Tag You’re It: A response to the “Doctor Who” special, “The Power of the Doctor.”

By: Jennie Brouse

Waltonian | The Waltonian Source: HBO Max

On Sunday, Oct. 23, BBC aired what will soon be known as one of the most iconic and impactful scenes in “Doctor Who” history. The event came in the form of a special entitled “The Power of the Doctor.”

They reintroduced a former actor to reprise his role as the Doctor, for the first time ever. Actor David Tennant will be reprising his role as the Doctor for a three-episode special that will air in November 2023. The specials are to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the “Doctor Who” franchise.

The change comes as actress Jodie Whitaker leaves the show, ending her four-year run. These changes are not uncommon, as “Doctor Who” is known for switching up the cast list every few years, resulting in several reiterations of the same character through different actors and actresses. 

Fans were shocked to see Tennant’s return to the “Doctor Who” franchise, as many were expecting the regeneration of the character to be portrayed by Ncuti Gatwa, who had been confirmed to take over the role. 

“I had missed a lot of Jodie’s episodes, but I wanted to catch her last one,” said junior, Brian Lines. “I was excited for the introduction to Ncuti Gatwa in this episode, and I was shocked when it wasn’t him when the Doctor regenerated.”

The three-episode special will also include Catherine Tate, who was known as Tennant’s companion Donna, in the series a few years back, although the driving force behind her return has yet to be revealed.

Donna is not the only companion who has been revived in the show recently. “The Power of the Doctor” special featured appearances by several former companions as well as a few flashbacks to former Doctors, just not as regenerations such as Tennant’s role in the episode.

“I knew that he had been set to make an appearance, but by the end of the episode I had forgotten. Then he was just there, and my jaw dropped,” said Lines, who was not alone amongst fans that were surprised about the nature of Tennant’s return to the show. “David Tennant hung up the Doctor role in 2010. While he had made an appearance in the ‘Day of the Doctor’ 50th-anniversary special, I was certain he was done with the show,” Lines remarked. 

Due to the unusual nature of the switch, Tennant will hold the title of being both the 10th Doctor as well as the 14th. His wife, Georgia Tennant paid tribute to this fact in an Instagram post that reads “Daughter of 5. Girlfriend of 10. Wife of 14. #powerofthedoctor.” The caption refers to her husband as well as her father, with her father, Peter Davison portraying the fifth version of the character. The “girlfriend of 10” refers to her time dating Tennant while he previously portrayed the character and the wife references his current stint as the character. 

“While I was genuinely surprised at the return of Tennant, I think it is exactly what the show needed to do. The writing for “Doctor Who” has been lacking for most, if not all of Jodie Whittaker’s era… bringing back an old face, even just for a little bit, will make all the difference.” said Lines.

In even more breaking news, Disney+ also recently announced that “Doctor Who” will be added to their platform at some point in 2023. This arrangement breaks ties that “Doctor Who” had with ABC, who broadcasted the program for free in Australia. The news broke shortly after “The Power of the Doctor” episode aired. 

Sources: CNN, The Guardian, EW.com, CBR, ScreenRant

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