Matt Smith’s Doctor will cross paths with David Tennant’s Doctor in an upcoming 50th anniversary special of “Doctor Who.”
Tennant, whose vivacious performance as the time-and-space-traveling alien helped catapult the long-running British television series into the mainstream of popular culture, has joined the cast, along with Billie Piper, who played his traveling companion and love interest, Rose Tyler, the BBC confirmed Saturday morning. The show is rumored to include all 11 incarnations of the Doctor.
The BBC also announced that John Hurt (“Alien,” “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”) will be guest starring in the special, which is written by Steven Moffat and begins filming in Britain this week. (“Merlin” fans will note that Hurt voiced the Great Dragon in that recently wrapped-up fantasy series.)
When Tennant and Piper appear alongside Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman (who plays new companion Clara Oswald), it will be the first time that Tennant, who played the Doctor in three seasons and several specials, will reprise the role since 2010’s “The End of Time.” In that final heartbreaking episode, Tennant’s Doctor bid farewell to his friends and regenerated into Matt Smith’s Doctor.
"Doctor Who" has clocked more than 50 years, transporting fans through time and space on remarkable adventures. Here's a look back at the Time Lord's regenerations over the years. (BBC)Link
William Hartnell, right, played the First Doctor from 1963 to 1966. (Getty Images)Link
Patrick Troughton played the Second Doctor from 1966 to 1969. (BBC)Link
Jon Pertwee played the Third Doctor from 1970 to 1974. (Evening Standard / Getty Images)Link
Tom Baker, center, played the Fourth Doctor from 1974 to 1981. (BBC)Link
Peter Davison played the Fifth Doctor from 1981 to 1984 (BBC)Link
Colin Baker played the Sixth Doctor from 1984 to 1986. (BBC)Link
Sylvester McCoy played the Seventh Doctor from 1987 until the show's cancellation in 1989.Link
Paul McGann played the Eighth Doctor in 1996. (BBC)Link
Christopher Eccleston played the Ninth Doctor in 2005. (SyFy)Link
David Tennant played the Tenth Doctor from 2005 to 2010. (BBC)Link
Matt Smith has played the Eleventh Doctor -- the Time Lord's current incarnation -- since 2010. (BBC)Link
The announcement comes on the same day as the show’s midseason premiere, “The Bells of St. John,” which officially introduces Coleman’s Clara as the Doctor’s new companion. “Doctor Who: The Companions,” in which companions old and new talk about how the show has shaped their lives, premieres Sunday.
It’s a big year for “Doctor Who,” and Whovians are celebrating 50 years with commemorative postage stamps, an audio drama, a three-day convention in London and two TV movies — one the anniversary special starring previous incarnations of the Doctor and the second a documentary about the filming of the first “Who” episode.
Was David Tennant your Doctor? Let us know in the comments.
— Noelene Clark | @NoeleneClark
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