Surprise: ‘Doctor Who’ Reveals 2 History-Making Leads for 2023

When Doctor Who returns in 2023, not one, but two actors will get keys to the TARDIS. Jodie Whittaker the first female Time Lord, officially regenerated after five years during Sunday night’s 90-minute episode, revealing that her immediate successor, who isn’t who fans had expected. Ncuti Gatwa, who was announced as the next lead in May, will not be the 14th Doctor—but the 15th. He’ll assume the role following the surprise return of David Tennant who first played the Time Lord on the long-running sci-fi series between 2005 and 2010.

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“What a lovely, lovely thing to get to revisit something that was such a wonderful, happy, significant time in my life,” Tennant told the BBC on Monday morning. “You move on from it with a whole mixture of emotions. And one of those is sadness and regret. So to be able to revisit that and to get another shot, it was a total joy from start to finish.”

Tennant, who also returned for the 50th-anniversary special a decade ago, will reprise his role alongside costar Catherine Tate for three special 60th-anniversary episodes to air in November 2023. heartstopper‘s Yasmin Finney has been cast as a character named Rose, although it’s unknown if she’s playing a version of Billie Piper‘s Rose Tyler, who was a confidante for Tennant’s Doctor, or an entirely new role. Neil Patrick Harris will also play an unspecified character in the specials.

Gatwa, best known for Netflix’s Sex Education, will then become the first Black lead in the show’s 60-year history during the festive period in 2023. “If you thought the appearance of David Tennant was a shock, we’ve got plenty more surprises on the way,” showrunner Russell T Davies said in a statement on Sunday. “The path to Ncuti’s Fifteenth Doctor is laden with mystery, horror, robots, puppets, danger and fun. And how is it connected to the return of the wonderful Donna Noble? How, what, why? We’re giving you a year to speculate, and then all hell lets loose.”

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