Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Classic Character Returning?
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Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Classic Character Returning?

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BY October 4, 2022
Filming recently began for the Doctor Who 60th Anniversary special in Bristol. The episode Russell T. Davies wrote will celebrate 60 years since BBC first broadcasted the sci-fi show in 1963. Fans of the show visited the filming set and spotted some interesting things. Possible spoilers ahead for this special!

Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Cast

Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Image: BBC

Currently, we already know that David Tennant and Catherine Tate are returning to the show. In the Doctor Who 60th Anniversary, it’s clear that Catherine Tate will be playing Donna Noble. The last time we saw Donna was during The End of Time. The Doctor had to wipe her memory to stop her from dying. So, Donna’s return has already raised lots of questions. There are plenty of rumours about how she might return to the series, including that the BBC might set the episode during Series 4.

Similarly, it’s not clear how David Tennant is returning. We last saw him during The Day of the Doctor, a multi-Doctor special that celebrated the 50th anniversary. However, his last full-time role was during The End of Time Part 2, his regeneration episode. From set photos, it appears that David has a different costume for the Doctor Who 60th Anniversary. Instead of his usual brown pinstriped suit, he’s wearing a blue chequered outfit.

Alongside these returning faces, the BBC announced that Neil Patrick Harris would be in the show. They haven’t said who he’ll be playing yet. However, showrunner Russell T. Davies said that the character is “the greatest enemy the Doctor has ever faced.” There are a million ideas of who this could be! It seems the set photos have given a few hints.

Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Rumors

Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Image: BBC

The set photos for the Doctor Who 60th Anniversary show some wall advertisements. These appear to be for something called “The Circus.” They also include a picture of Harris wearing an outfit similar to the ringmaster of a circus.

Any long-time fans of Doctor Who will remember the Psychic Circus. This mysterious group was shown in the episode The Greatest Show in the Galaxy. The BBC first broadcasted this episode in 1988. In the episode, fans saw Sylvester McCoy’s Seventh Doctor battle with the Gods of Ragnarök. These Gods made visitors entertain them or be killed.

Although it’s long since we saw the troupe on-screen, that hasn’t stopped fans from loving the Psychic Circus. In 2020, Big Finish released an audio adventure featuring the Seventh Doctor battling the Psychic Circus once again. So, bringing back a classic enemy for the Doctor Who 60th Anniversary would be a great piece of fan service. It’s a fantastic way to celebrate the show’s past while looking to the future.

Doctor Who Neil Patrick Harris

Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Image: BBC

We know that David Tennant is returning for the Doctor Who 60th Anniversary. Fans have speculated that the Doctor Who centenary special will end with a surprise de-generation. They think Jodie Whittaker will “de-generate” back into the Tenth Doctor. He will be forced to find out what the cause is of this. Only a few enemies are powerful enough to cause a “de-generation” – one of them being the Gods of Ragnarök.

So, it would make sense for Harris to be playing a new leader of the Psychic Circus. He could even be another incarnation of the Chief Clown, trying to take revenge on the Doctor. Some fans also speculate that Harris could be playing an even older character. Namely, the Celestial Toymaker from the 1966 episode of the same name.The Toymaker was another adversary, this time for the First Doctor. He managed to capture the TARDIS and forced the crew to play some terrifying games. Eventually, the First Doctor outwitted him, but they met again in audio and novel adventures.In the Doctor Who 60th Anniversary set photos, one sign says “Toy Maker of the Year.” If that isn’t a reference, we don’t know what is!

Whoever Harris plays, it’s clear it will be someone with great power over the Doctor. We can expect plenty of callbacks to old episodes in the Doctor Who 60th Anniversary. It will be a celebration of the show’s long history and give us a look at the future, too.

What are your thoughts? Are you excited to see the return of the Psychic Circus or the Celestial Toymaker? Who do you think Harris is playing? Let us know in the comments!

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Hi! I'm Arvyn, and I'm an English teacher from the UK. I've been teaching English online for over 4 years to students from all across the world and all ages. Outside of work, I'm a huge fan of reading, video games, and playing with my adorable kitties. See ya!


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