, and Peter Capaldi’s Doctors before departing in 2017.

During his initial stint as Doctor Who’s composer, Gold was responsible for revitalizing the classic theme song, as well as crafting many iconic character themes and scores, with songs including ‘I Am The Doctor’, ‘Doomsday’, and ‘Rose’s Theme’ becoming firm fan favorites.

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On returning to Doctor Who, Gold has stated “I’m so happy to be invited back for another joyful ride in the TARDIS. I didn’t think twice. Working with Russell and his team is just a pleasure.”

That’s everything we know about Doctor Who’s 60th anniversary specials so far! For more TV content, check our upcoming hubs below:

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