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Doctor Who: All the things we noticed in the new 60th Anniversary Special trailer

David Tennant and Donna Noble reprise their roles as the Doctor and Donna, along with Neil Patrick Harris, in the special that airs in November

Chandreyee Chatterjee Calcutta Published 25.09.23, 04:16 PM
David Tennant as Doctor Who.

David Tennant as Doctor Who. YouTube

If your favourite Doctor Who era was the David Tennant one, if your favourite Doctor Who companion was Catherine Tate’s Donna Noble, then the three-episode 60th anniversary special coming this November will be a treat. We’ve already glimpsed a bit of what is in store for us in a previous trailer and other set photos, but we get some more footage in the brand-new trailer that dropped on Sunday.

With Russel T. Davies at the helm, aliens running amok, Earth being invaded and old enemies in new avatars, the specials promise to recreate peak Doctor Who. Here are some of the most significant things we’ve seen in the new trailer:


UNIT is back and has a new headquarter

Gone are the underground premises and offices in nondescript buildings, the UNIT is back with a bang and is now housed in a new-age building (complete with a helipad) that looks a lot like the Stark Towers from The Avengers. Kate Lethbridge-Stewart (Jemma Redgrave) is also back as the UNIT chief and the Fourteenth Doctor greets her like an old friend.

The Doctor and Donna meet

We’ve seen the footage of the TARDIS appearing in the London alleyway before and then we see what is perhaps the first meeting of Tennant’s Doctor and Donna, who is carrying a lot of boxes. The Doctor recognises Donna but Donna doesn’t seem to recognise the Doctor. There is more footage of the Doctor and Donna in this trailer than any of the ones before.

Ruth Madeley is Shirley Anne Bingham

Ruth Madeley is supposed to play an important role in the Doctor Who specials, and maybe even going forward. Here we see the Doctor talking to her about Donna and how he had to wipe her memories to save her life, and how if she remembers she will die. From footage seen later, it seems like Shirley will be a part of UNIT.

Destiny is converging on Donna Noble

It seems like Donna is central to everything that is happening in the three-episode special. As the Doctor says, ‘If I believed in destiny, it is converging on Donna Noble’. From the spaceship that the Doctor and Rose Noble watch crashing “on her doorstep” to Beep the Meep hiding in her shed, to the Wrath soldiers heading to the Noble household, keeping Donna from remembering might be difficult. In one scene the Doctor tells Donna that he might not be able to save her life this time, and knowing Donna she would probably be like, ‘oh get on with it’.

Neil Patrick Harris is the Celestial Toymaker

We’ve seen some of the scenes before but it has been finally confirmed by the BBC that Harris is indeed playing the Celestial Toymaker who was last seen in 1966. We believe the Doctor doesn’t realise that it is the Toymaker when he says ‘something old is coming back’, till he and Donna are in his shop and we see Harris playing the set like a marionette as the walls collapse around the Doctor and Donna.

The TARDIS ran away

In one scene we see the Doctor and Donna standing in front of a wall where the TARDIS had crashed and Donna says ‘there is something so bad the TARDIS ran away’ to which the Doctor says ‘yes’. There is something seriously wrong if the TARDIS really ran away instead of protecting its oldest friend. We love how Donna responds to the Doctor saying, ‘well, let’s go and kick its arse’. That’s the Donna we know and adore!

The TARDIS being airlifted, again

We’ve seen the TARDIS being airlifted, with the Doctor in it, and transported across London by Kate Stewart in the 50th Anniversary Special. In a scene reminiscent of that, we see the Doctor and the TARDIS being transported to the UNIT headquarters in helicopters in this new trailer. There must be something wrong if the Doctor couldn’t just pop into the headquarters with the TARDIS by himself.

‘Why does it have to be this?’

We see the Doctor in anguish crying out ‘why does it have to be this?’ and he almost breaks down in the scene after. It seems like the Doctor loses someone important — is it Donna, is it Rose Noble (we can’t get the Toymaker throwing rose petals out of our head)?

The Fifteenth Doctor

The trailer ends with a shot of Ncuti Gatwa as the Fifteenth Doctor. Now we have seen him in trailers before but the point to note here is that he doesn’t seem to be in his regeneration clothes. We think this could very well be a shot of him in his series outfit. Well, we can’t wait to find out.

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