Doctor Who: David Tennant, Catherine Tate Confirmed Returning for 60th Anniversary Season

After rumors and vague denials, Doctor Who confirmed on Sunday that David Tennant is returning to the series for its 60th anniversary season, and he's bringing his fan-favorite companion Catherine Tate with him. Details are still scarce, but the two beloved series stars will appear in scenes supporting Ncuti Gatwa as the Fourteenth Doctor. Tennant and Tate previously appeared in Doctor Who under showrunner Russell T. Davies, returning to the show for its anniversary season in 2023. Davies says, "Maybe this is a missing story. Or a parallel world. Or a dream, or a trick or flashback. The only thing I can confirm is it's going to be spectacular, as two of our greatest stars reunite for the battle of a lifetime."

Tennant, Tate, and Davies each said goodbye to Doctor Who in the special titled "The End of Time," which featured the Tennant's Tenth Doctor's famous last words, "I don't want to go..." Tennant has since reprised his role as the Doctor for the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special "The Day of the Doctor" opposite Matt Smith's Eleventh Doctor. He's even reteamed with Catherine Tate as companion Donna Noble in seasons of Big Finish's Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor Adventures audio stories. But this is the first time that Tennant, Tate, and Davies will all reunite since they collectively passed the baton.

Previous rumors regarding Tennant's return suggested he might be taking over for one more season, celebrating the long-running show's 60th anniversary. Other reports said that he'd be one of several returning Doctor Who stars participating in what would be an anthology-like season of one-off specials looking back on the series' history. It seems likely that the scenes featuring the Tenth Doctor and Donna will occur between, or even during, episodes of Doctor Who's Fourth Season, when they paired initially, by their timelines. How they come to (presumably) cross paths with Gatwa's Fourteenth Doctor remains a mystery. 

But the 60th anniversary season of Doctor Who won't debut until 2023. This year, fans will still have to say goodbye to Jodie Whittaker's Thirteenth Doctor and current series showrunner Chris Chibnall in the upcoming Doctor Who BBC Centenary Special. The episode brings back two classic Doctor Who companions predating Tennant and Tate's time on the series. The episode debuts in the fall.