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‘Doctor Who’ Is Back, So Let’s Talk About the Endings of the 60th Anniversary Specials!

The 14th Doctor clutches Donna Noble against a black background. They're looking up at something frightening.

Doctor Who comes crashing back into time and space with three new specials for the series’ 60th anniversary, with David Tennant returning as the Doctor!

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A big moment for fans who have been waiting for the return of Tennant and Catherine Tate as Donna Noble, the start of the specials came with a brilliant first episode on November 25 and will continue for the next two Saturdays. Beyond a thrilling story, it’s nice to have characters we know and love back in the series. Catherine Tate and David Tennant returning as the Doctor and Donna feels like a long time coming, and they’re two characters who just really mean a lot to us. Getting to see them shine in a new kind of Russell T. Davies era is exciting.

The first in the trio of specials, “The Star Beast,” gave us a very fun setup for the stories that are to come for Tate and Tennant’s return, so let’s talk about what happened at the end of each of the 60th anniversary specials and what they mean for the future of Doctor Who, as Ncuti Gatwa gets ready to take on the role of the Doctor when Tennant’s brief return comes to an end.

Where does the ending of “The Star Beast” leave us?

Catherine Tate, David Tennant and Yasmin Finney in Doctor Who
(BBC)

In The Star Beast, it seemed as if the Doctor was going to lose Donna. In order to stop the Meep, the Doctor had to restore Donna’s memories that he’d once sealed away to save her life, so that she could use the meta-crisis energy to stop the Meep. What the Doctor didn’t realize was that the energy was split between Doctor and her daughter, meaning that she could now survive as the DoctorDonna and they could successfully stop the Meep without him losing his best friend, too.

But in the end, the destruction that the Meep almost caused was wrapped up with a pretty bow on top of it. Reversing the course of their actions and allowing Donna and Rose (Yasmin Finney) to let go of the meta-crisis energy all on their own, the end of the episode was setting up a “final” mission between the Doctor and Donna. All of this comes after the Meep is stopped by the Doctor and Donna working together and the Meep ship is kept from being blown up and destroying the planet.

As they’re standing with the TARDIS, the Doctor convinces Donna to come in with him. We get the reveal of a new TARDIS, and as the two are walking around for old times’ sake, Donna tells us that the reason she lost her last job was because she dropped a coffee on a computer—and before she could do anything else, she … dropped a coffee on the TARDIS, causing mayhem.

So the end of the episode is the Doctor and Donna being taken somewhere in space and time that they don’t know.

The future is bleak after “Wild Blue Yonder”

catherine tate as donna noble on doctor who
(Disney+)

The end of “Wild Blue Yonder” sets up a lot for the final special with Tate and Tennant. What we do see the minute the TARDIS returns to where the Doctor and Donna left Rose, Shaun, and Sylvia is a surprise favorite: Wilf. Bernard Cribbins is sitting as our beloved Wilf when the TARDIS opens and he sees Donna emerge. Behind her is the Doctor and he cries the minute he sees the Tenth Doctor looking back at him.

For a moment, it seems like the TARDIS just brought them back to a different day but it seems like there is a lot that the Doctor and Donna missed and they have to stop some evil from taking over the world. What that means for the next episode, we don’t know but we do know that that scene is the only scene we get of Bernard Cribbins.

A happy ending for a fan favorite Doctor?

David Tennant regenerating as the Fourteenth Doctor in Doctor Who
(BBC)

The lead up to the end of “The Giggle” seemed to be just like every other regeneration story we’ve seen time and time again with Doctor Who, this time without any explanation as to why Tennant’s Doctor and face return to the character. What we got, instead, was a quick run down of why this Doctor got to stay and whether you like it or not, he got a send off and a goodbye that was meaningful to the Doctor/Donna relationship but one that did set a precedent for future regenerations that might have ramifications if fans are just loud enough about it.

The Doctor begins to regenerate, the typical glow taking him over and before he can, he fades back into Tennant and he says to pull and that something feels different and so when Mel and Donna do pull, they reveal the 15th Doctor (Ncuti Gatwa). From there, the two Doctors play a game of catch side by side with the Toymaker and the first to drop the ball loses. That ends up being the Toymaker who is damned by the Doctor.

Now, with gifted with a new chance at life, the Tennant’s Doctor has a chance at relaxing while the new Doctor goes on to save the world but what he doesn’t understand is how he can do that without his TARDIS. Luckily, Gatwa’s Doctor uses the energy of the Toymaker to split the TARDIS into two so that Tennant’s Doctor can have his own version of the TARDIS as well. Meaning that we have the Doctor and Donna together.

The end of the episode has the Doctor eating dinner with Donna and her family while the 15th Doctor is on to his next adventure.

So what did you think of the specials? Let us know in the comments below!

(featured image: BBC)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh.

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